Lower Regents Coalition

Tower Hamlets

Your story

Local volunteer group makes a splash along the Regents Canal and invites you to join them!

Group introduction

We are a constituted volunteer group formed in 2013 by two individuals who had a shared appreciation for their local stretch of the Regents Canal and its importance in the community. Our mission is to invite others to help us improve the health and appearance of this waterway and its surrounding green spaces for everyone to enjoy. To that end, we have run monthly clean up events along the canal for the past 4 years.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

We are committed to continuing our regular clean ups but have also expanded the scope of our work: our ‘Greening the Regents’ project has involved launching a series of greening and other improvement schemes on the lower Regents Canal. We successfully received grant funding for these schemes, which have included the installation of floating planters along the canal (totalling a length of approx 110m) and the creation of two meadows to increase the biodiversity of the landscape (totalling approx 300m2). We have delivered these projects solely by leading volunteer events that are free and open to the public. In fact we could never have achieved our accomplishments to date if not for the caring, committed and hard-working people from around the community who have come out to help.

Through additional grant funding, we hope to maintain and enhance the improvements we have made by continuing to run volunteer events and involve even more local residents in our activities, especially young people and people of ethnically diverse backgrounds. Specific activities within our project will include:

1) Continued monthly volunteer cleanup events, both land- and water-based.

2) Events to maintain and enhance the green spaces we have created. Activities at these events will include
- Gardening and maintenance activities in our two meadows such as weeding out invasives, planting additional native wildflower and herb plugs and sowing annual wildflower seeds.
- Maintenance activities such as weeding out invasives and removing vegetation dieback in our aquatic planting schemes.

3) Autumn bulb-planting events in the meadows and elsewhere along the canal.

4) Additional activities focused on enhancing wildlife including building and installing bird and bat boxes.

5) Painting neglected sections of the Ragged School Museum and other areas along the canal, including the kingfisher nesting box located in Brunton Wharf.

6) Holding at least one “Community Day” where young people, families and others can view the results of our work to date, have a paddle in the canal and sign up for future events.

We average 15-20 volunteers at each of our events. As outlined above, these events include our monthly litter picks as well as events to maintain and care for the green spaces created as part of our ‘Greening the Regents’ project. And there will be many more people who may not directly attend our events but who use the area in a variety of ways and will benefit from our work.

We know from experience that the canals across greater London are much loved and well used. Many people from all backgrounds love being by water and the canals provide a peaceful green corridor in an urban setting where we can take a break from the hectic pace of city life. Along our stretch of the Regents, we see a diverse range of residents and visitors alike using the canal and its surrounding green spaces for everything from recreation to relaxation, from commuting to calling it home.

""We hope to get more people involved in helping us care for the canal, telling others about what they've done and having a good time in the process. Our events are a great day out." Dave Bedford, Co-Chair, Lower Regents Coalition"

For more information visit:

http://www.facebook.com/lowerregentscoalition

http://www.twitter.com/lowerregents