A CANAL group is battling to keep the popular Bridgwater & Taunton Canal looking its best despite dwindling funds.

Many visitors enjoy fishing and boating along the canal as well as appreciating its flora and fauna.

However, funding from councils including Somerset County Coun-cil and Sedgemoor District Coun-cil has dwindled over the years, which has led to a new group being set up to help safeguard its future.

Sedgemoor’s total contribution to the canal has gone down from £25,000 to £15,000 this financial year.

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Association started at the end of last year, but its active members have been hard at work on essential maintenance, such as painting gates, cutting hedges etc to ensure that the area still looks attractive to the thousands of visitors who use the boats or towpath for leisure pursuits.

The group is now looking to the future and wants to launch a scheme to monitor the whole canal and wants more people to swell their numbers to keep the future bright for the major tourist attraction.

Val Whitcombe, secretary of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Association, said: “There have been concerns that the canal could be at risk from funding cuts as the money it receives has gone down over the years.

“The area we are talking about is 14 miles long and is very important.

“We have teams of volunteers who help to keep it looking nice and do a lot of maintenance. We want more people to help us as we believe this is an important part of our heritage.”

Anyone who can help should call 01278 663449.