It's all systems crow for Link

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An outdoor classroom, hay meadow, seating and a crow sculpture have been unveiled as part of the enhancement of a Lancashire canal.

The work along the Lancaster Canal at Preston has been completed following funding from The Millennium Commission, Arts Council Awards for All, The Waterways Trust and British Waterways.

Sarah Lalieu, external funding manager for British Waterways, said: "Since its completion and opening in September 2002, The Millennium Ribble Link has been a hugely successful project connecting the Lancaster Canal to the national waterway network.

"The creation of the Link was not only for the sole purpose of the boating community, it was also created to add additional dimensions to meet the aspirations of the local community."

The outdoor classroom at Ashton Primary School features three carved wooden benches and an information board telling pupils about wildlife on the canal.

The hay meadow created nearby will provide a haven for wildflowers and insects.

In addition 10 new benches have been installed along the route.

Artist Thompson Dagnall was commissioned to produce a fifth piece of artwork for the Ribble Link sculpture trail.

The crow design for the sculpture was chosen following a public vote.

Roger Hanbury, chief executive of The Waterways Trust, said: "We are delighted that the Ribble Link improvements have been completed."

The Ribble Link runs from the Lancaster Canal in Preston to the River Ribble.