In the second week of February, Member of Parliament for Elmet and Rothwell, Alec Shelbrooke, visited Woodlesford Lock on the Aire and Calder Canal to view the outcome of the partnership between the Canal & River Trust and Yorkshire Water.
Woodlesford Lock is located about five miles from Leeds and is a popular destination for walkers who like to enjoy the lovely countryside along the canal towpath.
Yorkshire Water’s commitment to employee volunteering isn’t just because it helps deliver community and environmental benefits. The company is of the strong belief that volunteering and spending team building time away from normal, everyday duties benefits its colleagues’ wellbeing. The company is engaged in volunteering partnerships with the Canal & River Trust, RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Aire Rivers Trust and Sheffield Wildlife Trust.
In 2013, the company adapted a mile long stretch of canal at Woodlesford Lock for its employee volunteering programme. 192 employees have given their time to the improvement and maintenance of the Lock since then, including 50 last year. Those fences and walls which had been underwater for some of the winter got a new coat of paint. Minor repairs were carried out on the towpath, with volunteers clearing grass that had been encroaching on the path and removing some Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant species.
Mr Shelbrooke met with representatives from Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust on Friday 10 February. He viewed the hard work that had been put in by the Yorkshire Water volunteers and discussed the great work done by the Canal & River Trust to help keep our waterways special and places where everyone can visit to relax.
Anne Reed who manages Yorkshire Water’s Volunteering Programme said: “We encourage our employees to take time out from the office volunteering to help with the upkeep of well-loved, popular places like Woodlesford Lock. It’s a win-win situation for us as employees tell us that a day out of the office volunteering is great for team building and morale. Together with our colleagues at the Canal & River Trust we’re already planning a number of volunteer days for 2017 to keep the Lock looking its best.”