Volunteers get busy cleaning up canal in Camelon

A group of committed young volunteers rolled their sleeves up and got to work cleaning up the refuse that has plagued the once picturesque stretch of canal that runs through Camelon.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:38 pm

The big clean-up operation was made possible through cash awarded to Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill by the Falkirk Great Place Heritage Lottery funded project, and with the support of Scottish Canals, Conservation Voluneers Scotland and Falkirk Council Waste Services.

Focusing on the stretch of canal which runs from Lock 16 and passes through the heart of Camelon to the Falkirk Wheel, the clear up began yesterday.

John Hosie Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill commuity safety engager, said: “The canal has been a historic and cultural artery of the local community and this canal clear up is therefore a positive sign of the wider regeneration of that area.

The Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill canal clean up volunteers prepared to take to the water at Lock 16

"Where once industry was the dominant feature now the environment and conservation of the caal has become the focus of this new community safety initiative. This is a tremendous boost for the keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy, Clean and Green Campaign which is an ongoing community-based response to local concerns about the level of littering, fly-tipping and dog mess that has badly impacted upon the local area’s green spaces and streets."

John and the team have been working and consulting with the local community about their community safety priorities and the issues of littering and fly tipping

have been highlighted as a blight and an ongoing concern to the quality and happiness of local community life.

John said: “The Canal is a valued local resource and a significant location for the local Tidy, Clean and Green Campaign, and it will be much more likely to be used for leisure, recreation, and economic development if it can be made safer and more welcoming for local people.”

The canal clear up initially involved local young people working on the canal over the Easter holidays, and will include a water based clear up and a land-based conservation project.

The young volunteers will also take part in a workshop, led by the Falkirk Council Waste team, on the theme of keeping the community tidy, clean and green and taking pride in Falkirk.

John said: “Every participating young person will have their volunteering rewarded with a Saltire Challenge Award and also by receiving a certificate of achievement from all the organising partner organisations. The central aim of this project is to instil a sense of awareness with the young people about the importance of looking after our green spaces.

"This will be achieved through their own contributions to the conservation of the towpath area and removing litter and rubbish from the canal itself through using watercraft and the canals work boat.

"The full day activity sessions will be carried out in a challenging and enjoyable way. New skills will be learnt in watercraft and using paddle boards which will enable all the participants to gain their Paddle Start Award.”

The project will continue to run on a monthly basis from May through to August and Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill is encouraging local people of all ages and experiences to come and join in for a day’s environmental work on the canal.

Visit the Facebook page below for more information.