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Volunteers clear Maidenhead's waterways of weeds and litter

Maidenhead Waterways group cleared debris from the town’s network of streams at the weekend, with help from two charitable organisations.

Volunteers from Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club and GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead pitched in to help remove litter and excess weeds that had built up in the Chapel Arches water basin and adjoining channels.

GoodGym is a community of runners who combine getting fit with doing good. They also gave their time to help Maidenhead Waterways clear weeds around the newly opened Green Lane weir at the beginning of the month.

After a briefing at Maidenhead Amphitheatre in St Ives Road on Saturday, a team of over 20 volunteers, some in boats, others on the bank, used 13ft (four-metre) rakes to drag out weeds and debris.

The team focused on removing floating blanket weed, which tends to smother other plant life, while leaving the water starwort, a natural oxygenator, undisturbed.

Maidenhead Waterways clearance coordinator Ian Caird said: “It was a super team effort and the channel is so much clearer and more presentable now, right the way down to York Road.

“The weed removed was stacked at the channel edge and left overnight, to allow the invertebrates to escape back into the water.

“The next day a second team gathered up over 40 bags of weed, which the council collected the following morning.”

Amy Lovell, of GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “Our members thoroughly enjoyed working with the long rakes and taking a turn working from a boat, almost eyeball to eyeball with the curious wildlife, which we took care not to disturb.”

She added: “As Covid res-trictions ease, we aim to join more such events and will be able to field larger teams to help keep the waterway looking good for everyone to enjoy.”

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