The Canal and River Trust is urging communities around Dewsbury and Batley to play a bigger part in looking after the waterways on their doorstep.
The call comes as part of the charity’s wider plans to ensure that the region’s waterways, including the Calder and Hebble Navigation, continue to thrive and don’t fall back into the dereliction of the mid-20th century, when some sections were almost lost forever.
Adoption groups would work in partnership with the Trust in order to make their local waterway shine; anything from improving wildlife habitats and access for local people, to creating a linear veg-patch for the community.
Each group would agree to work at least one day a month for 12 months and tackle the projects they want to prioritise to make their mile matter.
Richard Parry, Canal and River Trust chief executive, said: “Local waterways are arguably as important today as they have ever been.
“They have evolved from freight highways to linear parks in our towns and cities. They are places for us all to escape – havens for both people and wildlife. “But to make sure this valuable legacy thrives into the future, we need to capitalise on the huge pride people have in them and encourage groups to work alongside us to make it happen. We see how much a stretch of canal is improved if local people are helping us to look after it, that’s why we’ve set an ambitious target for people to show their love for their local canal.”
To support the call, the Trust has published an online map that showcases existing adoption groups and areas that are available for people to support. Visit visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/adopt-a-canal for more information.
The Trust also has more informal volunteer opportunities including lock keeping and drop-in sessions.
Go to canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer for more details.