Sunday, 6 November 2011

Canal Womble.

I have been following the thread on Maffi's blog about clearing the bank side of accumulated rubbish each time you moor up your boat. It's OK if you are green and into that sort of thing. However, if one takes the length of canals and rivers into account. Then the vast majority of the canal would still be filled with the detritus of everyday life. Regular litter picking patrols along a whole section of canal would be a better way to address the problem. Who could we get to do this, I think anyone caught dropping litter in the street could be give time to do this by way of a punishment. However, it's individuals like Tim Barnes and various action groups that do the real work.

But the only way to really address the issue is through education. This includes the government, local councils as well as people. If you look at any street in the UK you will find litter. Cigarette ends scattered outside the main entrance of buildings as a result of the smoking ban. Many litter bins are left un-emptied as councils cut back on street cleaning. Chewing gum is spat out and walked into street surfaces. No one cares for the city and town environment, so why should they care for the canals?

A friend (large family) of mine told me that as his bin at home is now only emptied once every two weeks. He often puts bags of rubbish from home in his car and disposes of the bags in street litter bins. But the problem does not stop there. Recently we were on the Rochdale Canal. This is without any Shadow of doubt the worst canal in the UK.

Let me clarify that statement. The section of the canal starting at Lock 84 (Dale Street Lock) as far as Lock 65 (Failsworth Top Lock) the canal is in a dire condition. It is full of rubbish and detritus of every description.

Quote from our summer cruise. "As we passed a block of canal side flats, a young mother appeared on a balcony and threw a used baby's nappy into the canal. There were twenty plus other nappies floating in the canal. We counted 24 shopping trolleys. I had to go down the weed hatch at every other lock to clear the propeller. Bottles, plastic bags, sacks, broken plastic toys, car tyres, even complete cars. The list of rubbish disposed of in the canal defies description. Add to this recipe a long queue of people wanting to "work the lock for you for a bottle of beer". The "Rochdale" is one to avoid, we will never go back. When we passed over the summit the lock keeper presented us with a certificate for completing the climb from Manchester. He told us that most of the boats crossing the summit actually go down into Littleborough and then turn back. Not many actually make the trip to and from Manchester.

I wonder, how well Maffi and his team of Canal Wombles would fare on the Rochdale Canal. Saying that there is a "Water Womble on Utube" as  seen on the Bridgewater canal. Maybe if Maffi and his team were to lend a hand these guys might be tempted to tackle the Rochdale! Just look at the amount of rubbish they have collected.


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