Preston Dock clean-up 'all systems go'

Dave Smith, Prof Ted Smith and David Crawshaw are spearheading the community-led action to revitalise the docks clean-up.
Dave Smith, Prof Ted Smith and David Crawshaw are spearheading the community-led action to revitalise the docks clean-up.

An ambitious campaign by locals to rid Preston Dock of its long-standing blue-green algae problem and boost the waterside community is now “all systems go.”

A volunteer group called CLEARED (Community Led Action to Revitalise the Dock) has been launched after around 40 people attended a meeting to gauge public interest in the clean-up initiative.

Spearheaded by three residents - all with vast scientific expertise - the project is now underway to raise funds to tackle the issue which has plagued the dock basin and marina for years.

UCLan Professor Ted Smith, one of those leading the campaign, said: “The positivity of everyone at the meeting and the willingness of people to offer their time and skills has convinced us we can turn our plans into reality.”

Water scientist Dave Crawhaw revealed the next phase of the project will involve the group obtaining charitable status in readiness for a fundraising campaign.

And the third member of the team, Dave Smith, a water engineer and a man with a plan for building aerators and floating islands for the project, estimated that around £30,000 will be needed for phase 1 to be completed.

The trio called the meeting to assess how much support their initiative would have from the local community. And 24 volunteered their services to get the plan off the ground.

Blue-green algae has been a problem since the docks closed to shipping back in 1981. A lack of water movement has encourage algae growth which, in turn, has discouraged water sports enthusiasts to use of the dock basin.

A study carried out in 2007 said clearing the problem could cost up to £1.3m. But the group believe it can be done much cheaper.