THE Canal and River Trust has announced its intention to remove 12 waste bins along the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from near Gargrave to Kildwick.

The charity, which replaced the old British Waterways in 2012, says the rising costs of looking after the country's ageing canal network, together with a fall-off in Government finding, means it needs to make savings, and that means scrapping the expensive to maintain bins.

It is believed, although it is not clear, it will mean all - both litter and dog waste - bins will go from the towpath.

North Yorkshire Council, and its predecessor, Craven District Council, was told of the intention to remove the bins earlier this year by the charity, which invited the authorities to take over the job.

CDC, which was by then entering its last few weeks, passed it over to the new North Yorkshire Council, which said it too was cash-strapped and said it would not be taking on the bins, but it would 'provide support to volunteers and community groups to help ensure the locations remain tidy'.

In addition, both the council and the Canal and River Trust are urging people to take their litter home.

So, what does this mean for the towpaths of Craven? There are of course many people who do take their litter, and their dog poo, home with them; there are also an awful lot who don't. There have also been a lot who can't even walk a short distance to a bin - Gargrave Parish Council for one has long been at war with some dog owners who refuse to clean- up after their pets.

This it seems will once again be down to volunteers who will give up their time to keep our towpaths clean.