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Canal spruced up as education project gets underway

[Tuesday 04 April 2006]

Volunteers taking part in the annual spring clean along one of our region's canals have found so much discarded rubbish and litter that they are now planning a second clean-up day.

Thirty bags of rubbish were collected from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Pendle last Friday as the Borough Council joined forces with British Waterways and local volunteers to do a 'spring clean' of the canal.

The big Leeds-Liverpool Canal clean-up
The big Leeds-Liverpool Canal clean-up

The massive litter-pick saw Council staff working with Waterways officers and members of Pendle's Canal Corridor Project on the tow path, whilst canoeists from Outdoor Resources in Colne collected rubbish from the water.

A British Waterways skip boat collected the full rubbish bags from the tow path. However, it soon became apparent that there was too much rubbish for just the one visit and so the team intend to organise a second clean-up.

This will form part of British Waterways' National Clean-Up event which is taking place on canals across the country, including stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool in North and West Yorkshire.

Tricia Wilson, of Pendle Council's Canal Corridor Development initiative, said: "It is disheartening to see so much litter appearing at the same spots each time. The worst areas are below the bridges where a lot of fly tipping takes place.

"Rubbish and especially waste food and bread can attract rats which none of us want to see."

This year's clean-up coincides with the start of a major British Waterways Education Project.

The 'Kennet' project - named after a traditional Leeds and Liverpool working boat - will use the Kennet boat as a floating classroom for schools and community groups so that they can learn about the environment.

The project will provide 'Eco Bags' to schools and community groups, allowing them to monitor and record wildlife along a particular stretch of the canal.

Tricia Wilson continued: "Ultimately the aim of the project is to encourage people to protect the environment and keep it free from litter.

"In the longer term this should help to attract more wildlife to the canal."

For more information on helping out with the clean-up or on the Kennet project, contact Tricia Wilson on 01282 661964 or email tricia.wilson@pendle.gov.uk

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