A group of hard working volunteers carried out an excellent clean-up of the Gamston Section of the Grantham Canal on the morning of Sunday 14th April.
However, this wasn’t one of the usual organised Grantham Canal Society (GCS) Task Days.
Instead of spreading our work over a number of activities such as general litter picking, towpath widening, trimming overgrown bushes, painting steelwork gates and bridge parapets etc., all efforts concentrated on removing litter from the canal itself.
Of course, in order to do this, it is necessary to actually get onto the water. It was thought that none of the usual volunteers had the means to do this. However, one of the volunteers belongs to a group of paddleboarders and put us in touch with the Nottingham Surfers against Sewage group. Their representative, Neil Cutts, arranged for several of his colleagues from other paddleboard and kayak groups to join GCS volunteers to work as a team.
After meeting at the rear of Morrison’s car park the volunteers were briefed on health and safety issues by the Canal and River Trust (CRT) volunteer coordinator who also explained about being careful of the plentiful wildlife on the canal, some of which occupied nests and others which had very young chicks.
It was obvious to all who walked along the canal towpath that there was quite an amount of litter in the canal. However, it didn’t take long for the paddleboarders and kayakers to find more than was visible to passers-by.
Armed with litter pickers and buckets mounted on their boards they soon filled their containers. The kayakers helped fill the buckets on the paddleboards. When full, the buckets were brought to the bank and the land-based volunteers bagged up the litter and carted it to the CRT van.
Among the items removed were numerous glass bottles, cans, loads of plastic bottles, footballs, tennis balls, children’s toys, a small table, a child’s tricycle, many quite large items of timber and by far the worst to handle was a really smelly carpet.
Some of the bags were too heavy to carry the 100m or so to the van so a paddleboard was employed to carry the “cargo”. Possibly the first time material has been carried along that section of the Grantham for about 80 years.
Unfortunately, due to possible contamination further down the canal, the work had to be halted before we could reach the Radcliffe Road bridge. It is hoped we can carry on this great work in a few weeks and then continue onto the Lady Bay section.
The Grantham Canal Society is extremely grateful for the work done and time spent by the paddleboarders, kayakers and the land-based volunteers. It’s certain that passers-by will observe a huge difference in the condition of that part of the canal.