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Volunteers fish two tonnes of weeds from Maidenhead Waterways

Volunteers fished more than two tonnes of weeds out of the Maidenhead Waterways, making life much easier for creatures in the channel.

A group of 20 volunteers and trustees of Maidenhead Waterways were out in the Chapel Arches section of York Stream in canoes, waders and wellington boots clearing up rubbish and weeds from the channel on Saturday morning.

Their priority was fishing out blanket weed, a long stringy growth which can block up the channel and prevent wildlife from passing through.

The group fished out 68-bags worth of the weed, weighing more than two tonnes, as well as collecting other rubbish in the channel.

Although the stream still looks green, the water is now clearer and will be more usable for any fish or other wildlife passing through.

Andrew Ingram, a Maidenhead Waterways trustee, said: “Blanket weed is incredibly heavy, that’s the stuff that chokes off the wildlife, the fish don’t like it, nothing likes it.

"It doesn’t look that much better now but actually when you look in the water it is nice and clear.

He added: “No one fell in which was good going, but there were a couple of near misses."

The problem with the weed will become much smaller once the weir in Green Lane is completed, raising the water level from 0.6 metres to 1.3 metres.

Once that happens, small boats will be able to pass along the waterway, which will break down the weeds as they pass through.

Another clean up is also likely to take place soon as there is still blanket weed left in the channel.

The volunteers were joined by St Mary’s ward’s two borough councillors, Cllr Gurch Singh (Con) and Cllr Donna Stimson (Con).

Andrew said it was good to see the elected members out on the water and getting stuck in.

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