Canal garden is given a new lease of life

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A public garden named after a community volunteer has been spruced up as part of a project to improve the canal towpath in Knottingley.

Freda’s Garden was named after the late Freda Turner, who lived in a house along the canal and spent hours tidying up the area.

It has been revitalised with new plants after funding was secured for an improvement project by the Canal and River Trust.

The organisation, which looks after 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, has installed outdoor gym equipment and seating areas and built new walkways along the stretch of the canal.

The project was paid for with a £47,000 grant from the not-for-profit community fund Wren.

Jane Thomson, enterprise manager for the Canal and River Trust, said: “The canal side in Knottingley is looking amazing and we really hope that local people will enjoy having a nice spot to escape to.

“Whether you’re after a waterside workout or just a place to sit and watch the wildlife then the canal is a great place to go.

“We’re really grateful for the help and support of Wren and what’s been great about this project is the wide range of people that have been involved.

“Together they’ve really helped to make a difference for the people living and working nearby.”

The canal side work was carried out with the help of around 40 junior soldiers from Harrogate Army Foundation College and community group the Friends of Freda’s Garden.

Ornamental plants and nectar-rich species have been planted at the garden to encourage bees and pollinating insects.

The garden was set up in honour of grandmother Freda Turner, who died in 2011.

She treated the canal towpath as her own her garden and tended to the path by planting flowers and weeding the area.

The Friends of Freda’s Garden will continue to look after the area after adopting a half-mile stretch of the canal towpath between Cow Lane Bridge and Shepherds Bridge.

Freda’s Garden was set up as part of the Canal and River Trust’s Adopt a Canal initiative.

New signage has also recently been installed to give visitors information on the area’s waterways.