Community group secures cash to continue Sheffield waterways clean-up

Volunteers clearing the ground ready for wildflower seeds.
Volunteers clearing the ground ready for wildflower seeds.

A community group has secured more than £18,000 of funding to improve some of Sheffield’s important waterways.

The Friends of the Blue Loop has been awarded the money to conserve and restore sections of the River Don and Sheffield Canal, between Sheffield city centre and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

Volunteers repairing a fishing platform ramp.

Volunteers repairing a fishing platform ramp.

Volunteers meet every Wednesday and one Saturday a month to keep footpaths free from overgrown vegetation and litter, fill potholes, remove graffiti and paint lock gates.

During the last year, the project volunteers have completed works worth £19,000.

The funding has been awarded by Sheffield Town Trust, the Graves Trust, the Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank and Awards for All.

Hellen Hornby, from the River Stewardship Company, which ran the original Blue Loop project, said: “This funding will ensure the group can continue to deliver their own sessions building on the improvements to the Blue Loop that have taken place over the last three years.”

The funding will also begin a new project to inject some colour into the landscape through the creation of wildflower beds along the river and canal with habitat piles for small mammals as well as bird and insect boxes.

Victoria Wright, volunteer co-ordinator, said: “We are a diverse team who are always grateful to welcome new volunteers to carry out practical conservation on the canal and river banks.

“We offer fantastic training opportunities to upskill our volunteers and enable the group to carry out conservation work effectively.”

n Anyone who would like to volunteer for the group should email theblueloop@gmail.com or call 0114 263 6421 for further information.