IWA Bulletin April 2011

Top Story

Defra Consultation on New Charity for Waterways 

Defra has launched its consultation document – ‘A New Era for the Waterways’ –  on how it proposes to transform British Waterways into a third sector body.

IWA has advocated that the right way forward for Britain’s navigable inland waterways is probably for them to be managed by a third sector body, and is pleased that the detailed proposals on how Government intends to change British Waterways into a new civil society body are now available for detailed review and consideration.

IWA will take time to consider the detail of how this transformation is to be achieved with great care, but will aim to share its preliminary thoughts with members and other stakeholders as quickly as possible.

IWA has maintained all along that the funding package needs to be viable, the governance needs to be right, and that the new body should also inherit the Environment Agency navigations.

IWA is therefore, especially pleased that the Government in launching this consultation has now signalled that it shares the Association’s views. Specifically:

The commitment in principle to inclusion of the Environment Agency navigations in 2015; the stated aim that this move to civil society must create a sustainable model for the future of the inland waterways; and the emphasis on governance arrangements that involve local stakeholders in decision making for their waterways.

The Agenda for IWA, is to now consider how these aims can best be translated into a successful civil society body which can flourish in the future. Key aspects of the consultation that the Association will be looking therefore, will be how:

•    the indicative funding stacks up in delivering a sustainable charity.

•    the governance proposals can best achieve community engagement consistent with localism and so that local ‘ownership’ of waterways can lead to tangible benefits for the waterways.

•    the Government is planning to ensure that the Environment Agency navigations can transfer smoothly in 2015/16.’  

Whilst there are proposals and options for freight in the document, no mention is made of how remainder navigations might be treated. IWA will therefore also want to explore in further detail how the status of the commercial, cruising and remainder waterways will be dealt with to meet the charitable purposes of the body in a manner that sustains and enhances existing usage.

The consultation is available for inspection at  http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/03/30/waterways-1103/    It is open until 30 June 2011.


IWA News

BCN Cleanup - 9th - 10th April

Book on the annual trolleyfest on the Birmingham Canal Navigations! For the uninitiated, the BCN Cleanup is a weekend spent dragging bikes, prams, old tyres, plus lots of supermarket trolleys and a fair amount of stuff that defies identification out of one of the more rubbish-filled sections of what is a supposedly navigable canal. It's all part of an ongoing campaign to get the locals to care a bit more about their canals, and to encourage boaters to use the less-frequented parts of this fascinating network. 

It's being supported by IWA's local branches and the BCN Society as well as the local British Waterways Team who will be providing workboats to take the rubbish away, plus grappling hooks and work gloves for volunteers.

This year the work site is around Salford Junction, not far from central Birmingham.  Accommodation avaliable Friday and Saturday night.

For more information please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/wrg/canal_camps/bcn_cleanup


Advance Tickets now on sale for The Waterways Festival 2011

Order your tickets online: http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/list_products?category=212

Keep up to date with the latest festival news and sign up to the Festival Times newsletter: http://www.waterways.org.uk/em-signup


Virgin Money Giving Fundraising Pages

Planning a sponsored event? You can now set up your own fundraising page for IWA on the Virgin Money Giving website:



Inglesham Fundraising Update

£36,444 has been pledged so far, but there is still an enormous gap between what has been raised and what is needed to complete works planned for this year. Works include damming of the canal from the Thames and the construction of a piled landing stage for the lock.

To donate please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294


Help Raise Funds for IWA if you Shop On-Line

IWA now participates in the easyfundraising scheme. It's absolutely free to you and IWA can gain donations from the participating retailers of up to 2.5% or more of the value of your shopping when you use it.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/online_fundraising_


Organise an Event for the Inglesham Lock Appeal

If you or your branch would like to organise an event to raise funds for the Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal, please contact gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk


HP Laserjet 4050 Black & White Printer

We have been kindly donated two printers which means we have a HP Laserjet 4050 Black & White Printer that is surplus to requirements. If you are interested please contact gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk. The printer will need to be collected from IWA Head Office in Chesham.


IWA Volunteering Opportunities


Working Holiday Leaders

Interested in becoming a Canal Camp Leader for the Waterway Recovery Group?

As a WRG Canal Camp Leader you will experience the wonderful scenery the UK has to offer, help restore part of the UKs industrial heritage, meet volunteers of all ages and backgrounds and most importantly have fun!

Find out more by joining them on the 14th May for the Leaders Training Day.

For more information please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/wrg/volunteer/leading/become_a_leader


Canalway Cavalcade 30th April - 2nd May 2011

We are looking for volunteers to assist in running Cavalcade over the weekend to do jobs such as setting up equipment, erecting signs and fencing, bucket rattling, brochure distribution, stewarding and bar staff.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/canalway_cavalcade_2011_/volunteer_opportunities


The Waterways Festival 29th - 31st July 2011

It takes over 300 volunteers to stage this event , so please if you can spare any time we need your support. On completion of the online volunteer form Ann Myall Personnel Manager will contact you nearer  to the event and organise with you personally how you would like to help and in what are area.

  • During the actual event itself. No previous experience necessary, normally working in two hour slots. Simply complete online form.
  • Local promotions in and around Burton itself. We aim to be out and about for the four weekends prior to the Festival, so need support for this, again no experience necessary as you will always be accompanied. Email if willing to help sandy.jones@waterways.org.uk 


Photo Archivist Required

We are looking for a volunteer archivist to help re-organise our digital photo archive and scan in our paper and slide archives at our Head Office in Chesham. Work hours are flexible and full training will be provided. For further information please email gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk.


IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted

Planning Officer - North & East London Branch of IWA seeks a member to act as the Branch Planning Officer. This involves liaison with local council planning departments, the scrutiny of planning proposals relevant to the waterways, and providing comments on them, especially where, if they were approved,  that might prejudice the enjoyment and benefits derived from the local waterways.

For a full list of volunteer opportunities go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies


Other News

Continuous Cruising

Judgment has been made recently in Bristol County Court ( 31/3/2011) concerning the interpretation of Section 17 of the British Waterways Act 1995 (relating to Continuous Cruising).

Mr Davies the defendant, kept his boat on the Kennet & Avon Canal in the Bradford upon Avon area and declined to respond to BW’s repeated warnings that his boat movement was not sufficient to meet the licensing requirements.  These state that to qualify for a BW boat licence, a boat must have a home mooring – somewhere where it may lawfully be kept when not being used for cruising.  An exception is made for boats which ‘bona fide’ navigate throughout the period of the licence.  Because Mr Davies did not move sufficiently or agree to comply with its other terms and conditions, BW refused his application to license his boat.  And, because the boat is Mr Davies’ home, BW followed its usual procedure of asking the Court to decide on this case.

There was little or no dispute as to the extent of Mr Davies’ boat movements.  Central to the issue considered by the court was the meaning of the term ‘bona fide navigation’. 

The Judge noted that Mr Davies’ purpose in keeping the boat on the short stretch of canal between Bath and Bradford upon Avon was so that his home was within convenient distance of his place of work and his social circle, and that his purpose in moving the boat was to attempt to escape the requirement to have a permanent mooring.  The Judge said: “What is clear to me is that the defendant who is clearly living on the boat cannot successfully claim that he is using it ‘bona fide for navigation’ by moving it every so often up and down a short stretch of canal.”

The Judge’s decision is that Mr Davies now has three months (30 June 2011) to remove his boat from British Waterways’ canals and rivers. 


BW now prepared to consider overcrowding as an issue

On 4 March the first meeting took place of a working group to look at the extent of alleged overcrowding  in the Central Shires BW area and the impact of new marinas in recent years thereon. The group is led by BMF, includes other representatives to together with IWA’s chair of the Navigation Committee as the only user representative. The intention is to develop criteria to objectively define overcrowding and to identify palliatives.

Trial Local Waterway Partnerships in the Midlands and North West
Ahead of next year’s launch of a new waterways charity for England and Wales, British Waterways is currently recruiting people with an interest in their local waterway to advise and influence the management of canals and rivers in both the West Midlands and North West.
The trial ‘Local Partnerships’ will work with local waterway managers until the new waterways charity becomes fully operational in 2012 and will run in tandem with a third trial already underway on the Kennet & Avon Canal.  The role of each Partnership is to give local people a greater say and role in how their local canals and rivers are run, guiding local management decisions.
Under the current consultation, each of the existing eleven administrative waterway regions in England and Wales will have Local Partnership Boards appointed by the new charity to guide local decisions.  The trials being set-up now will provide important lessons ahead of 2012 about the scope of the charity’s Local Partnership Boards and how they should operate.
Roger Hanbury, chief executive of The Waterways Trust, working with David Fletcher, chair of the National Association of Boat Owners, and the respective local waterway manager, is currently in the process of appointing the Chairs for the two trial Local Partnerships.
The aim is to have the Chairs in post as soon as possible, after which each will work with the local waterway management to fill a further seven member vacancies on each of the Partnerships.  The target is for the Partnerships to be operational by 1 May 2011.
Roger Hanbury comments: “The trial Local Partnerships will operate as an integral part of the team that guides and supports each waterway manager.  They will guide decisions about spending, help develop external funding and volunteering, and will champion the interests of the waterways to the local community, including to people in positions of influence.”
A written record of all meetings will be publically available on the web.  All positions on the Partnerships will be un-remunerated, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed.


New Society to Support the Daventry Canal

Daventry Canal Association has been formally established as a not-for-profit membership organisation whose principal purpose is to promote, assist and encourage support for the development and maintenance of the proposed Daventry Canal Arm from the Grand Union Canal to Daventry town centre.
The setting up of this organisation to support detailed planning permission for the two mile canal corridor is in the process of being decided by Daventry District Council.
For more information please visit their website at www.daventrycanal.org.uk or email info@daventrycanal.org.uk.


200th Anniversary of Standedge Tunnel, 2nd - 4th April 2011

British Waterways are holding a celebration of Standedge Tunnel which opened in 1811.

For more information please go to www.standedge.co.uk or www.horseboating.org.uk

For walk enquiries please contact Alan Schofield


Kendal to London by Canoe

Peter Woolsey was 16 in 1957 when he canoed on his own from Kendal to London by inland waterways. In May this year he celebrates his 70th birthday and will do the whole journey again. The Inland Waterways Association and The British Canoe Union (BCU) are sponsoring the trip by giving publicity, support and advice.

Peter will leave from Tewitfield Bottom Lock of the Lancaster Canal on Saturday 28th May 2011
and is due to arrive at London Bridge on Sunday 12th June. See below for the full itinerary.

Can you help?
IWA supporters can assist this voyage and maximise the publicity for the inland waterways by:-

  • Suggesting suitable overnight accommodation at the various stopping places for Peter and safe overnight storage for his canoe. If you will be moored at the locations below on the dates given, you may be able to help by looking after his canoe overnight.
  • Publicising the trip locally, before and after the event.
  • Assisting with the passage through or around the tunnels on the route that canoeists are not permitted to travel through, i.e. all but the shortest. 
  • Sending your photos of the the trip to IWA for publicity purposes.

Contact: peter@positiveconcepts.ee UK mobile phone: 07977 000 999.

For the full itinerary please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/other_news/kendal_to_london_by_canoe


Primary School Scouts walk the full length of the Chesterfield Canal

Members of 7th Retford (St Swithun’s) Scout Group walked “The Cuckoo Way” over four days in February half-term, following the route of the Chesterfield Canal.  

Many of the group were being sponsored, raising about £1000 between them.  This has been donated to various charities, including B.A.R.K., RSPCA, MS Society, Comic Relief and a Special Care Baby Unit and some have put the money raised towards their Adventure Week taking place in August.

For the full story please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/other_news/scouts_walk_the_chesterfield_canal


Environment Agency awarded extra funding to tackle climate change

The Environment Agency is set to get an additional £2m per year to deliver climate adaptation advice to businesses, organisations and communities in England.

The plans, announced by environment secretary Caroline Spelman, will see an increase in Defra funding to the Environment Agency to advise on how best to become resilient against climate change.

For more information please go to: http://www.hortweek.com/news/1061329/Environment-Agency-awarded-extra-funding-tackle-climate-change/


Volunteers clean up the Chesterfield Canal canal in Retford

A group of volunteers from the Chesterfield Canal Trust and Retford Civic Society took part in a huge clean up along the canal in Retford on Tuesday 22nd March.

Twenty members of the Civic Society and Trust did a superb job working their way along about a mile of the towpath and filling 15 black plastic bags with litter of all descriptions.

Meanwhile, a group of six Trust members worked with their historic boat, Python, to clear the canal itself. One was steering, one was in the hold and four were on the towpath using grappling hooks to dredge the canal bottom.

The boat crew’s catch consisted of:

1   Wilkinson trolley in perfect order;
1   ASDA trolley in perfect order complete with gizmo preventing removal from ASDA;
2   Cycles;
1   Concrete water hydrant stand;
1   Roadworks barrier;
1   9ft length of 2" steel box section;
2   Roadworks warning signs;
1   8ft length of down pipe complete with 45º return;
2   Umbrella frames;
3   Fish landing nets;
2   Fish landing net handles, 3ft and 4ft;
1   5ft double ended rake and hoe;
PLUS  a one ton gravel bag almost full with various floating detritus, e.g. bottles of all sizes, plastic bags even underwear and trainers!

The following day, Python met a Bassetlaw Council vehicle at Barnby Wharf to unload all the rubbish. Having moored overnight at Ranby, they should have got back to their permanent mooring at Shireoaks, but even this was stymied because vandals had emptied the Bracebridge to Kilton pound and Deep Lock was obstructed by a huge box that had been dropped into the canal.

It is the intention of the Chesterfield Canal Trust to do more of these clean ups in Bassetlaw.


European tick established in UK 
Researchers have found five European meadow ticks in south-east England and west Wales during a search of the UK's dogs, suggesting that ticks are more common in the UK than previously thought. A species of blood-sucking tick native to continental Europe has become established in the UK, scientists say.

The species is known to carry tick-borne infections that are not yet found in this country.

As well as indentifying the European meadow ticks (Dermacentor reticulatus), this search showed that almost 15% of dogs in the UK had ticks attached any one time during the summer.

Gundogs, terriers and pastoral breed groups were most susceptible to picking up ticks, which often wait in long grass for animals to brush past. Longer-haired dogs were also more susceptible.



IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • 5% Discount at Midland Chandlers
  • Special Hire rates to IWA members with Europcar

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/member_services/member_discounts_special_offers_public

For IWA members that receive a hard copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.


Events and Festivals

29th April - 2nd May: National Campaign Festival, Northampton
30th April - 2nd May: Canalway Cavalcade, London
27th - 30th May: Welsh Waterways Festival & IWA National Trailboat Festival

10th - 12th June: Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend

29th - 31st July: The Waterways Festival, Burton-upon-Trent; Craft Workshops; Ticket


Upcoming Work Parties

Please see below for a list of canal restoration and clean-up events.

1st - 2nd April - Swansea Canal Big Clean-up.
Contact: enquiries.southwalessevern@britishwaterways.co.uk or call 01452 318000

2nd - 3rd April - Wey & Arun Canal (NWPG)   
Contact: Bill Nicholson 01844 343 369 or email bill@nwpg.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Birmingham Canal Navigations Cleanup
Contact: WRG Enquiries 01494 783453 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Hereford & Gloucester Canal (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Thames & Severn Canal (KESCRG)
Contact: Eddie Jones 0845 2268589 or email eddie@kescrg.org.uk


Upcoming Towpath Walks

3rd April – Paddington Branch, Grand Union Canal  (London Walks)   
Details: Paddington Basin, Little Venice. Meet 2.30pm, Edgware Road ( Circle & District) Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk. 

9th April - The Lapal Canal (IWPS)
Details: Dudley No. 2 Canal aka The Lapal Canal. Start at around 10.00 am and aim to finish at 4.00pm, the length of the walk is about 5-6 miles. 
Contact: Ian Edgar, Top Lock House, 7 Lime Kiln Lane, Marple, SK6 6BX, 0161 427 7402 or e-mail ian@theedgars.co.uk

13th April - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Stafford (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk of about 4.5 miles based around the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.  10.15 for 10.30 am start at the Radford Bank Inn (Crown Carvery), Radford Bank (A34), Stafford, ST17 4PG. Optional pub lunch afterwards. 
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore 07581 794111 margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

17th April – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London  (London Walks)  
Details: Meet 2.30pm, Bromley-by-Bow Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

24th April – Regent’s Canal (London Walks)
Details: Kings Cross to Hitchcock’s Hackney, meet 2.30pm, King’s Cross Station taxi rank. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

28th April – Llangollen Canal, Ravensmoor (Chester & District Branch)
Details: The Farmer’s Arms at Ravensmoor (CW5 8PN) is about 2.5 miles south west of Nantwich.  From the pub this four-mile walk heads west across green pastures before turning north to follow the towing path of the Llangollen canal. After roughly one and a half miles the route turns off the towing path to cross undulating pastures before heading south on quiet lanes to return to the pub.  Map reference 621 506.
Contact: Branch Social Secretary on 0151 608 6487.

30th April - Basingstoke canal (Basingstoke Canal Authority)
Details: Dawn Chorus walk led by Canal Ranger Peter Bickford down the Canal, listen and learn about birdsongs. Peter will be focusing on resident birds for this walk. Booking essential £3.00. Howfield Cottage, Brookwood, Surrey, GU24 0AG. (SU943568) (Deepcut Bottom Lock)
Contact: Basingstoke Canal Centre: 01252 370073

To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please email details to news@waterways.org.uk.

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson and Gemma Bolton