Taskforce volunteers sought for clean-up of waterways

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CANAL enthusiasts are being urged to consider becoming a volunteer to help maintain and improve waterways in Yorkshire.

The call comes from the Canal & River Trust – the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales – which is recruiting people to a number of its Towpath Taskforce teams.

The taskforce encourages people to get out into the great outdoors and muck in to help protect some of Yorkshire’s most important heritage and wildlife habitats.

The trust is holding a number of events across Yorkshire over the coming weeks and is encouraging local people to come along and have a go.

Events are taking place in Selby next Saturday, in Knottingley on Thursday, February 6 and in Huddersfield on Friday, February 14.

Taskforce teams carry out jobs including planting wildflowers and bulbs, clearing overgrowth, painting locks and cutting back overhanging vegetation from the towpath.

Claire McDonald, volunteer co-ordinator for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Yorkshire’s waterways are a proud part of the region’s history and we need help to give them the care they deserve and to improve them for the future.”

“Volunteering with the Towpath Taskforce is a great way to start the New Year and an opportunity to meet other volunteers whilst learning about the wildlife, history and day-to-day happenings along the waterways.

“We want to see communities take real ownership of their local waterways and we’re keen to involve as many people as possible.

“No prior experience is necessary, we just need people who aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.

“And of course the more people that join us, the more work we can do for the benefit of everyone living nearby.”

The meeting in Selby is at 10am at Brayton Bridge, where Brayton Lane crosses the Selby Canal (YO8 9DX).

The meeting in Knottingley is from 10am at Knottingley Amphitheatre, Hill Top (WF11 9AQ).

Details of the Huddersfield meeting have yet to be confirmed.

More details are available from www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/towpathtaskforce.

Tools and equipment will be provided and volunteers should wear protective footwear if they have it.

Anyone interested in attending the Huddersfield meeting can contact Claire McDonald on 07920 295943.