The Canal & River Trust is urging communities in Hemel Hempstead to play a part in looking after the waterways on their doorstep, by urging them to ‘adopt’ up to a one-mile stretch of local canal.
And the adoption appeal is being supported by TV personality and outdoor champion Julia Bradbury,
The call comes as part of the Canal & River Trust’s plans to ensure that the region’s waterways 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 will work with the trust to make their local waterway shine. This can be anything from improving wildlife habitats and access for people to creating a linear veg patch for the community.
There are already more than1 60 adoption groups working across the country, including Scouts, neighbourhood societies, running groups and schools.
Julia Bradbury said: “Two hundred years ago, canals helped to transform the face of Britain, bringing about unprecedented change to our economy and society.
“The legacy we have today is among the finest examples of industrial heritage in the world, yet the biggest threat our waterways face is apathy.
“Last century it was pioneering volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to help save the waterways from being lost forever. And today when I’m out exploring and taking in the waterways I’ve seen what a difference it makes when local communities come together and make their stretch come to life.
“I’d encourage anyone with a community spirit and a bit of time to spare to see how they can get involved”.
For more information and to see a map showcasing existing adoption groups and areas that are available for people to support, see https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/adopt-a-canal