Limehouse Cut ‘adopted’ by groups in bid to revive and clean-up London’s oldest canal

Algae silts up Limehouse Cut before its recent summer clean-up

Algae silts up Limehouse Cut before its recent summer clean-up - Credit: Archant

London’s oldest canal is being ‘adopted’ by 19 local organisations in east London in its 250th anniversary year to help look after the once neglected waterway.

Algae silts up Limehouse Cut before its recent summer clean-up

Algae silts up Limehouse Cut before its recent summer clean-up - Credit: Archant

The ‘adoption’ of the three-mile stretch of Limehouse Cut, between the Limehouse Basin and the Lea River at Bromley-by-Bow, has been agreed by the Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks after for the waterway.

The groups that have specific interest in the canal are taking responsibility for improve wildlife habitats, cleaning up towpaths and running educational or community events, while the trust provides equipment and even manpower.

It is the largest of the 100 or so canal ‘adoption’ schemes that the trust is promoting up and down the country.

The Limehouse Cut

The Limehouse Cut - Credit: Archant

“The Cut is perhaps one of the less-loved and lesser known sections of our national waterways,” the Canal Trust’s Jeannette Brooks admits.

“The adoption will speed up its revival with groups helping improve and using it and taking ‘ownership’ of the canal.”


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The 19 organisations led by Poplar Harca Housing have four themes—education, environment, sport and commercial development.

The Limehouse Cut

The Limehouse Cut - Credit: Archant

They include Queen Mary University, Docklands Sailing & Watersports Centre, Moo Canoes, London Legacy Development Corporation, Leaside Planning, British Dragonboat Association, House Mill, Second East London Scouts, Fourth Poplar Scouts, London Youth Rowing and Thames 21.

The Limehouse Cut is London’s oldest canal, dating back to 1766.

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