Express & Star

Anger at repeated fly-tipping in Wolverhampton canal

The repeated dumping of building materials and household waste in a stretch of a Wolverhampton canal has sparked anger and concern from environmentalists and residents living nearby.

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The Wyrley and Essington canal between Wednesfield and Walsall is a designated Local Nature Reserve

In the latest in a series of fly-tipping incidents, carpets, underlay and flooring materials were ditched in the Wyrley and Essington Canal at Olinthus Bridge on Linthouse Lane, near Ashmore Park, Wednesfield,

The throwing of this refuse into the canal is one of a number of incidents that has blighted the stretch between Walsall and Wednesfield in recent years.

A designated nature reserve since 2008, the canal is already home to swans, Canada geese, kingfishers and a variety of other animals. An otter was even spotted and captured on camera in 2021 by local photographer Sarinder Joshua Duroch, who regularly photographs local wildlife. Evidence of badgers using the towpath has also been found.

Wednesfield North councillor Phil Bateman, who lives near the canal and is a dedicated supporter and regular user of the local waterways along with wife Mary – also a fellow Wednesfield North Labour councillor – played a major role in the canal being recognised as a LNR and is also responsible for helping to organise the annual Wednesfield Canal Festival at Bentley Bridge every year.

He said: “Someone dumping flooring underlay and carpet into the Wyrley and Essington Canal over the Olinthus Bridge is not only a mindless and destructive act, but it is a huge and reckless danger to the water-borne traffic that uses the canal. And it is also a major hazard to the abundance of wildlife that we are lucky to have in this regionally renowned nature reserve.

“One of the first people to discover the mess, most likely tossed over the canal bridge in the middle of the night, was local resident Mr Tony Levy who was horrified at what he found. Tony spoke to me and quickly contacted the Canal & River Trust (CRT). Tony was fulsome in his praise of the CRT, as in just a few hours they had arrived and retrieved these items from the canal.”

Another resident, who lives at the Wednesfield end of the canal but asked not to be named, said: “This is such a shame. I am a regular walker along the canal most days, and to see people just throwing their rubbish in there makes no sense. We are so lucky to have this beautiful environment on our doorstep and the selfish few are ruining it for everyone else – and not giving an ounce of thought to all the lovely wildlife. It’s disgraceful.”