Starting young

Published: Wednesday, 04 December 2019

IT WAS when she saw volunteers clearing-up the locks on the  Northampton Arm that aroused eight years old Lottie Clarke's interest.

She spotted the volunteers in hi-viz jackets working on the locks, so with her mother started chatting to the volunteers and signed up to join the group on the spot.

LottieFavourite task

Since then Lottie and her mum have helped clear out weir channels, paint locks, cut back vegetation and—Lottie's favourite task—litter picking.  She even does litter picking outside of regular work parties when walking the dog along the towpath.

The result of her work on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal has resulted is her winning a volunteer award to recognise her contribution in helping to clean up the canal, turning up in all weathers and completing more than 50 hours working with a volunteer team from the Northampton Branch of The Inland Waterways Association.

Honoured to receive the award

Lottie says she was honoured to receive the John Faulkner Award, created by the Branch to recognise someone who has made an important contribution to its work, at its Annual Dinner recently.  The award was named after a long-standing Branch member who left a substantial legacy in 2016. She is the third recipient.

 Lottie and Laura were instrumental in getting her school, Rothersthorpe Primary, to join in with painting a mural under the M1 bridge on the canal arm this summer and helped spread the word about the Mosaic Nature Trail—two projects recently conceived and installed by the branch to help rejuvenate the canal that joins the Grand Union with the Nene at Northampton