An appeal to help communities along flood-ravaged waterways in Calderdale has raised more than £140,000.

The money has bolstered clean-up efforts and helped repair almost all sections of towpath damaged in the Boxing Day floods which caused devastation across the region.

Many towpath works have been carried out by volunteers who have given over 3,500 hours to clear dumped silt, fill in holes, and resurface washed out sections of path.

Clean-up after flooding

Video thumbnail, Clean up after the flooding on the Calder and Hebble Navigation
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Volunteers aged eight to 80 pitched in with local businesses, community groups, canal societies and even a team of junior soldiers all getting involved. Over 10km of damaged towpath has been restored and sections of canal have reopened to boats, with more due to follow in the coming months.

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The appeal had wide support from the public as well as a £25,000 award from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and the Government provided match funding.

Flooding at Park Road in Elland

Video thumbnail, Flooding at Park Road in Elland
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The Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England & Wales, praised the support of members of the public.

Waterway manager David Baldacchino said: “We’re so grateful to everybody that has helped get sections of canal and towpath reopened whether that be through donating to our fundraising appeal or pitching in with clean-up and repair efforts.

Elland Bridge damage drone video by Mark Bull

Video thumbnail, Elland Bridge drone video - credit Mark Bull
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“The area’s waterways and towpaths are incredibly important for local people, providing a traffic-free means of getting around as well as an attractive place to escape the stresses of daily life.”

Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said; “We’re delighted players of People’s Postcode Lottery helped get these important community spaces reopened so they can once more be enjoyed by local people.“