Volunteers find old mattress, fire extinguisher and road sign during Chesterfield canal clean up
An old mattress, fire extinguisher and road sign were found discarded along Chesterfield canal, as dozens of volunteers worked to clear up the rubbish over the weekend.
A total of 15 people from the Chesterfield Litter Picking Group and the Chesterfield Canal Trust, including several canoeists and paddle boarders, cleared the towpath and the canal above Tapton Lock on April 12.
Volunteers removed debris that had got stuck on tree branches, including an elm tree which had collapsed in the canal and found a newt under an old mattress which had been discarded along the bank.
Later that afternoon, a second group of 35 people cleared litter on the currently unrestored section of the canal in Renishaw.
The clean up team found drink bottles and cans, along with a tyre, road sign, fire extinguisher and a garden seat during their litter pick.
Volunteers, who plan to contact the businesses which back onto the canal and urge them to stop dumping rubbish onto the banks, will hold a regular clean up on the last Saturday of every month.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust hopes to set up a new group of volunteers in Renishaw to eventually manage their section of the canal and look after the adjacent woodland and fishing pond.
The trust plans to start a major restoration project in Renishaw in autumn later this year – extending the canal a further 1,000 metres to eventually link up to the Doe Lea Valley restoration section, after they were granted planning permission.
Work is expected to be completed in 2024 and will extend the restored canal in Derbyshire from five miles to seven and a half miles.
A 37 metre long aqueduct will also be erected, nearly 10 metres above the River Doe Lea, to provide a towpath for walkers, cyclists and mobility scooter users.
New fishing grounds will be available with the opportunity for residents to hire boats, canoes and paddle boards to use on the canal.
On Saturday, the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s membership secretary Kath Auton commented: “Today has been wonderful.
"We have met so many local people who are keen to help get the canal restored and back in water.
"It will be a real asset to Renishaw.
"I can’t wait for the next clear-up on May 29th.”