THE Coombeswood Canal Trust has been toiling throughout April to clean the Dudley number two canal of debris and rubbish.

The charitable trust, which is based at Hawne Basin, has been using its 'Joey' boat Ringo to cart all the rubbish throughout the canal network.

Jeni Hatton, from the trust, explained the importance of the work undertaken over the last month.

She said: "Maintain, improve and restore are the three words which sum up the reason for the Coombeswood Canal Trust and our aim is to look after the canal local to us.

"During April the old practice of ‘Joey’ boating and moving rubbish by boat returned to the Dudley number two canal."

She added: "A great deal of debris was collected after a work from a large number of work parties which were manned by volunteers of Coombeswood Canal Trust.

"These involved trips with work boat Hawne and ‘Joey’ boat Ringo along the canal clearing rubbish, painting out graffiti from bridges and cutting back large quantities of overhanging branches between Windmill End junction and Halesowen."

The Canal and Rivers Trust has taken an interest in the work being undertaken in Halesowen and has helped with the project.

Mrs Hatton said: "We are very pleased that CRT are working alongside us in this venture and, for their part, supplied a driver and lorry to unload the Joey boat for us at their wharf at Windmill End.

"This involved the towing of the fully-loaded joey boat, by volunteer crew, through the tunnel from its home base at Hawne Basin."

The trust work has more work planned for the autumn when overhanging trees will be cut back overhanging trees and the CRT will again help in the disposal of the resulting brash.

Mrs Hatton added: "Coombeswood Canal Trust welcomes new members and is always looking for volunteers to help for more information visit"