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Could you become a Grantham canal ranger?

Assistant head ranger Tony Jackson is appealing for more volunteers.
Assistant head ranger Tony Jackson is appealing for more volunteers.

Grantham Canal Society is appealing to the public to dig out their wellies and become ‘rangers’ for the section of the canal that runs through Earlesfield.

The volunteers will be joining the society’s existing ranger network, that currently helps to look after the 32 miles of canal from Nottingham to the A1.

Assistant head ranger of the Grantham Canal Society Tony Jackson is keen to find a willing group of volunteers to take on the task.

He said: “We have canal rangers along the whole length of the canal - with the exception of the SKDC-owned Earlesfield section, which runs from Earlesfield Lane to Swingbridge Road.

“The rangers main responsibility will be to pick litter up to prevent it from finding its way into the canal and generally help make the area look loved and cared for.

“The area beside the canal is, or could be, a fabulous community space. It would be good if we could get just a few enthusiastic and proactive people together to give the area a more loved appearance, cultivate a sense of ownership and see this area appreciated and used more by the public.”

Tony is hoping the role will appeal to local people who know the area well.

He added: “We envisage a small group of adults who know the area to meet up, discuss and plan their priorities and carry out the tasks identified.

“There are no fixed hours. The work can be fitted in around other commitments.

“Each ranger will receive training and support through our existing ranger network, and will have a reporting structure in place in which to log hours spent and to flag up any issues outside their remit.

“They will also be provided with our range of literature to give out to interested people, and we hope the presence of rangers will help cultivate a sense of ownership of the canal and its environs.”

Tony has high hopes for the future of the new group of rangers.

He added: “The group may well grow from these small beginnings, and in time, organise other activities involving the wider community, for example forming links with local schools and youth groups. At present, rangers will not be required to recover items from the water although this could become a possibility in the future.”

He continued: “Aside from working, being a Grantham Canal ranger is also a great way to enjoy the canal, adding purpose to your walks or cycle rides.”

South Kesteven District Council is wading in to help the canal clean-up. SKDC cabinet member for the environment Coun Dr Peter Moseley said: “We have offered the Grantham Canal Society equipment such as gloves and bags plus litter pickers and we will continue to remove whatever waste is collected.

“The canal is a great asset to the town, and we need to help to keep it in a good state.

“Projects like the canal clean are a great opportunity for the community to come together and show a sense of pride, very much like what we achieved with our Big Clean campaign and other initiatives across the district.”

If you are over the age of 16 and interested in becoming a volunteer canal ranger, email: volunteer@granthamcanal.org or visit www.granthamcanal.org


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