Vol­un­teers bid to pro­tect canal and its wildlife

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

Vol­un­teers have been work­ing to help pro­tect wa­ter qual­ity on the canal to en­sure a healthy eco sys­tem for plants, fish and wildlife.

When sur­face wa­ter from rain­fall runs off into the canal sys­tem, it can carry pol­lu­tants in­clud­ing oils, chem­i­cals and silt which all af­fect wa­ter qual­ity. Un­li­censed out­lets into the canal are also a sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue for the canal net­work.

The Canal and River Trust does vi­tal work to mon­i­tor what is be­ing dis­charged into the canal.

Vol­un­teers from the Sut­ton Parish Plan steer­ing group have been work­ing with the Canal and River Trust to carry out a sur­vey of the canal, iden­ti­fy­ing the pipes and drains which dis­charge into the canal and not­ing whether there are any signs of pol­lu­tion.

The data is then be­ing mapped by the en­vi­ron­men­tal team, who will fol­low up any po­ten­tial pol­lu­tion haz­ards.

The in­for­ma­tion will also be used by the Canal and River Trust which man­ages agree­ments with ad­ja­cent land own­ers who wish to dis­charge sur­face wa­ter into the canal sys­tem, gen­er­at­ing in­come for the trust.

Louie Rams­den, who is Canal and River Trust en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist, said: “Our canals and wa­ter­ways are havens for plants and an­i­mals and it’s es­sen­tial we look af­ter the wa­ter qual­ity to safe­guard their sur­vival.

“This is not a new prob­lem but un­til now we have been short of re­sources to tackle it. Now with the help of the Sut­ton vol­un­teers we have been able to carry out this work to help us safe­guard the wa­ter qual­ity of the Mac­cles­field Canal.”

●● The Mac­cles­field Canal in Sut­ton

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