We've started a project to rebuild a volunteer hut along the popular South Stratford Canal in Wilmcote, Warwickshire after it was vandalised and almost burnt to the ground last summer.
The hut, which was built in the late 1990s, was used as a shelter and storage space for our volunteer lock keepers. The building was so badly damaged in the fire that sections of it need to be completely rebuilt.
Ian Lane, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our volunteers and local staff worked really hard to make the hut a nice place to enjoy a relaxing tea break so it’s heart-breaking to know that someone thought it would be a clever idea to burn it down. Not only is it a pointless thing to have done but we have also had to pay for it to be rebuilt, using money that could have been put to better use repairing and maintaining our canals.”
Paul Roache, volunteer lock keeper, said “We really missed our hut last summer and are looking forward to having it back. We were shocked that anyone could be so callous and destroy a building that is an important feature of the local canal and helps us provide a service to visiting boaters.
“One of the advantages of our rebuild is we’ve managed to install a 'bat brick' to try and encourage our local nocturnal wildlife to live within the roof space - so something positive has come out of a sad act of arson.”