Staff from our Manchester office recently took a trip across the Pennines to team up with the Canal & River Trust and help clear part of the flood-hit waterways in Leeds.
Flooding in the city at the end of 2015 was some of the worst ever seen on the region’s historic waterways and caused damage to bridges, embankments and canal walls. The floodwaters also left behind an array of rubbish and other debris as well as a coating of mud and silt.
The charity cares for 2,000 miles of historic waterways in England & Wales and we as a firm we have a long standing relationship with them, providing the Trust, and its predecessor, British Waterways, with a range of valuation, advisory and agency services to help service its operational and non-operational estate.
Becca Dent, volunteer development coordinator for the Canal & River Trust said; “The Boxing Day floods were some of the worst we’ve ever seen on our waterways and they’ve left a trail of damage and disruption in their wake.
“Here in Leeds you can still see rubbish and other debris dumped on the towpath and clinging to fences and it means that a visit to the riverside isn’t as enjoyable as it should be. The volunteers have really helped to get things back to looking their best and ensure that local people have an attractive and enjoyable place to escape to.”
We were joined in the clear up by Leeds-based Ward Hadaway solicitors, who helped to clear the rubbish that had been left along the Aire & Calder Navigation near Fearns Wharf. We also replanted a mature holly tree that was washed away and reinstated a riverside garden that was destroyed by the force of the floodwaters.
Simon Heather, Partner in our Manchester office said, “This is the second time we have undertaken this type of work for the Canal & Trust – having previously crewed the Trust’s litter boat in 2013. When we heard of the damage caused by the recent flooding in Leeds, we felt compelled to respond to the call for volunteers and offer our help. Although exhausting, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding day for all involved”.
The Trust has also launched an appeal to help rebuild canals in the heart of flood-hit communities such as those along the Calder & Hebble Navigation.
The Trust’s appeal will help rebuild and reopen historic waterways helping waterside communities, where life has been turned upside down, to recover. To find out more about the appeal please visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/donate/flood-appeal/.