THIRTY new heritage mileposts have been re-cast in iron to mark 200 years of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which runs right through East Lancashire.

The Canal and River Trust, which maintains the canal, is marking the bicentenary with a major fundraising appeal, called EveryMileCounts, to restore or replace missing mileposts along the waterway's 127-mile route.

Merseyside Castings in Liverpool were awarded the contract to create 30 new posts and 109 missing mileage plates.

Alice Kay, project officer with the Canal and River Trust, said she was delighted that the same methods used over a century ago will be used to create new mileposts.

She said: “It’s wonderful to see the new mileposts being recreated using the same manufacturing processes that would have been employed 130 years ago.

"This heritage project will leave a lasting legacy long after the end of the bicentenary celebrations.

“We have had a great response to our appeal on both sides of the Pennines.

"We are very excited to work with local communities who want to be involved with refurbishing or replacing mile markers, and the half and quarter mile markers which need re-painting.

"That’s over 500 posts which need restoration.

“This is a massive challenge so we are still very keen to hear from volunteer groups or sponsors who would like to make donations.”

The trust hopes the appeal will encourage dozens of groups and individuals to adopt their local stretch of the canal and its mile marker.

Although the canal is 200 years old, the original cast iron mile markers date back to the 1890s and were installed as a response to legislation introduced to regulate canal freight tolls.

The project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose grant of £36,600 has supported the appointment of a project officer, the fabrication of new mileposts and a programme of activities, heritage events and art workshops for residents.

The trust is looking for sponsors to donate up to £200 to restore each marker and volunteer work parties to help repair damaged or corroded posts.

Any organisation or volunteer interested in getting involved in the bicentenary project can contact the trust by emailing alice.kay@canalrivertrust.org.uk.