Volunteers sought to help weed out canal

Volunteers are being sought to help weed out a problem on a Chesterfield waterway.

The Towpath Rangers, who help look after the Chesterfield Canal for the Canal and River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, need people to help them remove Himalayan Balsam weeds growing near the canal around Worksop.

Himalayan Balsam is a problem as it grows rapidly and spreads quickly, blocking light to other plants. Each plant produces something like 800 seeds which are released when the seed pods explode spreading them up to seven metres away. The Towpath Rangers, who help to care for the canal, making it cleaner and more welcoming for people and wildlife, are organising a ‘balsam bashing’ event on July 15.

The Rangers are looking for local people who can help to cut the weed back or pull it out to prevent seeds growing and to give other plants the chance to thrive.

Set up in 2012 the team help to keep the canal clean and tidy as well as looking out for possible problems and tackling issues such as dog fouling.

Scott Miller, volunteer leader for the Canal and River Trust said; “This is an opportunity for local people to get out into the sunshine and help the Rangers make sure that the canal remains a special place for people and wildlife.

“Left unchecked, Himalayan Balsam can cause real problems, choking out other plants which are important for all kinds of wildlife and which make the canal such an attractive place to visit.

The ‘balsam bashing’ will take place from 9.30am on Wednesday.

For more details on how to take part or information on the Towpath Rangers contact Scott Miller on 07717 802541 or email scott.miller@canalrivertrust.org.uk.