New charity unveils plans to revitalise Ripon’s canal banks

A newly launched charity has pledged to transform waterways like Ripon’s historic canal and is appealing for help from Ripon residents.

The Canal and River Trust is launching today, Thursday, July 12, and aims to help people who live by, visit or work on Yorkshire’s waterways make them a haven for people and nature for generations to come.

Ripon canal

Ripon canal

The new trust, whose patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, has unveiled its first ever appeal – 50 projects across the country to breathe new life into towpaths and riverbanks, including a scheme to replace diseased trees on the banks of Ripon canal.

The trust is appealing for help from Ripon residents to raise a £1,000 to replace the dying trees along the canal side with disease resistant elms and ash trees between Renton Bridge and Oxclose Lock.

Many of the historic ash trees along the canal are dying back through old age or by disease so by making a donation the local community can help plant new, young ash and elm trees which are more receptive to changing climate conditions and help Canal & River Trust protect this important natural landscape.

Jon Horsfall, north east waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said:

“Our canals and rivers have been transformed from a national disgrace half a century ago into a national treasure today. The creation of the Canal and River Trust marks the next exciting chapter in their 200-year history.

“In an increasingly fast-paced and crowded world, Yorkshire’s canals and rivers are vital local havens for both people and nature. By supporting us you can help keep your local canal and river special. We’d love you to lend a hand.”

With its creation the Canal and River Trust will take over responsility for 2,000 miles of inland waterways across England and Wales from British Waterways and The Waterways Trust.

The new charity also has the support of “Outnumbered” actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, who said:

“For me, canals are a route to work, my running track, or just a place to watch the world go by. The Canal and River Trust needs your help to make your towpaths even more special. Volunteering or making a small donation will make a huge difference to the people and nature along your local waterway.”

For more information about the trust and its projects, or to get involved in the Ripon canal scheme, go to