LONG-AWAITED work to improve an area of the Worcester to Birmingham Canal will begin this weekend.

A partnership of community groups the Arboretum Residents Association and the Worcester Canal Group, along with support from the Canal and River Trust, Transition Worcester and Worcester City Council, will begin the first phase to improve banks in the area adjacent to Wolverton Road on Saturday, February 15.

The group is planning to plant seven apple trees, each of a different variety including Lord Hindlip, Edward VII and Berry Geeson, and anyone who would like to help out with the project, which will begin at 11am, is welcome to join in.

Worcester Canal Group treasurer Ivan Smith said: “This is the first stage of our project to enhance this area of the canal and make it a place that people can value and enjoy even more than they do already.

“It shows what can be done by local volunteers working together to improve their surroundings.

“I’d also like to thank our local councillors Matthew Jenkins, Joy Squires and George Squires, for supporting us both monetarily and with their time. It is also important to remember the late Elizabeth Parker, whose passion for the canal spread to many others.”

Arboretum resident Mrs Parker campaigned for improvements to the canal, but died last year before the work could begin in earnest.

More work - including replacing grass in Lansdowne Park with wild flowers, setting up four new benches along the canal and removing broken sections of fence - is expected to be carried out in March and April.

For more information on the work visit worcestercanalgroup.org.uk