Workers clean up Knottingley canal

M&S staff help to clean up Knottingley canal with the Canal and Riverways Trust. (p611a418)
M&S staff help to clean up Knottingley canal with the Canal and Riverways Trust. (p611a418)

Staff from Marks and Spencers swapped the shopfloor for the great outdoors as they did their bit for the environment in Knottingley.

Workers took part in a clean-up of the historic Aire and Calder Navigation canal around Knottingley Amphitheatre.

They joined Canal and River Trust waterways charity staff and spent Tuesday and Wednesday clearing litter from the canal and its banks.

The event was part of this week’s M&S Big Beach Clean-up campaign, which aims to bring a tidier look to 140 canal and beachside locations nationwide.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal and River Trust, said: “Our canals are a 200-year-old national treasure that are enjoyed by millions of people each year.

“They need looking after, and litter and debris can be a real problem, polluting water, restricting use of the canals and towpaths, and harming wildlife.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be joining forces again with Marks and Spencer and all the volunteers who take part in the Big Beach Clean-up.”

The project, which will tidy up 95 beaches and 45 canals across the country, aims to clear more than last year’s haul of 30 tonnes of litter.

Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks and Spencer, said: “Our Big Beach Clean-up 2013 exceeded all expectations and made a significant impact on local communities.

“This year our beaches and canals, and in turn our marine life, need us and our army of volunteers more than ever before.

“It’s a fun, outdoor activity and I’m confident we can go one step further and surpass last year’s litter haul.”

People can get involved in tidying up the canal at ongoing sessions held the Canal and River Trust.

The next event takes place on Thursday, May 8 and aims to help spruce up the Knottingley Amphitheatre and the towpaths around Knottingley.

Tasks include painting, planting, weeding, litter clearance and general maintenance.

All tools and safety gear are provided but people are advised to wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.

If anyone would like to take part the group will meet at the amphitheatre and the session will run from 10am to 1pm.

For more information, or if you would like to take part in the event, call Lucy Dockray, from the Canal and River Trust, on 07767 383736.