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Waterway to benefit Leeds and Liverpool Canal
ECO-friendly students in Burnley are set to adopt a stretch of canal once infested by ‘killer’ mussels.
Part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was drained earlier this year, to repair a 200-year-old culvert, uncovering the ancient sea creatures, as part of work to redevelop Victoria Mill.
Health warnings were issued by medics after curious passers-by were seen investigating the rare find – amid concerns they could prove deadly if they ended up in a salad.
Now the mill’s new tenants, students from the Visions Learning Trust, East Lancashire's university technical college, are set to take a keen interest in the neighbouring waterway.
Under a Canal and River Trust initiative, they will look after a mile-long stretch of the canal, running through the Weavers’ Triangle district.
Trust officials will still be responsible for the overall maintenance but students will cut back towpath vegetation, go on litter picks, tackle graffiti and paint locks along the route.
Marilyn Pilkington, from Visions, said: “The mill backs on to the canal so it’s right that we do our part in helping protect it. The canals don’t get the right level of respect in some areas through a lack of care and respect and we want to change that in our own small way by looking after it throughout the year and really make a difference."
Matt Taylor, the trust’s north-west volunteer co-ordinator, said: “It’s great news for us that the UTC has decided to join our community adoption scheme.
“The canals have had an incredible history over the last 250 years and this growing support is invaluable to us as a new charity and we hope this will motivate others to get involved.”
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle added: “It seems clear that the University Technical College will be able to bring significant benefits to Burnley’s waterways by joining this initiative.
“Given the historical importance of the nation’s waterways, I’d encourage other residents or community groups to join forces and do the same and help the Canal & River Trust protect our canals.
“I look forward to visiting the project in the near future and seeing the positive impact it has on the waterway.”
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