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Staff get down and dirty to help spruce up canal

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 28, 2014

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ROAD signs, car tyres and even a microwave were some of the items pulled out of the Trent & Mersey Canal section near Burton during a massive clean-up operation by staff from a high street retailer.

Employees from Marks & Spencer, in Coopers Square shopping centre, swapped dealing with fashion garments and luxury food for heading to the canal bank to help spruce up the area.

Dozens of workers took part in the project, which formed part of the firm’s Big Beach Clean-up event with the Canal & River Trust, and found items ranging from the strange to the mundane.

Items recovered included fishing nets, ropes, bottles tops and an array of wine and beer bottles of all shapes and sizes.

Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our Big Beach Clean-up 2013 exceeded all expectations and made a significant impact on local communities.

“This year our beaches and canals, and in turn our marine life, need us and our army of volunteers more than ever before.

“It was a fun, outdoor activity and I’m confident we will go one step further and surpass last year’s litter haul.”

In total, the canal-based activity will see more than 1,000 employees from the firm, plus customers, trust staff and Marine Conservation Society volunteers, heading down to their canal bank to support the waterways.

Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our canals are a 200-year-old national treasure which are enjoyed by millions of people each year.

“They need looking after, and litter and debris can be a real problem, polluting water, restricting use of the canals and towpaths, and harming wildlife.

“That’s why we’re delighted to have joined forces again with Marks & Spencer and all the volunteers.”

“The event will build on the work that is done every day to keep the waterways in the best possible condition, with this year’s event set to be bigger and better than ever.”

A total of nine beaches and 45 canals will feature in the challenge this year.

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