The Canal & River Trust – which runs the ‘have a go fishing’ at The Game Fair, has revealed that 40 new miles of waterway, including iconic locks and urban canals, have been awarded prestigious Green Flag status by Keep Britain Tidy.
Despite the impacts of the pandemic on plans and volunteering activities, the Trust was able to add new stretches across England and Wales to the 400 miles which already hold the quality mark.
Julie Sharman, chief operating officer at the C&RT, said: “Our efforts to win Green Flags are founded on the principle of local community action. Canals offer amazing green and blue spaces on our doorsteps teeming with nature and wildlife, but we do need the community to act now to help look after these 200-year-old special places.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who works or volunteers with the Trust, including those in the community who do their ‘little bit’ to help look after their local canal. The Green Flags are thanks to those efforts.
“Every action makes a difference, from picking up the odd piece of litter on a towpath walk, getting involved in adopting a stretch of canal, or making a donation to help fund the repairs and maintenance that keeps the canals open and available for people to use. We welcome everyone who wants to come along and make positive changes in their local community.”
Green Flag Award Scheme manager Paul Todd added: “To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers who do so much to ensure that these waterways have high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”
The scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.
The status recognises that canals and their towpaths meet these criteria and play an important role in the local community, offering great places to relax, exercise, escape for a while and get close to nature.