I’ll help canal adop­tions, says Ju­lia

Canal Boat - - News -

TV PER­SON­AL­ITY AND Canal Walks pre­sen­ter Ju­lia Brad­bury is to head up a cam­paign to get 500 miles of water­way adopted by lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and groups across the coun­try .

Ms Brad­bury hailed the canals as “among the finest ex­am­ples of in­dus­trial her­itage in the world”, but warned that ap­a­thy was the big­gest threat that they faced.

She added that when out walk­ing she’d “seen what a dif­fer­ence it makes when lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties come to­gether and make their stretch come to life”.

Al­ready the adop­tions scheme is seen as a suc­cess story by the Canal & River Trust, with lengths looked af­ter and im­proved by vol­un­teers from 170 groups rang­ing from Scouts and Guides to water­ways so­ci­eties, schools, ca­noe­ing, fish­ing and run­ning clubs, char­i­ties (in­volved in causes such as home­less­ness and autism) and pri­vate com­pa­nies in­clud­ing boat­yards, su­per­mar­ket chains and a brew­ery.

But at an av­er­age of a mile each, they still add up to less than ten per­cent of the 2000-mile net­work by 2025. The Trust now hopes to al­most triple that mileage, with a tar­get of 500 miles or one quar­ter of the CRT sys­tem adopted, and is ap­peal­ing to groups to come for­ward and of­fer at least one day of work per month for an ini­tial 12-month pe­riod.

The work will be agreed with CRT and might be any­thing from tidy­ing tow­paths and paint­ing lock gates to im­prov­ing wildlife habi­tats and cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity veg­etable gar­den.

See canal­rivertrust.org.uk/adopt-a-canal for a map show­ing which lengths are al­ready adopted and which are up for adop­tion.

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