A GROUP of local people have rolled their sleeves up and helped the Canal & River Trust to make canals in Walsall cleaner, more attractive places for the local community.
Volunteers from Walsall College and Muslim Community Association joined forces to help the clear litter from Walsall’s flight of locks and the town’s canal basin.
Working with the Trust’s staff the volunteers, joined by a local resident, helped to remove 20 bags of rubbish from the canal and towpath. The team even boarded one of the Trust’s workboats to clear litter from places which are difficult to reach by land.
The Trust is now appealing for members of the public to join in with the clean-ups and form a regular Towpath Taskforce to ensure that the canals remain welcoming places for people and wildlife. Further taskforce events are planned to take place on May 23 and June 6 with locations for each due to be confirmed.
The taskforce events are intended to be drop-in sessions with no ongoing time commitment and those taking part can help with painting, clearing vegetation and tidying the towpath. People can give as much or as little time as they can with the Trust providing all tools and equipment, together with expert friendly support.
Barry Keight, volunteer leader for the Canal & River Trust said; “Walsall’s Canals are really important places for local people as they offer a place to keep active, clear their heads and get away from it all.
“As a charity we’re really grateful for the support of Walsall College and Muslim Community Association. By rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in they’ve helped to improve the canals for local people.
“It’s important that we continue their great work so the canals stay special and so we’re appealing for more local people to come forward and lend us a hand.
“The real beauty of joining a Towpath Taskforce is that they’re completely flexible. There’s no ongoing time commitment, people can join us once a month or just as much as their lifestyle allows. It’s also a great opportunity to get outdoors, meet people and make a difference to your local environment so we’re really looking forward to welcoming people along.”
Claire Anderson, Supported Learning lecturer at Walsall College said; “We’re enjoying a really successful partnership with the Canal & River Trust. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to look after their local community, whilst developing skills for the working environment”
To find out more about the Canal & River Trust and how you can support their work, either through volunteering or making a donation go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk or call 0303 040 4040.
Anyone wanting to take part in the Walsall Towpath Taskforce should contact Barry Keight on 07919 560 582.