Issue date: 3rd April 2013
The Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s London Luton Airport Operation Fund has awarded £1,000 to IWA Milton Keynes Branch. The award is to be used to defray the Branch’s costs of mounting its bi-annual clean-up weekends covering over 20 miles of the Grand Union Canal all through Milton Keynes down to south of Leighton Buzzard.
IWA Milton Keynes Branch has been carrying out these canal clean-ups for 30 years. Each clean-up removes about 10 tons of rubbish dredged from the canal and litter picked from the towpath. The Branch operation is carried out currently in partnership with Canal & River Trust and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd, but the Branch and individual members incur costs in providing grappling hooks, fuel for members’ boats and provisions over the weekends. Members’ boats tow a 70 foot and a 40 foot workboat (provided by CRT) staffed by the volunteers operating draglines from the rear of the large work boat. They also use nets for floating rubbish. Other members’ boats carry out supplementary grappling and litter picking. The rubbish is piled into the workboats which are emptied by CRT after the end of the event.