Waterway Restoration Conference 2020

 Saturday 10th October 2020 (10am-1pm) 
Location: Online via Zoom video conferencing
Cost: Free

Due to the risks of Covid-19 this year, the 2020 Annual Restoration Conference, jointly organised by the Inland Waterways Association and Canal & River Trust, will now take place online. The main conference day will be on Saturday 10th October, followed by a webinar programme.

The conference will bring a focus to governance, volunteer recruitment, including the recruitment and management of a more diverse volunteer base and a series of technical and informative workshops.  Workshop technical topics include the environmental changes to be introduced by legislation around biodiversity net gain and dealing with utilities on site.  We have tried to attract as many speakers from beyond IWA and CRT and attendees should experience a fantastic insight to the important topics facing restorations today.  Plus there will be plenty of time for networking. 

How to book

To keep things simple, if you were already booked onto the October Conference, we have automatically transferred your booking across to the Virtual Conference and programme of Thursday lunchtime webinars. You will receive joining details from Zoom for each event. These will be sent out closer to the event so keep an eye out for those. 

If you hadn't booked on, this is your chance to do so now.

Reserve your space - 10th October 2020


Good Governance - getting it right (from the start)Sarah O'Grady, IWA Chief Executive
What can restoration group trustees do to implement good governance?  What are the key issues facing boards and what are the specific issues facing leaders in our sector?

Unlock the power of heritage volunteering. Becky Benson  Volunteer Manager, Birmingham Museums Trust
Following a recent survey, data and insight concerning the heritage volunteering sector will be shared with case studies being used to demonstrate resilience building in volunteer led teams.  There will be plenty of useful tips to take away.

Attracting and Connecting with diverse audiences.   David Akinsanya, Ex BBC Journalist and Public Speaker
David a boater of over 20 years will discuss his experience of being a BAME individual living on the canals and how attitudes on the waterways have changed and the importance of having a diverse volunteer base.  David will also discuss the practical steps volunteer groups can take to reach and engage a diverse audience.

Q&A with our panel of experts.
Now's the time to ask our experts any questions about governance, volunteering, recruitment and diversity or any other issues brought to light during the day.


Our hour webinars will give you the opportunity to find out more about a specific topic and discuss it with an expert in the field.  This year you will have the opportunity to attend all of our breakout webinars over the period of six weeks.

15th October 2020: Top Tips for writing a good funding application. Liz Shaw, NLHF. 
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is one of the main grant funders for waterways restoration projects. This workshop, led by Liz Shaw, a member of the Heritage Fund regional engagement team, will offer top tips and guidance for completing a good funding application. Liz will also touch on the current funding climate, updates from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and will be available for a Q&A session at the end.
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22nd October 2020: What’s Your Exit Strategy – From Restoration to Operation  Peter Walker, Canal & River Trust
So – your restoration is progressing well and you’re now thinking of connecting it up to the national waterway network and moving from restoration mode to operation mode. You may be considering some form of working relationship with Canal & River Trust.  In this workshop Peter will run through some key considerations when deciding on your preferred option, including how to formally connect to the Trust’s network, the Trust’s view on acquiring restored waterways, technical and operational requirements including boat licensing and enforcement, plus things to consider should you wish to own and manage your restored waterway.
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29th October 2020: Biodiversity Net Gain. Alex Melson, IWA
New regulations mean that all developments going through the English planning system will need to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), otherwise planning permission will be refused.  BNG is an approach to development that leaves the natural environment in a measurably better state with the outcome being a net gain in biodiversity.  This workshop explores the principles of BNG, a mitigation hierarchy and brings the topic to life with some relevant construction based case studies.
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5th November:  Creating Connections with your wider community – A focus on young people. James Long, Community & Youth Events Coordinator & Carrie House, Project Officer, Canal & River Trust
Successfully engaging young people can be a challenge: but doing it well can make a significant impact for your project, the young people themselves, and the wider community.  In this session attendees will hear about a range of projects Canal & River Trust have led and supported, including case studies, best practice and ideas that restoration volunteers can takeaway and use in their project.
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12th November: Engaging your local council and MP & getting them on board with your project. Alison Smedley, Campaigns & Public Affairs Manager, IWA 
Campaigning and building relationships with your local MP and authorities can be a long term but highly rewarding activity. What should you concentrate your time on and how can you deliver the most successful outcomes?
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19th November 2020: Dealing with Utilities on your restoration project (Dangers and Avoidance of Underground Services) Wayne Cahill, SHE Lead Regional Civil Engineer, Kier 
Ascertaining the location of utilities on your project through service searches and CAT scans (including the limitations of this approach), the protection of your volunteers and utilities plus the time and cost implications of diverting them will all be covered.  If there is time the session will address the support of underground services when working close to them.
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In partnership with: 




Find out more about IWA's Restoration Hub and how it can support your project.