The Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Group is raising money to preserve the Ship Canal by offering guided historical walks along it.
The walks are run by Steven Parker – the organisation’s founder. He has loved the canal since he discovered it on a guided walk around Moses Gate Country Park in 1984 and is passionate about preserving it.
Mr Parker said: “It’s always been my overwhelming desire to ‘pay back’ for all the enjoyment this canal has brought to me over the proceeding years and to try and help to raise its profile locally, regionally and nationally.”
The walks take place across a range of locations in Greater Manchester. Walkers pay a minimum donation of £5 and are led down the canal by Mr Parker who explains its history and shows the group historical photographs along the way.
Donations received from past walks have already been distributed in small grants to a few organisations including Little Britain’s Anglers and Canal Clean Up Volunteers Stoneclough.
“Monies raised can be distributed to worthy causes and groups along our neglected canal corridor to help them with small grants to purchase gloves, tools and fund events that would further help the recovery of our canal from prolonged dereliction due to lack of maintenance and monies to fund improvements,” Mr Parker added.
The group hopes to direct some of the money towards dredging the inlet that connects the Ship Canal to the River Irwell in Salford.
If more boat owners are encouraged to venture this way, then the group hopes the canal could qualify for The Inland Waterways Association’s Silver Propellor Challenge. This initiative encourages boat owners to explore underused stretches of the UK’s waterways and Mr Parker believes the Ship Canal is a perfect candidate.
The next guided walk will take place on Sunday, March 26 in Radcliffe and Bury. Find out more here: https://facebook.com/events/s/guided-walk-along-the-manchest/595133655491552/.