The charity making life better by water

We're calling for help as vandals target Wolverhampton’s historic canal

We're appealing for the help of the police and wider community after vandals have been persistently targeting the historic locks on the Main Line Canal in Wolverhampton - draining the canal of its precious water.

A flooded road

An expensive clean up

For the last month we have dealt with several incidents of vandalism which have resulted in damage to the 21 locks after they have been drained of water. The mindless acts of vandalism have closed the canal to boating on each occasion and caused harm to the local fish population.

Responding to the incidents has cost us £thousands, whilst the latest incident also caused a local road to be flooded near to the Wolverhampton Science Park.

Despite the locks already having ‘anti-vandal' locks installed the vandals have opened the lock paddles and gates causing a total of more than 840,000 litres of water to drain away – which is the same amount of water as 8,400 bathtubs.

A waste of water

Aaron Atwal, our area operations manager, said: “In a year which has seen widespread drought, this is such a waste of valuable water and our charity's time and resources when we could be working to protect and improve our canals, not responding to mindless vandalism.

“I'm not sure why someone would go out of their way to purposely empty the water from the canal, but it can cause a lot of damage to the historic brickwork. The canal and locks are over 200 years old and part of local history of Wolverhampton. The water helps to protect these precious heritage structures.

“We're working with the local Police to step up patrols along the canal to prevent this activity from continuing as well as looking at any further ways to prevent vandals from operating the locks.

“These incidents not only harm the community's historic waterways and damage local wildlife but pose a real risk to local homes and businesses, so if anyone has any further information, please contact Wolverhampton Police or call us on 03030 404040.”

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

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Last Edited: 21 November 2022

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