Fly-tippers clog up lake

Newton-le-Willows residents and pupils from Hope Academy join contractors at Newton Lake at the start of renovation work

Newton-le-Willows residents and pupils from Hope Academy join contractors at Newton Lake at the start of renovation work

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CAMPAIGNERS say junk dumped in Wigan’s waterways led them to securing a £15,500 grant for the clean-up of na historic lake.

Traffic cones, tyres, pallets, old gas cylinders and a fridge were all fished out of Newton Lake as part of an Environment Agency-backed clean-up project.

But local community champion Suzanne Knight, from the Newton Partners group, claimed items dumped in the Wigan waterways which feed into the lake was largely to blame.

She said: “We have strong suspicions that much of the debris which keeps getting into the lake has come from across the borough border in the Golborne direction. The water course certainly suggests that items have been coming from that direction.

“Everything from traffic cones to car doors has somehow made its way into the waterways and then clogged up the lake. We think some of the items may have been dumped from the nearby motorway bridge too.

“It would be such a shame to spend all this money cleaning the lake up for it to then go back to square one.”

Newton Lake was created in the 1850s as the centrepiece of a prestigious villa development – although only a few of the villas were ever actually built.

But the build-up of debris in recent years became a major concern for the Newton Partners.

The group drew together representatives from the local community, police, schools and churches to help them secure the Environment Agency grant.

And contractors Vertase were brought in to carry out the clean-up, which was deemed too dangerous to be carried out by local residents.

Three skips were filled with rubbish both from the lake and the culvert running underneath the M6, which feeds into the north east corner of the lake.

Barrie Grunewald, the deputy leader of St Helens Council, said: “Debris lodged in the silt had become a serious eyesore and a threat to the lake’s ‘plughole’.

“But thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, the lake now looks much better for everyone to enjoy.”