Castleford community groups urged to help canals

� Mike Poloway/+44(0)1618503338 / mike@poloway.com. Canal and River Trust, near bridge 129. Shropshire Canal, Bladon, Chester. 19 April 2016. CRT's Roger Birch (in Hi Vis) with volunteers from Bank of America, Chester branch, Suryanti Dahkri (left) and Adetomiwa Jeminiwa fixing in angling peg.
� Mike Poloway/+44(0)1618503338 / mike@poloway.com. Canal and River Trust, near bridge 129. Shropshire Canal, Bladon, Chester. 19 April 2016. CRT's Roger Birch (in Hi Vis) with volunteers from Bank of America, Chester branch, Suryanti Dahkri (left) and Adetomiwa Jeminiwa fixing in angling peg.

Castleford community groups are being urged to help look after their local waterways.

The Canal and River trust is inviting groups to adopt up to a one-mile stretch of canals across Yorkshire, including the Aire and Calder Navigation.

The move is part of the charity’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.

Groups can adopt any one-mile section running from Freda’s garden in Knottingley, past Ferrybridge Flood Lock down to Castleford Junction Lock and then onto Kings Road Lock in Normanton.

Richard Parry, trust chief executive, said: “Local waterways are arguably as important today as they have ever been. They are places for us all to escape – havens for both people and wildlife. But to make sure this valuable legacy thrives into the future, we need to capitalise on the huge pride people have in them and encourage groups to work alongside us to make it happen.”

Adoption groups will work with the trust on initiatives such as improving wildlife habitats and access for local people.

Mark Lovett, from Friends of Freda’s Garden, said: “Our small group formed over two years ago to adopt this little stretch on Aire and Calder Navigation where Freda Turner lived. A passionate gardener, Freda tended to this section of the towpath and her planting became an attraction for passers-by. Since her passing we have been maintaining this section of canal. It’s a great way to spend a few hours in the fresh air, by the canal and would love to hear from anyone wanting to join us.”

Visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/adopt-a-canal for details.