British Waterways looks for volunteers to spruce-up canals for Olympics

Volunteers are being urged to help tidy-up the tow paths and paint up footbridges along the East End’s canals and waterways.

Several ‘clean up’ sessions on the Grand Union and River Lee Navigation are being organised by British Waterways in the run-up to the summer Olympics.

“People are passionate about their canals and rivers,” said British Waterways organiser Rebecca Williams.

“We set up ‘towpath tidy’ groups last year which have proved popular. People come for a few hours a month to make a difference to their local stretch of canal.”

The monthly sessions are every third Saturday. The next takes place tomorrow (Jan 21) at Hackney Wick with a make-over helping to prepare and paint the volunteering boat ready for the Olympics, 10am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4pm, meeting outside Hackney Wick Overground station.

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The next is February 18, getting the Lee Navigation ready for the Olympics by painting the handrails at two bridges and litter picking near Lea Bridge, 10am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4pm. Another is March 17, clearing litter from the Grand Union towpath at Kingsland Road Bridge, 10am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4pm.

Extra volunteering is also being organised every Tuesday at locations across London’s 100 miles of waterways. One is planned February 21, helping bridge works and painting chain fencing at Hackney Marshes, 10am-3.30pm.

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