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A MAJOR clean-up of Slough Canal will be carried out next winter after calls from organisers of the town's annual festival.
A drop in the number of boats attending the long-running Slough Canal Festival is being blamed on the state of the Slough Arm of the main Grand Union Canal.
Following last year's event which was attended by only five boats, Slough Borough Council and the Friends of Slough Canal joined forces to press British Waterways to carry out dredging and reed cutting ahead of this year's festival.
Mike Timms, of the Friends of Slough Canal, said: "The festival is well attended locally by people from the town and surrounding area. The real problem is getting boats there down the canal. My connection with the canal goes back to 1970, in those days it used to be held every few years, and I have pictures of boats lined up on either side of the canal as far as the eye can see.
"It is because of the state of the canal people don't come because it's difficult for the boats to get through.
"Last year British Waterways cleared weeds but it hasn't been dredged for some considerable time."
Now the organisation, which cares for 2,200 miles of the country's canals and rivers, has scheduled works to be carried out next winter. Sam Thomas, maintenance manager at British Waterways London, said: "Over the past few years we have a done a lot of work on the Slough Arm to improve navigability and to make the towpath a more pleasant place to visit.
"In 2010 we undertook a tree management programme, and last summer we harvested and cleared the weed and vegetation in the waterway, including pulling out lots of rubbish, ahead of the Slough Canal Festival to improve conditions for boats. We plan to dredge the waterway next winter."
The Friends will be holding their own clearance party on the canal on Saturday, March 31, and hope British Waterways will assist a clear-up ahead of this year's event.
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Feb 10, 12:17
Feb 19, 18:51
Have just seen this article.
It's no real wonder the stretch of canal is in such a state.
It used to quite pleasent, dog walkers, people going to work, people would speak to you. There would be anglers along the stretch, me included. Then the local populass of yobs moved in & the eastern europeans nettted the canal followed by all the places where you could park were fenced off. It's almost a no go zone................a waste of
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