Revealed: What lurks beneath the murky waters of the Regent’s Canal

Regent's Canal volunteers

Regent's Canal volunteers - Credit: Archant

A sofa, some shopping trolleys and a tin bath are just some of the more unusual items lurking beneath the murky waters of the Regent’s Canal, it has been revealed.

Regent's Canal volunteers

Regent's Canal volunteers - Credit: Archant

Last week, the Canal and River Trust published the results of a survey conducted as part of its £45 million restoration programme.

A tyre dumped in the canal (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust)

A tyre dumped in the canal (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust) - Credit: Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust

The report included some of the objects people throw into their local canals and waterways to discourage flytipping.

London's hidden junk is revealed in Regent's Canal after being drained ahead of vital quarter of a m

London's hidden junk is revealed in Regent's Canal after being drained ahead of vital quarter of a million pound repairs on the 200 year old canal. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust) - Credit: Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust

It found a typical tennis court-sized lock contained one bike, a shopping trolley, a traffic cone, seven glass bottles, four tyres, 50 plastic bags, 23 cans and three windlasses or lock keys.

Litter in the Regent's Canal

Litter in the Regent's Canal - Credit: Archant

In the Regent’s Canal alone the trust’s volunteers found tens of thousands of glass bottles, thousands of cans, over 20 mobile phones, 30 windlasses, two shilling coins, a tape cassette player, 70 tonnes of silt, 12 car tyres, several shopping trolleys, several traffic cones, two bicycles, a tin bath, a safe and even a sofa.

Litter in the Regent's Canal

Litter in the Regent's Canal - Credit: Archant


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According to the charity, it costs about £1 million each year to clear the dumped rubbish, which it says could be better spent on improving wildlife habitats and ensuring the waterways are clear for boaters.

A shopping basket dumped in the Regent's Canal (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for The Canal &

A shopping basket dumped in the Regent's Canal (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust) - Credit: Getty Images for The Canal & River Trust

Sam Thomas, customer operations manager for Canal & River Trust in London, said: “I’m constantly surprised at what people throw into the Regent’s Canal and the quantity of litter that we retrieve from the waterways in Islington.

Tin bath in the Regent's Canal

Tin bath in the Regent's Canal - Credit: Archant

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“Dealing with the problem is a big task and the money could be better spent enhancing the canals in that area for people and wildlife to enjoy for years to come.”

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