SEVERAL bikes, rusting trollies and even a smashed charity box have been uncovered lurking in the muddy bottom of a canal in Worcester.

The draining of a section of the Worcester to Birmingham canal has given people a fascinating glimpse at the 'treasures' which hid in the murky depths of the water.

During the winter months, the Canal and River Trust have drained the water from a section near Tallow Hill to help repair lock gates.

The draining started on November 7 and will continue until mid-December as a stretch of the canal wall is repaired.

However, after draining the water the trust could see another section also needs repairing.

Prior to the draining, around 1,200lbs of fish were rescued and removed from the section.

What lies beneath. Canal and River Trust found:

  • 10-15 trollies
  • Lots of traffic cones
  • dozens of road sign cappings
  • 6-7 bikes
  • And…a RSPCA dog collection box (with no money in it)

Canal and River Trust is carrying out the work as part of a £1.8million makeover for West Midlands' historic network of canals.

People have been drawn to the banks of the canal to take a glimpse at what has been lurking at it's bottom.

Kim Russell-Smith said: "It's so fascinating seeing it like this."

Peter Jenner was walking along the canal near St Paul's on Sunday and saw police officers also peering at the contents.

"Two uniformed policemen were down there looking at the seven odd presumably stolen cycles sticking out the mud on the bottom all within a 40 meter stretch."

Julia Ellins said she spotted quite a few supermarket trolleys in there too adding "I did wonder if the pound coins were still in them!"

The work, which is needed to preserve and protect the 383 miles of waterway in the West Midlands region, is due to start in November and be completed by the end of March, ready for the start of the new boating season.

It includes replacing and refitting 30 sets of lock gates each weighing several tonnes, repairing historic brick walls, replacing and repairing lock ladders, fixing 200 year old aqueducts and carrying our repairs to the canal banks.

Nationally, £43million is being spent to give the nation’s waterways some TLC at a time when more people than ever are visiting their local canal or river.

Simon Turner, from the Trust, said: "The waterways across the West Midlands are a real gem, but they are over 200-years old so need plenty of looking after.

"Keeping things running requires constant maintenance, so we’re using this winter period, when there are fewer boats travelling on the canal, to get as much done as we can."

Lock gates typically last around 25 years and allow countless boats to travel up and down the canal.

Each new made to measure lock gate weighs several tonnes, and are handcrafted from seasoned oak so that they fit perfectly in the lock chamber.

Once in place the new lock gates will help the Trust conserve water and keep boats moving along the waterway.

Canal and River Trust has also been busy clearing underwater rubbish stuck between the arches of Worcester Bridge.

A team working with the Canal and River Trust took advantage of low water levels to remove the debris over the course of two days last week.

Using a grappling hook mounted on a boat to pull out the rubbish, several tonnes were cleared, including large trees, tyres and shopping trollies.

Paul Fox, Canal and River Trust senior project manager, said: "We’re pleased with how the work went and managed to take away several tonnes of debris.

"When the river’s been in flood the debris gets stuck under the bridge, but hopefully clearing away this section now will reduce more significant build up over the winter."