VOLUNTEERS have a new tool in their bid to clean up the area’s canals.
A second-hand workboat has been purchased by the Canal and River Trust to help keep the Worcester and Birmingham Canal in top condition.
The boat was bought using over £23,000 of donations from the public, money from the Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership and a £16,500 grant from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Work is now being carried out in the Tardebigge yard to restore the boat including repairing the hull, painting and motor work. It is hoped the boat will be ready to go out on the water in the new year and will be used by volunteers to help clean up litter, remove graffiti, cut back trees and bushes along the canal and create new habitats for wildlife.
As well as providing them a warm, dry place to work from they will also be able to reach parts of the canal they cannot currently access from the towpath.
Once the boat is ready for action, the Trust aims to run a competition with local schools to name it.
Ed Helps, from the Canal & River Trust’s South Wales & Severn waterway partnership, who himself raised over £6,000 through two sponsored bike rides, said: “It’s great to have raised the money for the boat, a big thanks go to all those who supported the appeal, particularly the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
“It’ll enable us to do things we haven’t previously been able to do. We’re going to train volunteers to skipper the boat and encourage local schools and community groups to participate in clean-up sessions, for example. The Worcester & Birmingham Canal is fantastic, volunteers do so much to ensure it continues to thrive, so we are delighted to be able to provide them with even more support.”