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Well-equipped for a canal clean up

Published: 20 August 2019

Volunteers are now well-equipped to continue cleaning up their local canal, nature reserves and reservoir thanks to one of our Action Grants.

Cromford and Codnor Reservoir group with Councillor Spencer
Councillor Simon Spencer (second left) lends a hand at one of the group’s litter picks

Early in 2019 The Cromford Canal and Codnor Park Reservoir Group started meeting monthly for a regular litter pick. This built on work they’d been doing for the previous 5 years to improve the canal environment from Riddings Golden Valley to the Erewash Canal at Jacksdale including clearing the canal of rubbish, laying pathways, creating access points and putting up interpretation boards.

The group were short of funds and had to borrow litter-picking equipment from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. A successful application to our Action Grant scheme gave them £500 to spend on their own litter pickers, personal protective equipment, hazardous waste bags and gloves.

Marie Brown of the group said:

“We’re really grateful for the Action Grant. It’s made a huge difference as it’s so much better to have our own equipment. Our litter picking is definitely having a positive effect – it’s created a whole mindset of people picking up litter and dog mess as they go around and taking pride in the area. Over the last 2 years, we have seen a significant increase in visitors from all over the UK and it’s another important step in our work to maintain a lovely canal-side environment”.

Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor Simon Spencer, said:

“I recently joined the group for one of their litter picks and was greatly impressed by all the work they’ve been doing. It shows a great community spirit and it’s just the sort of project we want to support with our Action Grants. I hope that other groups are inspired to apply”.

The litter picking group gather at Ironville Reservoir on the second Saturday of each month and the local community café donates food and drink for after the volunteers have finished.

New volunteers get a warm welcome and the chance to explore the local area learning more about the local wildlife. Families with children are very welcome as the group want to encourage a sense of community responsibility in future generations. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Marie Brown by email: or tel: 07812 130061.

Our Action Grant scheme supports community groups across Derbyshire with their activities. There are 2,000 grants of up to £500 to help groups fund projects and events which will benefit their local communities. There are also some larger grants of £5,000 and £10,000 for new projects which offer long-term benefits for local people and promote two or more of the Action Grant themes.

We've now awarded Action Grants totalling £375,000 to 462 groups across Derbyshire in the first 4 rounds of the scheme since it launched in May 2018.

Find out more about the Action Grants scheme, which runs until 31 May 2020.