Communities joining together to help improve canal

A volunteer helps with the hedge laying at Turnerwood near South Anston
A volunteer helps with the hedge laying at Turnerwood near South Anston

The Chesterfield Canal will soon be a more attractive place for people and wildlife after two community-led projects won support from the Canal & River Trust.

As part of the charity’s Your Waterways scheme, in which people in the East Midlands were invited to put forward ideas for small projects to make a big difference on their local waterways, the groups will be getting support to make their mark on the canal.

A group of Turnerwood residents will be working with the trust to plant spring bulbs, repair hedgerows to provide important food and shelter for wildlife and create a canalside herb garden.

They will also be repairing steps at Turnerwood Bridge, off Little Lane, and re-pointing a section of flagstone towpath.

Further along the canal Clarborough & Welham Parish Council is about to install benches and picnic benches, giving local people and visitors the chance to stop and enjoy some time by the waterside.

The improvements were all identified by the two groups as ways in which they would like to see to the canal made even more special.

Liz Fleuty, development and engagement manager for the trust said; “What’s really clear from all the entries is that people in the East Midlands really value their local canal or river.

“We really liked the two successful Chesterfield Canal entries and we’re looking forward to seeing both projects take shape.”

Marcus Hill Jones from Turnerwood, commented “This has been fantastic news for all who enjoy our very special canal at Turnerwood.

“It has been great to see so many members of the local community out supporting the work, and the hedge laying in particular has already drawn many compliments from waterway users.

“Following the generous support from the trust, it has been particularly warming to have two local Turnerwood businesses come forward with donations of materials, enabling an even bigger and better transformation.

“Landscaping specialist Cowley Stone has supplied hardwood sleepers for the community herb garden, and Orchard Teas has presented a beautiful native seed mix for the wildlife garden.”

Coun Paul Willcock, of Clarborough & Welham council, added: We are grateful to the trust for enabling us to improve the use of the canal in our Parish.

“Further improvements to the canal side will take place over the next few years as part of a wider scheme to create a new open green space for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.”

To find out more about the trust, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.