Meet the canal grotspot A-Team

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A taskforce has been set up to tackle litter louts making a mess of Aylesbury’s canal banks.

Banks of the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal are a popular dumping ground, with waste often making them an unsightly grot spot.

The creation of the monthly taskforce by the Canal and River Trust follows work by volunteers to sort out the area.

To try to tackle the menace, Roger Fox and a team of volunteers have got together annually for the past eight years to litter pick and deter people from making a mess.

Mr Fox said: “We just got fed up with seeing all the litter.

“When we first started it was a tip, but gradually we have got the mess down.

“On the first one we got four to five loads of rubbish in a little truck. We still got 14 bags of rubbish this time so there’s quite a bit of rubbish there, but it’s going well.”

The town and district council have offered support in the past, but most of the work is by the residents.

A group of 10 managed to make a different within a couple of hours and they hope the message is getting through that it is unacceptable for people to dump rubbish by the waterway.

Mr Fox said: “I’m a firm believer that because we have cleaned it out it deters other people from dropping rubbish and a lot of people now tend to pick up rubbish of their own free will when they’re going along there.”

The land is the canal and river trust’s responsibility, but as a charity it has been difficult for it to fund a clean up.

The new taskforce will meet every second Saturday of the month from 10.30am to 2pm to do painting, litter picking, fencing and towpath maintenance, with tools and safety gear provided.