Canal Trust Appeals For More Hands, Hearts and Minds
The Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust has launched an appeal for more local people to help them in their work to bring the former Derby Canal back to its former glory.
The Trust was founded in 1993 with the ultimate aim of restoring a 12.5 mile stretch between Derby and Sandiacre to connect to the Trent and Mersey and Erewash Canals. This would create a 25 mile cruising ring with access to more than 2,000 miles of navigable waterways across the UK. Over the last ten years the Trust’s members have worked to keep the canal path clear and to restore canal bridges and other structures. Now with the accelerating progress being achieved at various sites along the path the call has gone out for reinforcements.
The work to be done is varied – everything from physical work like bricklaying, building clearance, hedgelaying and landscaping to outdoor activities like surveying and managing wildlife, uprooting invasive plants to the more cerebral work of researching history, writing articles for Social Media and our website and manning the Trust’s stall at outside events in the summer. The volunteers have already achieved a lot, but with the current building work on cottages restoration at Draycott, together with lock restoration at Borrowash and Sandiacre and canal path clear up at Spondon the opportunities are growing. If volunteers can deal with the more straightforward tasks it frees up funding to bring in experts for the bigger challenges.
Site working parties are organised on Wednesdays, Fridays and alternative Sundays, so volunteers can pick a convenient time. Training is available where appropriate – all that’s required is a willing pair of hands and an open mind.
David Savidge, Trust director responsible for site work volunteers, said: “We have many types of volunteers, who all gain a tremendous lift from making a difference to their communities. Our overall project will make a massive and permanent difference to our community and our volunteers want to make a difference. Some have just retired and are bored at home, some want to learn new skills like hedge laying, others want to get outdoor exercise and jogging doesn’t appeal. When a new volunteer comes along we find out what interests them and assign jobs to suit. Everyone works at his or her own pace and finishes when they’ve had enough, but all of them find a real sense of camaraderie and friendship that comes from working together. They’ve made new friends and have a sense of purpose and they keep coming back.”