Hidden treasure of canal being lost
I AM very concerned that the current cutting regime for the canal paths (Fountains is contracted to do the work by British Waterways, an arrangement which is due to end in two years) is decimating wild plant biodiversity countrywide.
There are many areas that hide hidden treasures such as skullcap, marsh woundwort, meadow sweet and others – all fascinating medicinal plants. They are what makes a walk along the canal so special, and why some areas are classified as SSI – sites of special scientific interest.
Of course, health and safety is important, especially around lock gates and for moorings, but does it really justify a ‘short back and sides’ approach particularly in more rural areas?
The current cut can be up to eight times a year which seems excessive.
As funding is reduced, surely it would make much more sense to be spending
any monies on repairing wash walls, lock gates and footpaths – all of which are deteriorating in my local area, Calderdale/Rochdale canal. However, BW has now agreed to treat some areas as plant hotspots and there may be further developments. For further details contact 01706 816698.
Let’s hope the new charity will reconsider its priorities.
Ms P Fincham
Upper Calderdale Wildlife Network
Todmorden, West Yorkshire
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