Grand Union Canal Clean-up Milton Keynes to South of Leighton Buzzard

Issue date: 1st November 2012

IWA's Milton Keynes Branch, working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd completed their second annual canal clean-up over the weekend 20th-21st October. This clean-up went south for over 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal from Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes to Grove Lock south of Leighton Buzzard.

This clean-up removed nearly 10 tons of rubbish from the canal and adjacent towpath and banks. Among the huge variety of items dredged from the canal were a drum with 200 metres of fibre optic cable, a generator, lawnmower, dishwasher, 3 motorbikes, a television, a sewing machine, 2 wheelbarrows and the usual cull of shopping trolleys (17 this time). Some 20 black plastic sacks worth of litter were retrieved from the towpath and offside banks.

IWA members’ boats towed the 70-foot hopper and a 40-foot pan (workboats supplied by CRT) into which the rubbish was placed. The dredged rubbish was obtained by operating eight strong grapple hooks from the hopper and more by other volunteers from the bank. CRT supplied a crewed dredger to follow the dredging and give very necessary assistance in retrieving the heaviest items.

IWA MK Branch members and other volunteers engaged in the operation working on the hopper and pan, from their boats grappling and litter picking contributed 314 volunteer person hours over the weekend. Two CRT volunteer leaders as well as the dredger crew were additional to this effort.