IWA Bulletin

 Quicklinks: IWA News / Other NewsWork Parties / Events

IWA News

IWA working to reduce impact of HS2 on waterways

Gren Messham petitioning ParliamentPhoto: Parliamentlive.tv

Although there has been success with changes through consultation with IWA, CRT and canal groups, particularly at Fradley Junction, there are still concerns over Phase 1 of HS2, the high speed train link from London to the Midlands.  IWA is concerned about the adverse effect that this project will have on the local environment and quality of life of many people on its route, both during construction and subsequent operation.

The chairman of IWA's Navigation Committee, Gren Messham, presented IWA's petition to the Government's HS2 (London - West Midlands) Select Committee on 4th February, clearly setting out the impact that the current proposals of HS2 Phase 1 would have on inland waterways infrastructure and users.  The waterways affected include both existing navigations and canals under restoration.

IWA's petition is based on the experience and knowledge of its members whose interests include boating, towpath walking, industrial archaeology, nature conservation and many other activities associated with inland waterways.  The Association has worked closely with its local branches along the HS2 route to gather information to present to the Hearing.  A major concern for the Association is the level of noise that waterway users will be exposed to especially at canal crossings, and in the vicinity of short and long term moorings during construction and from trains.  The waterways particularly affected include:

  • Grand Union Canal (Harefield, Longhole Viaduct, Slough Arm, Old Oak Common, Willesden);
  • Oxford Canal (nr Wormleighton);
  • Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (Curdworth);
  • Lichfield Canal and Lichfield Cruising Club moorings;
  • Trent & Mersey Canal (Fradley).

IWA's position is that the level of noise expected is not acceptable and 'best available technology' engineering and mitigation need to be used by HS2 to meet the UK Government's Noise Policy aims, stating that waterway users should be afforded the same protection as individuals in residential buildings.

In original proposals for HS2 the Trent & Mersey Canal and its corridor were crossed by four separate structures.  The Association is pleased that these have now been moved away from the canal leaving only the one Main Line crossing.  However, the section of canal between the Main Line viaduct and the far side of Wood End Lock Cottage is now adversely affected by the proposed move of the realigned Wood End Lane closer to it.  The Association has proposed an alternative route which would:

  • avoid high road embankments;
  • avoid noise and visual impacts on the heritage interest of the Trent & Mersey Canal Conservation Area;
  • minimise construction impacts;
  • avoid wider impacts on the recreation, tourism and economic benefits of the canal system;
  • minimise changes to connecting roads;
  • reduce construction costs by avoiding extensive embankments.

Marcus Chaloner, CRT's national design manager also briefed the cross-bench committee of MPs on the Trust's concerns about HS2 plans in the vicinity of the waterways.  He focused on the proposed canal crossing at Curdworth on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.  Its towpath is a popular right of way and an integral part of the Sustrans' West Midlands Network cycleway.  CRT has requested that  HS2 modify the design of the proposed viaduct and surrounding infrastructure to protect this historic location.

IWA accepts that the overall economic and social case for HS2 is for the Government to make and for Parliament to decide but has requested that the project be designed and implemented so as to minimise its impacts, to mitigate those impacts that cannot be avoided, and to fully compensate all those disadvantaged by its construction and operation.

Following the appearance of petitioners to the HS2 Select Committee, the next stage in Phase 1 will be any changes to be incorporated into the Bill before it moves into the House of Lords, with Royal Assent being expected at the end of 2016.  Works are due to start during 2017.  A firm route for the next phase of HS2, north of Birmingham. towards Leeds and Manchester is due to be announced later this year.

Better access for Boaters to Liverpool

IWA is delighted that boating arrangements for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal around Liverpool are going to be much more boater friendly helping access to IWA's 2016 National Campaign Festival from 11th to 12th June.  Following a local consultation in 2015 which was picked up by IWA's Chester & Merseyside Branch, CRT has announced that there is going to be much more flexibility over access into Salthouse Dock through the Pier Head Canal Link.  IWA had stated that the previous system of three 'incoming' days and three 'outgoing' days limited capacity, and flexibility over arrival and departure days, which led to many disappointed boaters unable to make the journey during peak periods.  From 21st March six boats can travel each way along the Link on every day except Tuesdays.

lockkeeperLock keepers on the Stanley Flight, Liverpool Link

IWA has been actively supporting the development of moorings at Eldonian Village and Vauxhall Canalside Park so the ability to cruise to the end of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at the Village without having to book a passage from Aintree is welcome, particularly as the annual Eldonian Village Canal Festival from 11th to 12th June 2016 has been designated as IWA's National Campaign Festival.  

IWA believes that allowing boats to have free open access to this stretch of waterway will greatly contribute to the appeal of the area and, with continuing community involvement, will ultimately transform the canal corridor through this urban space making it a pleasant and healthy environment for all to appreciate.  
Mooring spaces for IWA's National Campaign Festival at Eldonian are filling up so for more information and boat booking forms visit the IWA National Campaign Festival page.

The 200th anniversary of the opening of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal will be celebrated with events and activities planned throughout the year.  There is lots going on and in IWA's opinion there are several 'not to be missed' events as well as IWA's Campaign Festival.  For example the Blackburn Canal Festival which in the past has been instrumental in helping to avoid abandonment of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, will take place on 23rd to 24th July.  Further details are on the Leeds & Liverpool 200 page so book the dates and come along and enjoy the fun.

Vote for your favourite photo from IWA's calendar competition

Calendar 2017 montage

Hundreds of waterways photographers have submitted photos to our 2017 calendar competition.  The best have now been shortlisted with a photograph chosen to grace each month's page across the year.  The selection panel has shortlisted a picture for the front cover of the calendar as well as an image to adorn our 2016 Christmas cards.  Calendars and Christmas cards will both be on sale from August this year.

Take a look at the gallery of shortlisted photos and choose your favourite.  The image with the most votes will be crowned IWA's Calendar competition overall winner.  The winning photographer will receive a set of Nicholsons guides worth £130 and all shortlisted photographers will receive packs of calendars showcasing their image to share with friends and family. 

Please vote now and choose your favourite. 

The gallery is hosted on a site called SurveyGizmo.  As soon as you have submitted your vote you will be returned to this page.  

Canals and Veterans Awarded Dream Fund  

The UK’s canals and veterans from the armed forces are the winners in People’s Postcode Lottery’s ‘Dream Fund’.  CRT and Help for Heroes received  £500,000 award for their ‘Heritage Heroes’ project at a gala awards ceremony held on 28 January in Edinburgh.

CRT and Help for Heroes have planned to work with ex-servicemen and women through a programme of canal restoration, transforming waterways across England in the process. IWA will be supporting this project by offering aupport and advice in planning, health & safety, volunteer management and canal restoration.

The project will train ex-servicemen or women for an accredited qualification while volunteering to transform the waterways.  IWA supported the bid by offering spaces on its week-long WRG Canal Camps to ex-Servicemen involved in the project and allowing volunteers the opportunity to learn how to use items of plant such as excavators and dumpers as well as other heritage based skills and bricklaying.  WRG, which is funded by IWA, will also be working with  CRT and Help for Heroes to set up and run a week-long canal restoration working holiday.

IWA volunteers to help move and check CRT's workboat fleet

IWA has stepped up to answer a request by CRT to supply skilled volunteers to assist with a new approach to the deployment of its workboat fleet.
The Trust, which is reorganising its workboat fleet into a nationally managed resource, has asked IWA to work with its staff to assist with the inspection and moving of craft.  IWA volunteers will provide appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as the national coverage required for the work.

From April 2016 the Trust intends to organise its workboats centrally to allow it to co-ordinate the fleet on a more strategic basis, and craft will be ‘hired’ to the regional maintenance and construction teams.  It is hoped that this will lead to more efficient use of the workboats across the Trust’s different teams and by volunteers, such as IWA’s volunteer work parties. The work will also include IWA volunteers monitoring the condition of craft and reporting any potential issues to the Trust which will then be used to develop programmes of repair work.

IWA will be deploying a team of volunteers nationally across the country and National Chairman, Les Etheridge commented “Our skilled volunteers will enable the Trust to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in deploying and maintaining its workboat fleet, demonstrating once again the value of IWA members and our commitment to making the waterways better for all users.

Running for the Waterways - support our runner

David Edwards-May training for the 2015 London MarathonPhoto: David Edwards-May training for the 2016 London Marathon

One of the largest charity fundraising events takes place on the streets of London on Sunday 24th April.  David Edwards-May is representing IWA at the London Marathon and is no stranger to endurance events, having previously participated in the Canalthon, a 33 mile event along the canals of mid Wales.  
Please support David now
Bulletin recipients can support David in his efforts to raise £5000 for IWA's campaign and restoration work in the following ways:
Online - Visit David's Virgin Money Giving fundraising page
By phone - call 01494 783453 ext 611
By post - send a cheque payable to "The Inland Waterways Association" to London Marathon, The Inland Waterways Association, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA.

David is keen to reach his target of £5000 so please do help him achieve this figure.

IWA Promotes the Great Outdoors

The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show presents the leisure vehicle and travel industry from 23-28 February 2016 at the Birmingham NEC.  IWA will be there exhibiting in Hall 4 on Stand 4005 so do come and say hello.

The show houses the very best in the latest products and services from all over Europe, whether it is ordering your new leisure vehicle, updating with new accessories, or keeping an eye out for what is new in outdoor living.

To book advance tickets and save £2.50* from on the door prices, simply use code DEX when booking at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show website.   This code will also save 50p on tickets bought on the day. Call: 0844 873 7333.  Tickets include free parking, Show Guide, and children aged 15 or younger go free too!

IWA Invasive Non-Native Species Campaign

Non-native species are plants and animals that do not naturally occur in an environment but have been introduced to that environment either accidentally or deliberately. Not all non-native species are detrimental to the environment they are introduced into. Those that do have a negative effect on the environment are known as invasive non-native species. These invasive species are a widely recognised problem because of the threat these different plants and animals can pose to the native environment, the economy and the public’s health.

Along the waterways, invasive plant species pose a threat as they can cause navigation and water control problems, a reduction in habitat availability and the quality of the water and in some cases are a threat to human health. Follow the links to find out more about:
•    Himalayan Balsam
•    Giant Hogweed
•    Japanese Knotweed
•    Floating Pennywort

IWA branches will be organising work parties over the next few months to attempt to eradicate some of these unwelcome visitors and re-seed with native wild plants.

WRG's Mike Palmer receives MBE

Mike Palmer MBE Waterway Recovery Group Chairman, Mike Palmer, yesterday (11 February 2016) received his MBE for voluntary service to the restoration of British waterways.

A popular and well known volunteer, Mike has been a 'WRGie' for nearly 40 years and chairman of WRG for the past 19 years. Through dedication and commitment he has championed best practice in volunteer canal restoration in regards to health and safety, restoration skills and techniques, and plant operation working on countless restoration projects throughout the UK, including Ashton Locks on the Montgomery Canal and Hanbury Flight on the Droitwich Canal.

IWA Essex Waterways - job vacancy

There is a vacancy for a full time Navigations Manager at Essex Waterways, a subsidiary of IWA.  More details and an application pack are available at IWA's Essex Waterways page. The closing date for applications is Monday 29th February.

Interim Chairman for IWA's West Midlands Region

Helen Whitehouse, chairman of IWA Lichfield Branch, has been appointed caretaker chairman of IWA's West Midlands Region.  Her role is to support and liaise with the four IWA branches covered by the Region and she will carry out the role until region chairman elections take place for the forthcoming AGM in September.  As this is an interim position the associated role of IWA trustee will not form part of Helen's duties. 

See your painting as an IWA Christmas card

Sales of IWA Christmas cards continue to provide a very welcome source of income to the Association.  The painted waterway scenes have featured on the cards for over thirty years and we are always looking for new artists.  Are you a waterways artist and would you be interested in seeing one of your paintings as an IWA card?  If you have a piece you would like to submit for review we would be delighted to have a look.  Please email a photo of your painting to stephanie.pay@waterways.org.uk before 29th February 2016. 

IWA Branch News

IWA Milton Keynes Branch - Your chance to get involved

Due to several committee members standing down this year, IWA Milton Keynes Branch are looking for members who are willing to get involved with local activities.  

For outlines of these and other vacancies in MK Branch, please visit the Milton Keynes page on the IWA site.  If you are considering this opportunity but think you might not have sufficient knowledge please be assured that there is plenty of support available and any arrangements can be very flexible e.g. role sharing.

On another note, Milton Keynes Branch AGM has a change of venue and will now take place at 8.15pm on Thursday 18 February at the Dolphin Pub, Melrose Avenue, Bletchley, MK3 7JZ.

IWA Northampton Branch - Boat Gathering

29th April to Monday 2nd May
Following on from IWA's Festival of Water last August, Northampton Branch will be returning to its tried and tested Boat Gathering format for the early Spring Bank Holiday 2016.  This year they will be returning to historic Braunston, Nurser's Dock.  In 2016, the format will have some new additions whilst retaining all the old favourites such as a real ale bar (with local ales), live music, cafe with homemade cakes, BBQ, and fish and chip supper.  Why not plan a cruise with a stop-off at the Gathering?  The Branch will give a warm welcome to IWA members and all non-members.

gatheringNursers Dock, Braunston

Boat entry forms are available online, and will be included with February's issue of the Branch magazine, Endeavour.

Other Waterway News

Our Wildlife after the Floods - A hard year ahead for kingfishers

Environmentalists fear the impact of the 2015 floods on waterway wildlife may be felt for a considerable time.  Waterway birds such as kingfishers and herons find it difficult to hunt during times of flood as they need clear water to feed.  It is thought that only a half of kingfisher fledglings survive more than a week or two, but they are going to find it especially hard this year.  Most kingfishers die as a result of lack of food or of cold so a bad winter can have serious effects.  As well as the issues with feeding, traditional nesting sites will have been washed away with the flooding.  Kingfishers excavate nests, burrowing into the stone-free sandy soil of a low stream bank, usually about 0.5m from the top.  The birds choose a vertical bank clear of vegetation, since this provides a reasonable degree of protection from predators. 

KingfisherPhoto by: cc Thoth, God of Knowledge

Otters will also have been affected as baby otters tend not to be very strong swimmers.  The fast river flows caused by the flooding may well have caught them out as they would have found it difficult to get themselves to safety.  Staff at the Scottish National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire said 2015 was their busiest year for stray otters on record.

The news is not all bad for our wildlife though.  Dabbling ducks such as mallards will actually do very well out of the flooding as their feeding area has temporarily increased.

Birmingham Canal Navigations Society

BCN Spring Cruise 2016
On Saturday 2nd April there will be a trip to celebrate the launch of the plan to re-open the Bradley Locks.  It starts and finishes at Tipton, travelling up the Wednesbury Oak Loop to Bradley where there will be a tour around the workshop where lock gates are made. Contact Brenda Ward on 07961 177553 or email BCNS for more details.

Easter Gathering at National Waterways Museum

The Canal & River Trust is welcoming the return of colourful boats to its popular Easter Gathering and Sea Shanty Festival at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port between Friday 25 and Monday 28 March 2016.  This marks the start of the summer cruising season where many boats will set off to other parts of the canal network following the festival.  

Heritage and great stories will come alive throughout the weekend with the gathering of boats, lock demonstrations, boat trips, behind the scenes tours, crafts and activities for all ages.  For the sixth year, Sea Shanty performers from across the country will be performing.

For more information on the events and activities during the weekend please visit the National Waterways Museum site.

Secure the Future of Shrewsbury and Newport Canal

One of IWA's main objectives is to support the restoration of canals across the waterway system of Britain.  The Association is able to achieve this through working with canal groups to provide expertise, advice and manpower through IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).  This contribution has been greatly valued by Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust.  As previously reported in Bulletin, this Trust has secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore Wappenshall Wharf.  With WRG help, a section of canal at Forton has been lined with Bentonite ready for rewatering later this year and another WRG Camp in August should help to complete this section.  Of the 25 miles of canal, seven miles in various sections remain in water.  A stretch at the Shrewsbury end is currently being cleared and it is planned to raise the water level within 12 months to enable the Trust trip boat to cruise it.  The Trust has successfully secured £100k of Section 106 funding to restore two Thomas Telford designed guillotine locks.

Funding for these projects is, of course, essential but it is also vital to have the full agreement and co-operation of stakeholders like CRT and the local authorities that the waterway is sited in.  For example, if proposed restoration projects are not included in Councils' Local Plans then development can occur across the canal and an opportunity for restoration would be lost forever.  This is currently a big risk for Shrewsbury and  Newport Canal as, despite representations from the Trust, restoration of this waterway has not been included in the Local Plan of Telford & Wrekin Council.  The adjacent authorities, Shropshire Council and Staffordshire County Council, have both included this project in their Local Plans which follows government guidelines on transport corridors.  Time is running out as representation to Telford & Wrekin Council must be submitted before 15th March 2016.  Comments on the draft Local Plan can be made through the Planning Policy Portal or a representation form can be downloaded and emailed, posted or taken to the Civic Offices in Telford.  It is really important that as many people as possible let Telford & Wrekin Council know that their Local Plan does not comply with basic planning regulations and this oversight may well deprive the area of a valuable asset.

Thames News - Tower lifeboat station is the nation's busiest

The number of boats registered to use the non-tidal Thames fell slightly last year - but the Environment Agency's total income from the vessels increased.  Figures for 2015 just released by the agency show 17,728 boats were registered to use the river of which 8454 were powered leisure craft.  Despite the reduction in vessel numbers the proceeds of registration fees increased to £3,972,492.

thameslockVessels in Thames lock

Tower lifeboat station on the Thames was again the UK's busiest during 2015.  Figures released by the RNLI show Tower launched 465 times assisting 90 people, and saving 15 lives. Neighbouring station, Chiswick, launched 227 times and rescued 135 people, saving 3 lives.

Nationally in the UK and Ireland the charity’s lifeboats launched 8,228 times, rescued 7,973 of which 348 were lives saved.

Notable rescues in 2015 included the University boat race on the Thames in April which kept the crew busy at Chiswick Lifeboat Station. As crowds gathered along the shoreline trying to get a good vantage point for the race, they were unaware of the rising tide and wash from the other boats and 60 people needed help to safety on dry land.

Will Stephens, RNLI Head of Lifesaving said: " Our volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards have again worked exceptionally hard serving our local communities. We continue to urge those working or enjoying our coastline and inland areas to respect the water. We understand that things can go wrong from time to time, so some preventative maintenance and annual checks prior to the boating season should allow for worry-free cruising time."

Bricklaying on Wey & Arun Canal Bridge

A major step towards completion of a new canal crossing in Surrey was made when volunteer bricklayers began work.  Following on from contractors finishing the Compasses Bridge structure, the brickies are carrying out the next stage of a project that will see the reopening of a section of historic waterway, the Wey & Arun Canal.  They are laying the brick cladding on the new bridge, which spans the Canal at the Alfold entrance to Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex.

In the 19th century it was possible to travel by boat from London to Littlehampton on the south coast via Weybridge, Guildford, Pulborough and Arundel. The Wey & Arun Canal formed the only link between the south coast and the Thames.  Like many waterways, the coming of the railway saw the decline of the Canal until 1970 when a group of enthusiasts decided work on restoring this waterway, eventually forming the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.

The Trust aims to re-open most of the canal between Tickner’s Heath in Dunsfold and Fast Bridge on the A281 at Alfold at the beginning of October. Small boats will be able to navigate that stretch for the first time in more than 150 years.  The re-opening will coincide with the Trust’s celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal being declared open at the Compasses site.

Compasses scaffoldingWorking party volunteers set up scaffolding at Compasses Bridge ready for the bricklayers.

Lock Repair Work for Shropshire Union Canal

Boaters on the Shropshire Union Canal are to benefit from a £250,000 upgrade to three Grade Two-listed lock flights near Market Drayton.  A team from CRT has worked on the Tyrley, Adderley and Audlem lock flights on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border - a total of 25 locks.  They are refurbishing or replacing eight sets of lock gates, 14 lock ladders and carrying out vital masonry repairs and ground stabilisation work.  The canal has had to be drained in certain sections to allow scaffolding and lifting equipment to be installed and lock gates, weighing several tonnes, to be craned in and out. Other existing gates have been strengthened and repaired to create a water tight seal.  

The team are still on plan to finish the repair project and re-open the canal on 11th March. This means that all the canal will be back in water and open for navigation again in good time for Easter and the start of the warmer weather for boating.

New Bridge over Manchester Ship Canal

Port Salford is a freight terminal currently under construction on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Barton-upon-Irwell in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester.  The Manchester Ship Canal is the only ship canal in the United Kingdom and the eighth longest in the world.  This waterway, of course, was well known for the old Barton Swing Bridge and the unique swing aqueduct of the Bridgewater Canal.   These bridges were built at the same time as the Ship Canal was constructed and replaced the original Brindley canal aqueduct and the original stone road bridge across the river Irwell.   

As part of the Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme, a new link road will be constructed in connection with the Port which will mean it will be the UK's first tri-modal inland waterway port served by ship, rail and road. The existing A57 road will be redirected closer to the Salford City Stadium, and a mile-long new dual carriageway link to Trafford Way and a new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal is being constructed to the east of the existing M60 bridge.  The motorway bridge was originally built in the 1960s as a 2x2 lane motorway.   It is a unique bit of motorway in that it has been variously designated as the M62, M63, and only became the M60 after it had been converted to a 2x3 lane motorway, a major traffic headache in the area, and the Manchester Orbital Motorway had been completed.  This new lift bridge is due to be completed in Spring 2016.

Lift bridgeImage of new lift bridge over Manchester Ship Canal

2016 Living Waterways Awards open for entries

The Canal & River Trust launched the 2016 Living Waterways Awards on Friday 5 February 2016 and is calling for waterway organisations and groups across the UK to put forward their engaging, innovative and inspirational projects.

Led by an independent panel of experts drawn from the voluntary, environmental, arts, heritage, engineering and architecture sectors, the Living Waterways Awards celebrate the work done by individuals, communities and organisations to improve their canals and rivers, making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.

From inspirational story-telling to dedicated volunteer-led schemes; innovative design and construction projects to pioneering environmental initiatives, there are seven award categories:
1. Art & Interpretation
2. Contribution to the Built Environment
3. Community & Volunteering
4. Education & Learning
5. Natural Environment
6. Recreation & Tourism
7. Restoration & Historic Environment

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 15 March 2016.  Further details can be found at the Living Waterways Award page

The winners of the 2016 Living Waterways Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Birmingham on 14 September 2016.

Interested in Boat Sharing?

There are more than 220 shared ownership narrow boats on the inland waterways and there will be the opportunity to view around 20 boats with shares available at National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina on 23rd & 24th April 2016.  Check out the National Boat Share Show for full details.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

Northampton Branch - Endeavour
Chelmsford Branch – Newsletter  

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2016

30th April - 2nd May 2016 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
28th May - 29th May 2016 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Staveley
11th - 12th June - IWA Campaign Festival, Eldonian Village, Liverpool
27th August - 29th August 2016 - IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.

Upcoming Volunteer/Cleanup Events

13th February Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th February Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
14th February Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
14th February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
17th February Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)
18th February Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
20th February Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
23rd February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
23rd February Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
24th February Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th February Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
26th February Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
27th February Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

2nd March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
5th March Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
9th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
9th March Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA Birmingham Branch)
10th March Work Party - Uttoxeter (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
12th March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
13th March Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
13th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
15th March Work Party - Banbury (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
16th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th March Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th March Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
20th March Canal Clean Up - Brownsover, Rugby (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
25th March Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
26th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar

Upcoming Towpath Walks

21st February Waterside Walk - Limehouse, Thames and Docklands (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

6th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
8th March Waterside Walk - Hatherton Canal & Great Saredon (IWA Lichfield Branch)
20th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
27th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
  • Blackwater Boats - 10% discount
  • Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Annual subscription for just £15
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount on hire of classic boat Willow
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • The Three Locks Pub, Grand Union Canal nr. Milton Keynes - 10% discount on food
  • Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on 1 day VHF SCR training courses
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

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 the IWA Members discount page.

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

Members can also support IWA with a Narrow Boat magazine subscription

Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Marion Birch


Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Download PDF (971KB)

IWA News

IWA Branch News

Other Waterway News

Other Information

Mystery Photo Challenge

Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

Recent Blog Posts

Clive Walker - Volunteer of the Month February 2016

Canal crossings: Six Places Where One Canal has Been Built Over Another

David Struckett - Volunteer of the Month January 2016

Desktop Calendar

Download the February Desktop Calendar