Grant funds work along the River Don in Sheffield

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A stretch of the River Don in Sheffield is to be improved thanks to a £1,000 grant.

Friends of the Blue Loop, a group of volunteers who help protect and maintain the waterways and riverside walkways in the heart of Sheffield, was awarded the cash from the Don Network, set up to protect wildlife and habitats along the River Don.

The Blue Loop, made up of The River Don and Tinsley Canal, covers eight miles and flows close to Burngreave, Attercliffe, Darnall and Tinsley.

The £1,000 grant is to be spent enhancing the area between Neepsend and Hillsborough between now and June.

The River Stewardship Company, The Upper Don Walk Trust, the Sheffield Partnership for Rivers in Town Environments, Friends of Livesey Street, Friends of Wardsend Cemetery and Hillsborough College will be involved.

Volunteers will be managing vegetation to improve accessibility, tackling invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam and removing litter.

Graham Perkin, chairman of Friends of the Blue Loop, said “We are very pleased to have gained this grant from the Don Network.

“We are looking forward to working with a wide range of community partners including the college and the Livesey Street Project to help improve the environment around the Don for all visitors”.

Klaus Schmidtke, a lecturer at Hillsborough College, said: “ I am looking forward to bringing his environmental conservation students down to learn some practical skills such as using hand tools and control of invasive species on the Don”.

Howard Bayley, from Friends of Wardsend Cemetery and the Livesey Street Project, said: “I hopes the work will contribute to the overall improvements we are bringing to this interesting historical and ecologically rich environment.”

Friends of the Blue Loop volunteers run conservation days on the banks of the River Don every Wednesday and one Saturday per month.