Area branch of Wilts and Berks Canal thanks volunteers for aid (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Area branch of Wilts and Berks Canal thanks volunteers for aid
2:00pm Thursday 12th July 2012 in Wiltshire
Volunteers have been praised for another year of hard work bringing a long-lost waterway back to life.
The Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust reported 12 months of successes at its annual general meeting.
Volunteers provided almost 6,200 hours of physical effort over the previous 12 months, from digging and bricklaying to grass cutting and tree planting.
The charity believes this would have been worth almost £90,000 in match-funding when applying to grant-giving organisations.
Work party organiser Doug Harris, from Chippenham, said: “This has been one of our busiest years and we would certainly have set a new record if it hadn’t been for the wet weather.
“We continue to attract new members of all ages and backgrounds, and sometimes we’ve had almost 30 people joining our work parties. It’s an encouraging sign of the growing support from the local community.”
Much of the work has centred on the stretch between Melksham and Chippenham, which has already been partially restored.
Teams have raised and widened the towpath, repaired leaks, improved drainage, cleared rubble from the lock chambers and made further repairs to Double Bridge near Lacock. They also worked with local youth groups to plant trees in the meadow below Naish Hill near the village.
The most visible achievement was extending the rewatered section by a further 160 metres to the base of the locks, where the wharf has been rebuilt. Mr Harris said: “We are sincerely grateful to all of the volunteers.”
For further information on the local branch of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust, visit www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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