A major fund-raising appeal has been launched to restore or replace every mile marker along the length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Floated by the Canal and River Trust, the scheme is part of the canal’s 200th anniversary celebrations taking place throughout 2016.
The charity hopes the EveryMileCounts appeal will attract donations of up to £200 per post to realise the restoration project and encourage dozens of local groups and individuals to adopt their local stretch of canal and its mile, half mile and quarter mile markers in this special bicentenary year.
The appeal launch comes as the first restored mile marker has been unveiled close to Reedley Marina.
A recent survey of the canal showed that about a third of the original 127 mile posts are missing or severely damaged, 89 need re-painting and around 75 need new number plates fixing to them.
Chantelle Seaborn, local waterway manager with the Canal and River Trust, said: “The restoration of this first mile marker on the Lancashire side of the canal marks the start of a tremendous heritage project which will leave a lasting legacy long after the end of the bicentenary celebrations.
“We are very excited to work with local communities who want to be involved with refurbishing or replacing mile markers, and the half and quarter mile markers which need re-painting. That’s over 500 posts which need restoration. We would also love to hear from sponsors who would like to preserve their local canal heritage by giving donations of up to £200.
“Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project will be so much more than just replacing the 120-year-old mile markers. We hope their restoration will also galvanise many more people to get involved with the wonderful historic, living waterway on their doorstep.”
The project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose grant of £36,600 has supported the appointment of a new project officer, the fabrication of 40 new mile posts and a programme of activities, heritage events and art workshops for local residents.
Any organisation or volunteer interested in getting involved in the project should contact Alice Kay at email@example.com. More information on bicentenary events can be found at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.