The Chesterfield Canal opened in 1777 and was used commercially until the 1950s. It famously carried the stone used to rebuild The Houses of Parliament in the 1840s. In recent years huge restoration work has been undertaken and commercial traffic has been replaced by leisure activities. Boating, horse riding, cycling, walking and fishing must have made the canal as busy as it ever was in its heyday.
Fishing is particularly popular and The Three Valleys Project, part of Derbyshire County Council's Countryside Service, working with the Barrow Hill Memorial Angling Club and members of the local community, have recently installed twenty new fishing platforms on the Bluebank Lock to Bilby Lane section, in the vicinity of Brimington near Chesterfield.
The fishing platforms are made from Centriforce Products Ltd recycled plastic and were partly assembled before they were delivered. Two of the platforms are wider so that they can accommodate a wheelchair. The twenty new platforms sit well on the curve of the canal at Bluebank Lock and complement the attractive lock side setting.The recycled plastic will not deteriorate when immersed in water and needs no painting or staining to maintain its appearance. It is the ideal material for waterside use and will give years of maintenance free use.
"On other sections of the Canal we have used timber platforms, which are starting to show signs of wear after only a few years of use. They are a constant maintenance issue for our staff. For this new section of fishery we chose to use recycled plastic fishing platforms from Centriforce Products Ltd for the benefits they give in terms of durability and the need of little maintenance in the long term. This not only provides value for money, but also means our team are freed up to develop the Canal for the community in new ways." Gemma Gregory, Three Valleys Project Officer, Derbyshire County Council.