Lancashire & Cumbria Branch

Blackburn Office Lock gates

Welcome to the pages of the Lancashire and Cumbria branch of the IWA.

We cover a wide area of North-West England and the whole of Scotland.

Included in our area is that part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Lydiate (Bridge 17) to Greenberfield Locks, including the Rufford branch.

Other canals in our area are the Lancaster Canal (including the Ribble Link, Glasson branch and the Northern Reaches), Ulverston Canal (disused), Forth & Clyde Canal, Union Canal, Crinan Canal and Caldonian Canal.

There is currently restoration work occurring on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster where local volunteers and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group is extending the length that is in water towards Kendal.

We have a programme of talks running from September to April, to which everyone is welcome. These take place at Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley. Details of talks and directions to the location can be found on the meeting venues page. During the summer months we hold occasional workparties.

The branch also produces a regular magazine Towing Path Topics.

News & Events

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch nominates Volunteer Group for Award

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch nominated a volunteer group in their branch area, Friends of Kennet (part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society) for the 'National Historic Ships Marsh Volunteer Awards', for their hard work and commitment in restoring and operating Leeds & Liverpool short boat Kennet.

Kennet is the only surviving Leeds & Liverpool Canal short boat which is in community ownership and is accessible to the public. The branch was thrilled when Friends of Kennet won the 'Engaging the Public' category of the awards, presented at a reception held at Queens House in Greenwich on Tuesday 26th November.

The award, which is supported by the Marsh Christian Trust, is made to an individual volunteer or a group of volunteers who have made a significant contribution to a historic vessel through engaging the public and comes with a £500 prize which Friends of Kennet will put towards the running cost of the boat.

Wendy Humphreys, Branch Chairman, said "We nominated Kennet as it is an historic boat well known to our branch and much valued by our members who have seen it in operation. The Friends of Kennet work so hard to maintain Kennet and to make it an important part of promoting waterways and historic boats to the public and especially as an education resource. We have been particularly pleased this year to work with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society and the Friends of Kennet in celebrating the bi-centenary of the opening of the Lancaster Canal."

Three people accepting an award

Pictured (left to right): Alison Smedley, IWA, and Colin Thunhurst, Friends of Kennet and vice chair of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, receiving the award from Brian Marsh of the Marsh Christian Trust

Social Meetings 

We have a programme of talks running from September to April to which everyone is welcome. These take place at St Chad’s Parish Centre, 235 Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley, PR6 8AJ. See details of meetings and directions to the meeting venues.

See full events calendar

Please contact to book.

Contact the Branch

Wendy Humphreys

Local Waterways

A Lancaster canal bridge

Carlisle Navigation Canal (disused)
Lake District (lakes on which navigation rights exist)
Lancaster Canal

Leeds & Liverpool Canal

River Lune
River Ribble
Ribble Link
Ulverston Canal (disused)

Scottish Waterways:

Caledonian Canal
Crinian Canal
Forth & Clyde Canal
Union Canal