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News article created on 2 April 2013

Will you help us spruce up the Stourbridge Canal?

We're looking for volunteers from across the country to roll up their sleeves, strap on some sturdy boots and help clean up one of the Black Country’s most historic waterways.

We're working in partnership with Birmingham Canal Navigation Society, the Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester Branch of the Inland Waterways Association, the Waterway Recovery Group, Dudley Canal Trust and the Coombeswood Canal Trust. We want to put together an army of helpers to get their hands dirty and help spruce up the popular Stourbridge Canal in readiness for the start of the summer.

The Stourbridge Canal is the shortest canal in the West Midlands and is well known for its association with the glass industry. Today you can still see the Red House Glass Cone, one of four remaining glass-making cones in the UK located alongside the Stourbridge Lock Flight.

The weekend tidy up starting on Saturday 13 April will involve removing tons of litter and debris from along the towpath and from the waterways. Once the rubbish is removed from the canal, our work boats will pick up the litter and fly-tipped debris and dispose of it. Over the two days volunteers will help clean this and the Fens Branch stretch of the Stourbridge Canal.

Anyone can get involved

Murray Woodward, volunteer co-ordinator for the Canal & River Trust, said: “I am hoping that this year’s clean-up is the biggest ever. Anyone can get involved, as long as they like the outdoors and doing a bit of hard graft and don’t mind getting a bit wet and muddy. Although the days are tiring the reward of seeing the amount of rubbish collected at the end of each day makes it all worthwhile.

“Unfortunately a minority of people treat the waterways as a dumping ground and spoil these green corridors for everyone. Carelessly fly-tipping rubbish into the canal is not only illegal but also creates a hazard to boaters, harms the local wildlife and generally makes the waterways and the local area look unloved and untidy.”

Peter Mathews CMG, chair of west midlands Waterways Partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: "The Stourbridge Canal is a real picturesque area used by many, not just for boating but for walking, fishing, cycling and even canoeing. With this beautiful spot in their backyard, I'm sure that many Stourbridge people would give the helping hand that is needed to keep this historic waterway as the haven it is, to be enjoyed by one and all."

To find out more and to sign up for the two day event visit www.waterways.org.uk or www.wrg.org.uk