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LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE

With the realisation that the canal can provide many economic benefits, British Waterways and the local councils joined together to implement a program of Canal Corridor Improvements.  As a result, and with the further efforts of the Canal and River Trust and its volunteer workforce, the canal between Aintree and Liverpool has surprisingly well maintained towpaths, relatively clean and tidy banks, and the water is often crystal clear. This has the effect of encouraging plant life and attracting wildlife.

A window onto a green space makes a lot of difference to the price of a house. Consequently, old industrial sites are often redeveloped as "Waterfront Properties", in the inner city areas, while the owners of many existing homes are taking advantage of canal features.  This sort of private development fosters a sense of well being in those who see it.

The original canal terminus was at Old Hall Street, near Princes Dock, but by the start of the 20th century, the canal had been shortened to end at present day Leeds Street. Finally, the canal was South of Burlington Street was filled in to reclaim land for the Eldonian Village.

The area had been heavily industrialised and it needed a very active imagination to change from the old historic industrial landscape to this des-res location. In his book, The rebirth of Liverpool the Eldonian way, Jack McBane describes how the Eldonian Village was born out of the refusal of local residents to be re-located to new town developments to make way for the new Mersey tunnel.

DOWNTOWN BOOTLE

As in Liverpool, the canal was a transport system for all sorts of industry right up to the 1960s. But as roads and railways started to provide a faster and cheaper service, the industry died off and many canal sites became derelict. Those that were not listed by English heritage were redeveloped, or are being redeveloped.

Here are some before and after pictures around Carolina street wharf, along with some pictures of other housing that replaces old industrial sites throughout Bootle.

The point is, the canal is now classed as a level 2 green space, with all the psychological health benefits that entails. Many residential homes for the elderly now border the canal.

SEMI URBAN HOME OWNERS

As you move out of urban Bootle into semi urban Litherland, the towpath borders Rimrose Valley Park.  A lot of the housing on the opposite bank was built in the 1950s to re-house the bombed out residents of Bootle.

At that time, the canal was strictly off limits to the public, and Rimrose Valley Park was a refuse dump called “Wabbs Tip”, so the concrete fencing at the back of the gardens seemed appropriate.

Recently, though, residents have begun to remove sections of fence to gain access to  the canal. Then they have landscaped the canal to the benefit of everyone passing by, but mostly for their own benefit.

THE CANAL TERMINUS AREA