#8220;Stoke Heath runs a wide range of vocational courses which prepare prisoners for making a success of their lives once they leave prison. We are delighted to be working with the Canal amp; River Trust to make a real contribution to upgrading the canal environment around Tyrley Locks. Our prisoners will gain immensely from the experience and visitors will have the pleasure of walking along a clean and tidy canal towpath.#8221;
Jason Watts, a volunteer coordinator with the Canal amp; River Trust, said: #8220;This is a win-win arrangement for everyone. The canal and towpath will be kept in tip top condition around Tyrley Locks which is a very picturesque, popular spot on the Shropshire Union Canal.
The Shropshire Union Canal is to benefit from a partnership between HM Prison Service and the Canal amp; River Trust charity, which cares for 2,000 miles of canals.
Gary McManus, a prison officer at HMP Stoke Heath, added: #8220;We want to reassure the public that any prisoners taking part in the scheme will have undergone a rigorous risk assessment beforehand. They will all be near the end of their sentence and eligible for release and will have volunteered for work.
The prison has formally adopted a one mile length of the canal, in response to the trust#8217;s national appeal to encourage community groups to get more involved in caring for their local canal.
There are currently more than 170 adoption groups nationwide involving a wide range of organisations, from schools and businesses to running clubs and Scout groups.
Stoke Heath prisoners will be working on the canal an average of three days a week, depending on demand.