Canal clear-up... what a load of rubbish!

Canal clear up, MPLO
Canal clear up, MPLO

The Milton Keynes Branch of the Inland Waterways Association, working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Company completed their second annual canal clean-up over the weekend of October 20-21.

This clean-up went south for over 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal from Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes to Grove Lock, south of Leighton Buzzard..

The clean-up removed nearly 10 tonnes of rubbish from the canal and adjacent towpath and banks. Among the huge variety of items dredge from the canal were a drum with 200metres of fibre optic cable, a generator, lawnmower, dishwasher, three motorbikes, a TV, a sewing machine, two wheelbarrows and the usual cull of shopping trolleys (17 this time).

Some 20 black plastic sacks of litter were retrieved from the towpath and offside banks.

IWA members’ boats towed the 70 foot hopper and a 40ft pan (workboats supplied by the trust) into which the rubbish was placed .The dredged rubbish was obtained by operating eight strong grapple hooks from the hopper and more by other volunteers from the bank. The trust supplied a crewed dredger to follow the dredging and give very necessary assistance in retrieving the heaviest items.

IWA MK branch members and other volunteers engaged in the operation working on the hopper and pan, from their boats grappling and litter picking contributed 314 volunteer person hours over the weekend. Two trust volunteer leaders as well as the dredger crew were additional to this effort.