This National Volunteers’ Week, those who help to maintain the Oxford Canal have been thanked for their ongoing efforts by local city councillors and the Canal & River Trust.
Councillor Louise Upton joined the Towpath Taskforce volunteers today (Friday 07 June), to plant new climbing shrubs in areas previously blighted by graffiti.
Having cleaned graffiti from hundreds of meters of wall over previous weeks, the volunteers finished the job by planting native ivy and honeysuckle. These will help to cover the walls to prevent further graffiti and will also help boost the natural biodiversity of the canal area.
The planting has been made possible by two donations totalling £400 made by the Waterside Management Company, which manages the nearby residential estate, and Councillor Louise Upton, who represents North Ward on Oxford City Council.
Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Healthy Oxford, said: “Oxford’s waterways are such an important part of the city, particularly the Oxford Canal. It provides a wonderful space away from the bustle of the city, somewhere to relax and exercise. Together with the Waterside Management Company, I wanted to support this initiative to improve the canal area, making it welcoming to all.
“Graffiti is a blight and I am so grateful to the Towpath Taskforce volunteers for their continued efforts. Hopefully the new planting will prevent further vandalism and will improve the natural feel of the canal too.”
Ros Daniels, the Canal & River Trust’s Regional Director for London & South East, said: "This National Volunteers’ Week, I'd like to thank all of our Towpath Taskforce volunteers for their efforts to keep our canals clean and welcoming. The Oxford Canal is now over 200 years old. The regular work volunteers do makes a huge difference to how we can look after and improve the canal. I would welcome anyone new who would like to come lend a hand. Volunteering is a great way to keep active, make new friends, learn new skills and make a difference to your local area, all the while benefitting from being alongside the water."
The Oxford Canal Towpath Taskforce meets on the first Friday of each month.
For more information visit the Canal & River Trust website www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer