A CHARITY working towards the restoration of the Montgomery Canal is calling on businesses and individuals in the area to become a 'Friend' and add their voice to encourage the continued work on the water.

Christine Palin, chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, insists the route is one of the finest canals in the UK with a unique natural and built heritage.

She added that there are a number of reasons for a business or interested individual to get involved with the Friends.

She said: "With nature reserves beside the navigable canal protected its valuable plants and wildlife and per mile its collection of canal-age bridges, locks and other structures, the canal is unrivalled.

"With more support the canal can be extended from Crickheath to join with the landlocked section at Llanymynech to create a sustainable tourism destination.

“Those of us who know the Montgomery Canal recognise its value not just to the wildlife and boaters but to the community as a whole.

“We are now asking more of those local people to join with us and tell policy makers that we think the canal should be properly funded so that its restoration can proceed apace.”

Volunteers are currently working near Crickheath to restore the channel in the canal which has been derelict for more than 60 years.

Once this work is completed and tested, boats should be able to reach Crickheath from across the UK canal network, which will bring new visitors to the area.

Plans are being made to rebuild the last canal's bridge blockage in Shropshire next year.

Christine added: “We already have several hundred active supporters of the Friends and with more members still we will be able to speak to politicians and decision makers with an even stronger voice.”

If you would like to join please visit the Friends of the Montgomery Canal at https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk