Canal and river volunteering projects will maintain ‘national treasures’

Another part of the Grand Union Canal
Another part of the Grand Union Canal

Volunteers will be descending on Dacorum’s canals and rivers next week as part of a series of initiatives to protect the waterways.

While staff from Hemel Hempstead’s Marks & Spencer store will join the Canal and River Trust to help to clean-up the Grand Union Canal at Apsley, the Environment Agency is inviting people to take part in habitat management workshops on the Bulbourne and Gade rivers.

The canal event is part of M&S’ third annual Big Beach Clean-Up, which this year also includes more than 40 canal locations. As well as the Apsley session this coming Tuesday, staff from the retailer’s Tring outlet also mucked out in Bulbourne yesterday.

Canal and River Trust chief executive Richard Parry said: “Our canals are a two-hundred year-old national treasure that are enjoyed by millions of people each year. They need looking after, and litter and debris can be a real problem, polluting water, restricting use of the canals and towpaths, and harming wildlife.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be joining forces again with Marks & Spencer. The event will build on the work that is done every day to keep the waterways in the best possible condition.”

In a separate prject, the Environment Agency is working with the Wild Trout Trust to host practical river volunteer days next Tuesday and Wednesday on the river Bulbourne at Boxmoor, to help provide training in the use of tools and techniques for habitat improvement and management.

A further workshop will be held at the river Gade in Gadebridge Park on Thursday.

The workshops are primarily aimed at those involved in habitat management, from fishery managers to conservation volunteers or riparian owners.

The agency’s Nancy Young said: “We will provide expert environmental advice and practical experience to enable participants to acquire the knowledge and techniques to be able to replicate this work in rivers elsewhere.”

Email or call 03708 506 506 for more information.