I’ll help canal adoptions, says Julia
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.