‘We have to make more of attractive amenity’

‘We have to make more  of attractive amenity’

Kidlington parish and Cherwell district councillor Tim Emptage, left, with Kidlington Parish Council vice-chairman David Robey by the canal

Next to a build-up of rubbish

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Headington and Marston. Call me on 01865 425422

A CLEAN-UP day is the latest part of efforts to bring more visitors to the Oxford Canal through the villages.

Volunteers from the Canal & River Trust will take to the waterways to spruce up the canal next Wednesday.

Ten county engineering graduates are to spend a day litter-picking, painting and clearing up.

The trust took over responsibility for 2,000 miles of UK waterways in 2012 from British Waterways, a Government agency.

It is working with Kidlington Parish Council to improve the appearance of the canal to attract more visitors.

The council hopes to install information boards and produce canal walk leaflets.

The parish council’s community projects officer Les Dent said: “We are working in conjunction with the Canal and River Trust. We just want to make sure we can enhance the appearance of the canal.

“We are trying to encourage residents to use it. It is a nice area to be.

“This is part of a wider project to enhance the area.”

Parish vice-chairman David Robey said: “The canal is an attractive amenity, and we would like to make more of it.”

Members of the parish council met with the charity earlier this year to discuss plans.

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Parish councillor Tim Emptage, also the Cherwell District Council member for Kidlington South, said he was hopeful of the plans.

He said: “We are working with the Canal & River Trust who think that this is an important section of the stretch of the canal and we want people to use it as much as they can.”

Mr Emptage hopes that businesses which back on to the canal will take part in the project.

He said he regularly takes walks of more than an hour along the canal into the city centre.

He said: “I walk along the canal an awful lot in both directions and, in the summer time, my wife and I walk into Oxford. It is a very pleasant way to get around.

“We generally want to make it a very nice and pleasant walk.”

Trust enterprise manager James Clifton said: “We walked the route and prepared a shopping list of ideas, including litter- picking, painting, graffiti cleaning, commissioning new interpretation panels and new seating.

“We are also in touch with the local Ramblers’ Association about designing circular walks including the towpath.

“The volunteer works which are due to take place after Easter are the first phase of what we hope will be a happy and fruitful partnership.”

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