Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Council fund helps clear reeds from Grantham Canal in Rushcliffe

A project to clear reeds that are dominating parts of the Grantham Canal in West Bridgford has received Council funding, improving water flow and enhancing habitats for wildlife.


Rushcliffe Borough Council awarded a £27,000 grant from its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) allocation to the Canal & River Trust which is overseeing the conservation and reed clearance project.

Cllr Abby Brennan and Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack explored the reed clearance project along Grantham Canal in Kinoulton
Cllr Abby Brennan and Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack explored the reed clearance project along Grantham Canal in Kinoulton

The waterways and wellbeing charity is removing excessive reed growth in a four-metre-wide channel along the middle of the canal at key sites including Kinoulton, Hickling, Cotgrave, Gamston and Lady Bay. 

Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack joined Richard Bennett from Canal River Trust to see the reed clearance taking place
Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack joined Richard Bennett from Canal & River Trust to see the reed clearance taking place


As well as improving flow, the channel will provide clear water, perfect for fish, dragonflies and other aquatic plants.

Reed clearance at Grantham Canal in Kinoulton

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The funding builds on further support the Council has provided annually to help maintain the hedges and footpath along the canal in the Borough.

With bird nesting season approaching daily checks are being carried out ahead of the works and the programme will be modified to avoid disturbance of any nesting birds.

The Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan and Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack met representatives from the Canal & River Trust and Grantham Canal Water Restoration Group (CGWRG) and the Council’s Environmental Sustainability Officer Paul Phillips to see the reed clearance project in action Kinoulton. 

Cllr Brennan said: “We’re pleased to provide grant funding through UKSPF for this project which is vital for protecting the wildlife and nature along the Grantham Canal.

 

“As outlined in our Climate Change Strategy, we want to help mitigate the effects of climate change on wildlife and biodiversity and nature conservation has been identified as a priority for Rushcliffe residents.

 

“These works will help to ensure the water keeps flowing along the canal, maintaining the valuable open water habitat and provide a scenic water view for local residents and visitors using the canal path.”

Richard Bennett, Heritage & Environment Manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Grantham Canal is a valuable place for wildlife and a much-loved place for local people to enjoy a breath of fresh air, so it’s really important that we carry out these works.

 

“It’s easy to forget that the canal is a man-made environment and needs careful management to keep it a special place that benefits both people and wildlife. 

 

“These works will improve the overall health of the Grantham Canal, increasing the variety of habitats available and improving water flow along the canal, which, because it has few streams and other sources of water flowing into it, is heavily reliant on rainfall in some sections to keep it topped-up. 

 

“We’re very grateful for funding from Rushcliffe Borough Council which has made these improvements possible. As a charity this kind of support is vital in our ongoing work to protect and preserve our historic waterways and ensure that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

 

Residents are being invited to have their say on the works with a short online survey, which can be found at https://canalrivertrust.welcomesyourfeedback.net/9dw85n.

Grantham Canal Water Restoration Group has been working with Canal & River Trust and the Grantham Canal society to support the maintenance of the canal in Rushcliffe.  

 

Chair of Grantham Canal Water Restoration Group Peter Cadwallader added: “We welcome the start of much needed reed clearance in the Hickling and Kinoulton area.

 

“Coming on top of the extensive repairs, carried out last year to stop the serious loss of water from this area, this shows a real commitment to sustaining the life of the canal and restoring water levels by the Canal and River Trust and Grantham Canal Society.

 

“On our site visit we met Mick who drives the mechanical reed rake and Lewis who inspects the area for any nesting birds or wildlife. Their approach was very reassuring as a number of people have shown concern that the work may be encroaching on nesting sites.

 

“We are working closely with partners to create a local volunteer group to monitor and maintain the canal in this area, keeping it safe and tidy for the future. Contact us on GCWRG@yahoo.com if you would like to help.”

 

Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Tina Combellack added: “This project promotes our objective of preserving the water for the physical and health benefits the canal leisure corridor provides plus protecting the natural environment.”



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