Huge pile of rusty metal pulled from canal in Wester Hailes

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A volunteer group used a fishing magnet to haul the rubbish out of the water.

The group used a powerful fishing magnet on the end of a chord to pull the objects out of the water.

Their work revealed that people had dumped a child’s bicycle into the canal in the past, as well as a battered shopping trolley and rusted pipes.

The items are now being removed by Edinburgh council.

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Volunteers litter pickers have retrieved a pile of rusted metal from the canal in Wester Hailes.Volunteers litter pickers have retrieved a pile of rusted metal from the canal in Wester Hailes.
Volunteers litter pickers have retrieved a pile of rusted metal from the canal in Wester Hailes.

Serge Cornu, who helped clear the canal, said he stopped short of getting into the water, but added: “it did cross my mind to acquire a fly fishing suit!

Originally from France, Serge has lived in Wester Hailes since 2007.

The 39-year-old is a member of “Walk it - Pick it” - a Facebook community dedicated to litter picking across the city.

“We’re all like minded people who care for the environment and our area,” he explained. “My motivations were not entirely altruistic.

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“I do want to do good for the environment and the community, but also I want daily walks for my partner and our daughter in a neighbourhood, park and canal that look and are better, cleaner and safer.”

A keen photographer, Serge said his passion for the project was ignited when he met Luke Samuels while out near the canal with his camera.

“I saw Luke on his kayak and shot him repeatedly. He then told me he’d been picking litter along the canal, and that he wasn’t the only one.

“It didn’t take any convincing to have me on board,” he added.

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Asked whether he feels like the group is able to make a difference, Serge was in two minds.

“Ultimately, this is a small group of people in Wester Hailes. We’ll pick in the park one day and within two days it needs to be done again.

“Having said that,” he continued, “there are always some people saying nice, encouraging words when they see us pick, and we’ve even “recruited” more volunteers to pick on their daily walks.”

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