Value of inland waterways report

Value of inland waterways report

09 November 2019

As part of our work to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of inland waterways, we have launched a new resource to help influence planners and policy makers by proving the value of the waterways across the UK.

The report, authored by Nicki Schiessel Harvey, IWA trustee, brings together previously written reports and is useful for anyone looking to evidence the benefits that a waterway can bring to an area.

With funding being cut and budgets being squeezed, it is only natural for decision-makers to overlook investment in areas that aren't perceived as important to their local communities. We are working to ensure that inland waterways are given the full support they deserve and are appreciated for the far-reaching benefits they bring to an area. It is this desire to prove the value of inland waterways that led to this literature review being commissioned.

The report uncovered two main areas that we feel merit further investigation and that we will be focusing on over the next few years:

  • waterways heritage
  • the benefits of 'active' waterways, with boats navigating the water

It also summarises a range of existing and planned research into themes relevant to waterways: Heritage; Green Infrastructure; Health & Wellbeing; and Economic Development & Regeneration.

Read the The Value of Inland Waterways report (pdf; 3MB) or alternatively read online at

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