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28th Nov, 2021

Hillmorton canal volunteers celebrate winning Gold at Rugby in Bloom Awards

GREEN-FINGERED volunteer lock keepers in Hillmorton are celebrating after their efforts to care for the busiest set of canal locks in the country scooped a Rugby in Bloom Award for the third year running.

The volunteers, who work with the Canal & River Trust – the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales – won a Gold award in the Community category.

The team, who help boaters as they travel through the popular locks on the Oxford Canal, have spruced up the lockside area and have planted a variety of plants and bulbs, built raised planters, and grown a herb garden to create a haven for wildlife – and to give a warm welcome to passing boaters and towpath visitors.

Volunteer Taryn Marriott said: “We’re delighted we’ve won this award – for the third year in a row. The team work hard to ensure the locks and the towpath are looking smart and having this award is a wonderful ‘pat on the back’ for all our efforts over the last year.”

Sue Blocksidge, volunteer development coordinator for the Canal & River Trust, said: “I’m always enthused by how dedicated our volunteers are and the group at Hillmorton are no exception. They work wonderfully as a team and are always looking at ways they can improve the locks for local people, visitors, and boaters.

“With one in eight people not having access to private outside space, canals have become everyone’s back garden and have been a lifeline for so many people during the pandemic. Our volunteers have given local communities a place to stop and enjoy the wellbeing benefits of being next to water whilst helping to bring nature back to our canals.”

The Rugby in Bloom awards are run by Rugby Borough Council with the support of local organisations, groups, and individuals.

Visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk to find out more about the work of the Canal & River Trust and how to volunteer.

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