The CID's unorthodox channels (7)
I believe the answer is:
'channels' is the definition.
The definition and answer can be both man-made objects as well as being plural nouns.
Perhaps you can see a link between them that I can't see?
'the cid's unorthodox' is the wordplay.
'unorthodox' is an anagram indicator.
'thecids' is an anagram of 'DITCHES'.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for ditches that I've seen before include "Long narrow excavations" , "Trenches" , "Abandons" , "Rejects" , "Gets rid of" .)