For the staff and volunteers at the Canal and River Trust, managing over 2000 miles of British Waterways is no mean feat. With over 10 million people visiting or travelling on Britain’s canals and rivers each year, keeping the network - much of which dates back to the Victorian era, in good health requires over 540,000 hours of work each year.
As part of the ongoing effort to improve the West Midlands network, the Trust’s Towpath Taskforce have been working to refurbish the early 20th Locks which serve Knowle along the Grand Union Canal.
In a show of support for the Charity she founded as Environmental Secretary in 2012, Meriden MP, Dame Caroline Spelman joined the Taskforce on Wednesday to help with ongoing efforts to clear debris from the lock’s 10 side ponds.
Speaking during the visit, the MP praised the hard work and dedication of the team and pledged to work closely with the Trust in Parliament.
Dame Caroline said: ‘I am proud to be able to join volunteers at Knowle Locks as they undertake vital work to ensure that this stretch of the network is preserved for narrowboat owners and visitors to enjoy’.
‘There is a lot of work that needs to be done around these wonderful heritage assets that the trust has, but in order to preserve these for future generations, the Canal and River’s Trust is reliant on a constant stream of new volunteers’.
‘In addition to volunteering their time, local residents can support the charitable trust by signing up to their online newsletter or making a regular donation to preserve this valuable piece of our nations transport and environmental history’.
The Canal and River Trust’s patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, the charity recruits over 541,000 volunteer hours each year and has a 95% volunteer satisfaction rate.
To find out how you can get involved in local projects, please visit the Trust’s Website: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/ or call 0303 040 4040.