Local firm lends a hand in canal restoration

Published: Thursday, 13 June 2019

A TEAM from pharmaceutical firm Sanofi swapped their desks for a day in the countryside last week to help out the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s restoration work.

Some 38 employees from Sanofi’s Guildford office headed to Southland Lock near Loxwood in West Sussex on the 6th June to carry out maintenance jobs as part of the firm’s commitment to volunteering with local charities. It was the second year running the team had visited the canal to lend their support., with team leader Tania Whittern telling:

VolunteersEnjoyed the event

“Everyone really enjoyed last year’s event and were keen to return. Volunteering like this is good for team building as we are working with colleagues we may not usually chat with, and it’s so good for our wellbeing to be outside and doing something physical.”

Teams had to do battle with the heavy clay soil to dig out the canal bank in preparation for a new staircase down to the waterway, install a gate with fence posts to the side of the lock, and sand and paint the balance boards, paddle mechanism and handrails of the lock itself. The volunteers also helped clear overgrown areas of the towpath.

Volunteers2Appreciated the area

Despite the hard work in the warm sunshine, the volunteers said the day was worthwhile and how much they appreciated the beauty of the area.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Chairman Sally Schupke related the team’s effort was much appreciated and another step towards ensuring the waterway continues to be a valuable amenity for all to enjoy, telling:

“Working with local companies allows us to not only show the value of our restoration work to those who use the canal for walking, cycling, boating and more, but what can be done when people come together in a common aim.”

The Wey & Arun Trust is working to restore the 23 miles of waterway that run from Shalford in Surrey to Pallingham in West Sussex. So far almost two-thirds of the canal have been worked on.