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New river barge takes to the waterways

Published on Monday, May 15, 2017

A NEW barge dedicated to cleaning up the River Soar has been launched.

The newly-completed boat – named the Kingfisher – was officially launched on Friday, May 12, at a volunteer recruitment event at the riverside to encourage people to get involved in environmental clean-up projects.

The working boat, which was named as part of a public competition, is the latest flagship vessel of the city’s long-running Green Lifeboat environmental project.

Kingfisher replaces the previous Green Lifeboat project vessel Cranfleet, which had been loaned to the city council by the Canals and Rivers Trust, but has now been retired after more than 20 years service and returned to the trust for renovation and repairs.

Much of the £37,000 cost of the new boat has been met by the income from various works carried out by the boat along the riverside.

The new boat’s arrival coincides with the latest appeal by Leicester City Council for Parkforce volunteers, to take part in a range of community clean-up schemes across the city. 

Leicester City Council’s head of parks and open spaces, Stewart Doughty, said: “The River Soar is a wonderful resource of wildlife, peace and tranquility, but like any large waterway it needs regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. 

“The Green Lifeboat has been carrying out this important work since the 1990s, but it would be impossible without the valuable contribution made by our volunteers.

“Unfortunately our previous boat had reached the end of its working life and was retired, meaning we needed a new boat to continue this good work.

“Kingfisher has already been out working over the weekend, patrolling the city’s rivers and canals to ensure the water and the riverbanks are free of litter and other hazards.

“We’d love more people to get involved in volunteering, to help keep our river clean, so anyone wanting to get involved should get in touch.”

Volunteers in parks and open spaces across the city carried out over 58,000 hours of work in 2016/17.

Anyone wanting to get involved in the clean-up work can contact Leicester City Council’s Parkforce team, on 0116 454 1003, by email on 

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