Cruise it or Lose it - Silver Propeller Challenge29 March 2018
Boaters, canoeists, rowers and paddle-boarders are invited to join our campaign to keep open less frequently visited canals and rivers across England, Wales and Scotland. The Silver Propeller Challenge has been created to attract some of the millions of visitors who love being afloat on Britain’s waterways to parts of the network that seldom see boats or other craft.
An initial list of 40 locations across the country indicate waterways that could be at risk due to insufficient use, or are at the limits of existing navigations where they meet restoration works and other currently unnavigable sections of the inland waterway system. In addition, there are places on restored lengths of the canals that deserve and would benefit greatly from more frequent use.
The Silver Propeller Challenge invites waterways users to visit just 20 locations on the list to qualify for a special plaque to mark their achievement.
Paul Strudwick, an IWA trustee and deputy national chairman commented: “Each year nearly 700,000 people enjoy inland boating, a figure which soars to over two million when canoeing and paddle boarding are included, but there are many places which would be lucky to see one boat in a week let alone in a day. The Silver Propeller Challenge is a great way to experience all that the waterways have to offer and at the same time help to protect them for generations to come.”
Cruising waterways to keep them open has been a central plank of IWA's successful campaigning since our formation over 70 years ago and is just as relevant today, as multiple cruises have demonstrated in 2017 on Cambridgeshire’s Old Bedford River, where Welches Dam Lock has been closed for a staggering 12 years. The hope is that this new scheme will capture the imagination of the country’s waterway enthusiasts and lead to a surge in visitor numbers at some fine, if overlooked, beauty spots.
The Silver Propeller Challenge is open to all waterways users. See full information about the locations and how to enter on the Silver Propeller Challenge pages.