A section of the Rochdale Canal which flows through Newton Heath is being “destroyed daily” by local vandals, according to reports.
The stretch of canal, located behind Church Street in the north-east Manchester town, is constantly under attack from locals “old and young” who have been fly tipping into it in recent months.
Washing machines, mattresses, sofas and wheelie bins are just a handful of the items that have been chucked into the stretch of water recently, contributing to a large rat infestation in the area.
Not only that, but locals have reported that there are no longer any fish in the canal as the majority of them have died. But if that isn’t enough to alert authorities that this situation is serious, reports of goslings being stolen by children may do the trick.
Speaking out about the situation, Newton Heath resident Jakki Rose told The Manc: “At present, the canal is completely empty and all the fish are dead.
“There’s no water, there is a washing machine, sofa, mattresses and a wheelie bin visible as people are using the canal as a tip.
“The lock near The Crown pub has also been very badly damaged and the Canal Trust is having difficulty repairing it because there is a sofa blocking it and keeping the paddles open – which is why water levels are constantly low.”
Jakki lives nearby and is devastated about the constant vandalisation of the once “gorgeous stretch of canal” that links many northern Manchester towns.
Jakki continued: “I am getting a lot of support with my Facebook posts, lots of people are shocked and disgusted.
“Something needs doing with this stretch of the canal and the Canal Trust don’t care… It’s never maintained and if a barge comes up they always get stuck as there’s so much rubbish in the bottom.
“We are also infested with rats and pest control are refusing to put poison down in our gardens because of COVID. They’re running all over the place!”
According to Jakki, the Canal Trust come to fix the stretch of river daily, hours after vandalism is reported. But, hours after it’s fixed, it’s vandalised again. It’s a vicious circle, and nothing concrete is being done about it.
This isn’t just an isolated incident, as over the years, the Rochdale Canal has fallen victim to vandals and damage up and down its winding route.
Just recently, it was reported that somebody had been opening the lock paddles to drain water between Failsworth and Miles Platting – with multiple visits from the Canal Trust doing nothing to deter the vandals.
And in a period in our time in which we are experiencing unprecedented boredom, defying the law and causing mischief seems to be on the rise in Manchester’s inner city towns.
Hopefully, something is done about this soon.
We have reached out to the Canal & River Trust for comment.