Community groups set to improve Chesterfield Canal

Working on the hedge at Turnerwood. PHOTO CRT

THE Chesterfield Canal will soon be a more attractive place for people and wildlife after two community led projects won support from the Canal & River Trust.

As part of the charity’s ‘Your Waterways’ scheme, in which people in the East Midlands were invited to put forward ideas for small projects to make a big difference on their local waterways, community groups will be getting support to make their mark on the Chesterfield Canal.

A group of Turnerwood residents will be working with the Trust to plant spring bulbs, repair hedgerows to provide important food and shelter for wildlife and create a canalside herb garden. They will also be repairing steps at Turnerwood Bridge, off Little Lane, and repointing a section of flagstone towpath.

Further along the canal Clarborough & Welham Parish Council are about to install benches and picnic benches giving local people and visitors the chance to stop and enjoy some time by the waterside.

The improvements were all identified by the two groups as ways in which they would like to see to the canal made even more special.

The ‘Your Waterways’ scheme was launched by the Trust in January and projects were put forward by communities across the East Midlands.

A panel of judges assessed all of the applications based on how achievable they were within the funding available as well as the health and wellbeing benefits they would bring to the local community.

Liz Fleuty, development & engagement manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “We were delighted with the response to the Your Waterways scheme, both in terms of the number of entries and the thought that had gone in to them. What’s really clear from all the entries is that people in the East Midlands really value their local canal or river and as a charity that’s invaluable.

“We really liked the two successful Chesterfield Canal entries. Together they will help to attract more wildlife to the Chesterfield Canal whilst also making it more attractive and accessible to local people. We’re really looking forward to seeing both projects take shape and we’ll be giving the volunteers all the support they need to bring their ideas to reality.”

Marcus Hill Jones from Turnerwood said; “This has been fantastic news for all who enjoy our very special canal at Turnerwood. It has been great to see so many members of the local community out supporting the work, and the hedge laying in particular has already drawn many compliments from waterway users.

“Following the generous support from the Canal & River Trust, it has been particularly warming to have two local Turnerwood businesses come forward with donations of materials, enabling an even bigger and better transformation. Landscaping specialist Cowley Stone has supplied hardwood sleepers for the community herb garden, and Orchard Teas has presented a beautiful native seed mix for the wildlife garden.”

Paul Willcock, commenting on behalf of the Clarborough & Welham Parish Council said “We are grateful to the Canal & River Trust for enabling us to improve the use of the Chesterfield Canal in our Parish.  Further improvements to the canal side will take place over the next few years as part of a wider scheme to create a new open green space, our Parish Pasture, for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.”