The Lower Regents Coalition have reached the final round of the Canal & River Trust’s Living Waterways Award. This award recognises the most inspiring waterway-based projects across the UK. The group has been nominated for its Greening the Regents project, a scheme of enhancement activities along the Regents Canal, with a focus on inviting local residents to get involved.
Greening the Regents started in Nov 2014, when the Canal & River Trust drained a 900 metre stretch of the Regents for the first time in a century to repair the ageing canal walls. The group took advantage of this unique opportunity to get into the empty canal; with support from Thames21, Limehouse-based kayak hire Moo Canoes, Kier Construction and the Canal & River Trust, delivered eight clean-up events over six weeks. The events attracted 172 volunteers who put in a total of 860 hours and removed countless bottles, cans and plastic bags as well as bulk rubbish including shopping trolleys, appliances, motorbikes and over 120 tyres. They also found an unexploded WW II hand grenade and WW I-era bayonets. In all, the group removed approximately 8 – 10 tonnes of rubbish.
The next phase in the project was launched with the help of a grant for over £9,900 from the Tower Hill Trust, which provides funding for the provision of green spaces in Tower Hamlets. The group used their grant to install floating planters, lily pads and coir pallets seeded with reeds, sedges and iris in three areas of the canal near Ben Jonson Lock, covering a length of over 110 metres. For the installation, the group held a two-day event in Apr 2015, where 20 volunteers each day gave their time, enthusiasm and very hard work to get the job done.
The group along with its partner Moo Canoes, will be at the Grand Union Place estate’s Summer Fun Day on Sat 15th Aug, 12 – 4pm in Stepney, E1. The event is open to all. See what they have been up to, have a paddle in the canal and sign up for future events.
To find out more about the LRC and its work, please contact