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Canal & River Trust recruits 1,000th volunteer but more help still needed

PUBLISHED: 16:55 12 February 2016

The Canal & River Trust – founded in 2012 – has recruited in 1,000th volunteer from the West Midlands to help with their work in cleaning up the nations canals. Canals in Birmingham are currently enjoying a renaissance as there has been a surge in volunteers who have pledged their support to the preservation of the canal network.

The waterways in Birmingham were at their peak of popularity during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain but since then, certain areas have fallen into poor condition. The trust now says that due to the recent boost in activity from volunteers they have the opportunity to return the canal to its former glory.

The volunteers are made up of individuals who use the canals and rivers for boating, canoeing and fishing.

“Since the waterways were transferred to the trust, there has been an upsurge in volunteering that is vital if we are to maintain and enhance what is a fantastic legacy for the West Midlands and beyond” said Steve Burt, a huge supporter of volunteering for the Canal & River Trust’s West Midlands Waterway Partnership. “The canals and rivers are there for everyone to enjoy and to keep them in shape we have the invaluable support of volunteers to enhance the work of the charity’s full-time workforce”.

The Trust has stated that there are now 13 canal “adoptions” in place throughout the West Midlands. An “adoption” is essentially where someone agrees to take responsibility for maintaining a certain stretch of canal. Among those who have risen to this challenge and offer support are neighbourhood forums and university students.

They aim to keep the area clear of litter, remove graffiti, put in plants and carry out some bank protection work. Mr Burt said: “There is far too much work for full-time staff to do and we are grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who have come forward in the West Midlands.

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