A COMMUNITY clean up of the canal through Stalybridge town centre is moving on to the next stage after an amazing response.
Anthony Zazzarino thought he would get just a few people joining in when he floated the idea of tidying up the towpath on Facebook.
Several hundred members later and after hundreds of pounds was raised, work has now started on improving it with the addition of several plants.
“We started with the litter and put the bins out, it’s looking much cleaner now, so we’re enhancing what we’ve got now with plants and other things hopefully further into the summer,” said Anthony, who lives in the Millers Wharf development.
“It’s a case of improving what we’ve got. We’ll be doing the area we’ve cleaned up – from Huddersfield Road up to and including Armentieres Square.
“So many people have donated too, we’ve got funds to do the area we’ve worked on, the area in front of Tesco and then the embankment at the square as well.
“We may even have a little bit left over for some additional improvements.
“The response has been amazing, the target was £300 and we’re over £700. That’s bought all the plants we’ve done and some compost. It’ll be used for more too.”As well as an aesthetic benefit, in that the area now looks much cleaner than it did before, Anthony’s scheme may bring others to Stalybridge.
A town that looks like it takes pride in its appearance is seeing more people use the area that has been cleared and may even attract new business.
Anthony added: “After this, it’s a case of just keeping the momentum going and keep doing it.
“Look at areas like Uppermill and Marple, they look after the canal there and by doing that it attracts the right sort of people to the town.“Hopefully, it will improve the businesses that want to come to Stalybridge too.
“I’ve noticed an effect it’s had on the town. Comments from people and when the weather’s nice, it’s such a busy walkway.
“It’s nice for them it’s tidy as well as us locals and I’ve noticed more people using the towpath. It’s so busy now.”
One other effect of Anthony’s initiative is also being noticed.
The concept of people living in an area taking it upon themselves to tidy up and improve their surroundings is spreading.
His group has focused solely on the stretch running through Stalybridge town centre but the notion is growing.
He told The Correspondent: “People are focusing on the areas in which they live.
“Overall, there are so many people doing it, it’s tidying everywhere.
“It’s spreading throughout the town – there are similar schemes now in Copley and Carrbrook.”