A TELEVISION presenter and historian is backing a campaign to rescue canals – including one that flows through the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Blackadder and Time Team star Sir Tony Robinson is backing a campaign calling on people in Staffordshire to rediscover, and bring back to life, historic canals
As part of the campaign the Canal & River Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of working waterways in England & Wales, has published an online map which is aimed at inspiring people to unearth more of their local history.
The map will enable people to explore lost canals such as the Lichfield and Hatherton, Uttoxeter and Caldon Canals, find out about their history and support restoration groups.
Sir Tony said: "The waterway network is part of the fabric of our nation, but it's easy to forget that not so very long ago some of our most popular canals were almost lost forever. The fact that we can still enjoy them now is thanks largely to the vision, dedication and sheer hard work of volunteers in the 60s and 70s.
"These inspiring men and women just wouldn't take no for an answer and worked on the basis that nothing was impossible.
"We need to recapture that same spirit within our communities to support today's volunteers in bringing more of these once proud waterways back to life."
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust said: "Canals have played a major part in shaping the country we live in today and it's alarming to think that we once almost lost them forever – just imagine Staffordshire without its canals. Sadly there are still too many miles of precious canal in need of restoration, but the lesson from the canal restoration movement of the last 50 years shows just what can be achieved if enough people get behind an idea."
The map can be found at http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/restoration.