IWA’s campaign to stop the Environment Agency from selling off river frontage in Ely to private bidders has achieved a successful result, with the news that the local council will be buying the land.
Whilst IWA would have preferred the land to remain in the ownership of EA, for future navigation income and legacy, the purchase by East Cambridgeshire District Council means that the land will remain in public ownership and as such IWA welcomes the announcement.
IWA hopes that this will bring a more secure future to the three waterway-related businesses based at the site: Bridge Boatyard, which has been operating for over 40 years and which is now the only holiday boat hire company on the River Great Ouse, hotel barge Water Nimf and The Boat Yard boat restoration business.
The three plots of land, amounting to over 300 metres of river frontage in total, had been offered for sale by private auction last summer. IWA considered that this was extremely short-sighted given that the businesses and moorings at this location bring in an income to EA as the navigation authority, and wrote to EA, the Waterway Minister, MPs and local councillors to raise concerns. As a result of the number of representations received, EA confirmed to IWA several weeks after the closing date for bids that it was reviewing the situation.
Bridge Boatyard brings between 2000 and 2500 people on to the river each year on their hire boats, the loss of which would have had a serious effect on the tourism and leisure use of the river and consequently on the economy of Ely and other towns and villages along the river through loss of visitor spend.
After an uncertain few months for the businesses based at the site, the announcement this week in a letter from EA to IWA, stating that the land would remain in public ownership through its sale to the council, is welcome.
IWA Eastern Region Chairman, Chris Howes, said “East Cambridgeshire District Council is to be congratulated on its acquisition and stepping in to keep the waterside businesses going. We understand that the Council has ambitions for the regeneration of this part of the City of Ely and hope that in developing this area the current navigation and leisure activities will be preserved and encouraged.”
Photo: Site of the Boston Barrier at high tide. The new barrier will fit across the channel more or less between the grain elevator on the left on the Port of Boston quay, and on the right (which will be demolished).
The Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) for the Boston Barrier received approval early in December, giving the Environment Agency the go-ahead to proceed with the construction and operation of the £100 million flood defence scheme to protect Boston’s homes and businesses from the risk of tidal flooding.
The Order was approved following a public inquiry during which IWA raised a number of concerns including the adverse impact to navigation in the Haven, and missed opportunities to improve and extend navigation in the wider area.
The Inspector’s Report to the Public Inquiry noted IWA’s concerns and recommended that a Navigation Management Plan should be added as a planning condition, which has been incorporated in the TWAO. Other issues raised by IWA have also been included in the Inspectors Report. IWA Lincolnshire Branch and East Midlands Region will be involved locally in the development of the Navigation Management Plan.
Construction is due to begin in The Haven (the tidal stretch of the River Witham) in January 2018, and will better protect against tidal surges, such as was seen in December 2013, when over 800 homes and businesses in the Boston area were flooded.
Our popular Restoration Raffle has had another successful year, raising over £10,000 to support IWA’s Restoration Hub. Waterway restoration groups across the country benefit from the Hub’s advice and guidance on all aspects of their projects. Over fifty groups and individuals have already received support from the Hub in the last year on topics ranging from the Water Framework Directive to fundraising and even slipway design. IWA staff members and consultant engineers have conducted a number of site visits around the country.
Even more is planned this year, with free training events and other sessions already in the calendar. Take a look at the events here.
The top prize in the raffle, a cheque for £1,000, was won by a lucky person in Ilkeston – all prize winners have now been contacted.
For more information about the Restoration Hub, visit www.waterways.org.uk/restorationhub.
Photo: Great Ouse GOBA mooring near Brampton. Photographer: Roy Harris
Chris Howes, IWA trustee and Chairman of IWA’s Eastern Region has written four cruising guides to help boaters get the most out of their cruise to St Neots. Titled “Upper Nene”, “Lower Nene”, “Middle Level” and “Great Ouse” the guides contain the essential information such as water points, moorings, where to find diesel and gas, pubs for drinks and / or food as well as the local shops. To get hold of the guides go to where you can download them for free.
Reserve your space at the Festival
Moorings and campsite pitches cost just £30 (including evening entertainment)
Book online or call 01494 783453 to reserve your spot.
Photo: Steve Warwicker, Bristol Docks December 2017 sporting the new IWA fleece. Take a look at IWA's range of clothing >
Steve Warwicker has been appointed as the new chairman of Navigation Committee. Steve is a keen canoeist / kayaker and is a qualified instructor in a variety of different watersports but with a specific interest in improving access to watersports for the disabled and disadvantaged in society. He is active on IWA's Avon & Wilts Branch committee and began his tenure on Navigation Committee as the representative for South West Region.
Steve's chairmanship of Navigation Committee comes at an exciting time with the launch of IWA's 5 year objectives and he is keen to get to grips with these and ensure the committee's priorities align with IWA's strategy whilst developing a strong relationship with marketing committee to make certain our campaigns are even better publicised.
Steve is keen to attract new skills to the committee and hopes that exploring new communication methods will make it easier to contribute to Navigation Committee without being a full attending member. New ways of communicating could also lead to the wide knowledge base amongst IWA's membership contributing more to decision making and planning.
If you would like to get involved with Navigation Committee or know of anyone who might be interested, please contact Alison Smedley via email or phone - 07779 090915.
Photo: IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall 2016. Photographer:Tim Lewis
Planning for IWA Festival of Water 2018 in St Neots is making great progress, with the local councils being thrilled to be hosting it, and we're now on the look out for sites for 2019 onwards!
Potential future sites being researched by the team right now include Worcester, Basingstoke, Stoke on Trent, Waltham Abbey and Burton on Trent.
If you would like the Festival to come to your area and know of any more waterside sites that might be large enough to accomodate at least 500 parked cars, approximately 80 tents and trailers, around 50 stalls and an entertainments marquee with mooring capacity for around 120 boats then please get in contact with Event Committee Volunteer Mike Elwell.
The Festival has a fixed date of the August Bank Holiday weekend and so the site must be free over those dates and up to one week in advance and three days after the event.
Photo: The view of Sandbach from The Lock Keeper's Inn. The historic tug is displayed as a feature of the Show's Inland Waterways section
In addition to the inland boating feature at the London Boat show, there is an Adventure Park featuring an indoor cable wakeboard park and a stand up paddleboard pool to give people tasters without the need for a wetsuit. IWA welcomes this focus on providing visitors with ways to explore these water-based hobbies as an accessible introduction to inland waterways.
As well as promoting our campaigns and activities, we have a special introductory membership offer for people joining IWA at London Boat Show. Visit our stand WA004 to find out more.
In our last issue of Bulletin we mentioned historic tug Sandbach, belonging to an IWA team member. Sandbach is now in pride of place within the inland boating section of the Show. Make sure to go and find her in the lock and take a #SandbachSelfie and publish it on Twitter or Instagram.
For more information about what’s on at the show click here.
If your New Year’s resolution is to get fitter, we may have the perfect challenge for you. IWA has secured a place for one runner in the popular Royal Parks Half Marathon. The scenic 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. This year’s event will take place on Sunday 14th October, so there is plenty of time to train. The place in the event is free, but we are asking that the runner who takes on the challenge aims to raise £500 for IWA.
If you are interested in finding out more about taking part, please contact Fundraising Officer, Sarah Frayne, on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01494 783453. To read more about the event itself, you can visit - https://royalparkshalf.com/about-the-event.
The Barn Dance organised by IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group is once again taking over Rowington Village Hall, near Warwick, on Saturday 10th March. Local Ceilidh band ‘5 Minutes to Midnight’, featuring a familiar WRGie face, is providing the music. Booking is now open, so come and show your support and your best moves.
As always there will be a raffle, drinks and the finest in WRG dining. All funds raised will go towards supporting WRG activities in the coming year.
Entry is £15 and you can get your tickets here now.
IWA Canalway Cavalcade is organised by a core team of enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers. The increasing success of the event means we are looking for new team members to join in the fun of running this colourful spectacle every year. You don’t need previous experience, we just need a few hours of your time every month - and three days in May.
We are looking for people to help out with the following roles:
Assistant Publicity & Social Media Manager
Assistant Site & Services Manager
Assistant Commercial Manager
For more information and to apply please contact: Jerry Sanders, Chairman. Email: email@example.com or telephone: 07788 204442.
We are looking for a full time Fundraising Officer with at least 2 years fundraising experience to work with IWA’s small Head Office team in Chesham to coordinate major appeals, raffles, sponsored walks and other events in addition to grant applications, the management of grant funding and assisting in the delivery of projects.
Find out more about the role.
We are trying to work out how to improve IWA’s website and make it as accessible and useful as possible. In the first instance we would be very grateful if you could complete this short survey to tell us more about how you use the site. Armed with this information we hope to understand better what improvements could be made and identify what developments you might hope to see in future.
Complete our website survey now
Photo: Walkers view images of 2012 offside breach
36 people and 2 dogs took part in the New Year’s Day Walk on the Grand Western Canal organised by West Country Branch and this year it only rained for 20 minutes! IWA members and volunteers along with members of the Friends of Grand Western Canal and visitors were all well represented.
Starting at the Globe Inn at Sampford Peverell the walk passed through quiet Devon countryside prior to reaching Rock Bridge and on the offside the listed Rock Cottage, where the canal historian Charles Hadfield lived as a boy and started his interest in waterways. This was followed by the site of the 2012 offside breach, and a stop to view where a series of photographs of the breach was on display for walkers to see. The walk ended a little way beyond at Swing Bridge, a bridge that today is made of steel and crosses the canal at a high level. At the time of the breach an intact Brindley stop gate was discovered buried in the mud at the bridge; this was exposed and surveyed during the course of the works.
Returning to the Globe Inn several hardy souls continued along the towpath and past the canalside picnic ground where a Navvies’ Fair was held on the second day of the Trail Boat rally in May 2014. This was part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the canal and many of the Trail Boats visiting the canal travelled from Tiverton Basin to Sampford Peverell for the day. Not far beyond here, the extended walk ended at the slipway adjacent to Boehill Bridge, built by the Waterway Recovery Group in 2003 and still in excellent condition for trail boaters to use.
Photo: Walkers visit the slipway built by WRGies - superb for any trailboaters visiting the waterway
Many of the benefits of the walk were subsequently negated by an excellent lunch in the Canal Room at the Globe!
Over the last eight months IWA West Country Branch has supported Canal & River Trust to the tune of 3,500 hours to improve the canal between Bridgwater Docks and the village of Fordgate and from Creech St. Michael to Taunton. Volunteers have helped to keep the waterway an attractive place for visitors and boaters, trimming hedges, picking up litter and repainting lock gates.
Photo: Walkers at Dunstall Farm Bridge Photographer: Margaret Beardsmore
The branch's customary New Year's Day walk started from The Red Lion pub in Hopwas and attracted 28 people with one walker even driving all the way from Malvern in Worcestershire.
Heading in the direction of Tamworth, with fields to the right and hedging to the left, the group had been warned that the first mile or so would be muddy. Progress must have been slow as a narrowboat coming from Hopwas managed to catch the group up. Obligatory group photo taken at Dunstall Farm bridge walkers enjoyed a section of the Coventry Canal that has remained surprisingly rural, wedged as it is between Tamworth and the A5. However, all could change very soon, with plans approved to build 800 houses on land between the river Tame and the Coventry Canal. Whilst the proximity of the canal will help to sell the housing, this development will dramatically change the character of the area, not to mention the fact that the developers seem to have overlooked the words "flood plain".
Leaving the towpath at the humpback Sutton Road Bridge the group turned left to enter Ventura Park and the glitzy car showrooms of Tamworth and completed the walk in time for food in The Red Lion.
To see the full article and other news from the branch click here.
IWA is organised through a network of eight Regions and 33 Branches across the country. To find a Branch near you click on this link which will take you to information about the Branches, their newsletters, contacts and the local waterways in their area.
This year the Pocklington Canal is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a series of free events and activities (from March onwards) to encourage the community to celebrate its history and support its future. Last year the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society was awarded £106,400 of a £200,00 legacy donated to IWA by long time canal expert Tony Harrison. The Society's successful bid was made as part of their Bicentenary appeal and was to be used to restore two locks and carry out dredging to extend the navigable canal by 2 miles. The Society has now drawn down most of the awarded figure to further progress the restoration project.
Two campaigners paddling the length of the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London have found quantities of detritus that will come as no surprise to regular IWA work party volunteers.
On a litter picking trip the duo travelling under the name of Dare Two Do grappled over 250 items from the canal over a 2.5 mile stretch in Leamington including hypodermic needles and plastics.
Their hope is people will learn to think twice before discarding their rubbish in future. This follows a work party by IWA Warwickshire Branch in October 2017 where volunteers removed more than 40 shopping trolleys, 28 bikes, three motorbikes, more than 20 tyres, a complete sign from a pay and display car park, a street sign, several pushchairs, a pram, and various barriers and road works signs from the canal.
To find out what branch activities and working parties are going on in your area have a look at IWA's events calendar. By volunteering for these clean up events you can make a big difference to your local waterway. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays (Direct Bookings Only)
Blackwater Boats, Essex CO4 5HF - 10% discount off boat trips
CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
Canal Boat Magazine - 5 issues for £5.00
City Centre Cruises - 10% discount for Sunday lunch cruises
Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
Jenny Wren, London NW1 8QS - 10% discount off cruises
Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount off hire price of Willow
Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd- 10% discount on published prices
Bounty Pub, Bourne End SL8 5RG - 10% discount off food
Clifford Arms, Staffordshire ST18 0SR - 10% discount off food
Fingerpost Pub & Restaurant, Pelsall WS3 5AU - 10% discount off food
Kings Lock Tearooms, Leicester LE2 8LT - 10% discount off food
Waterside Inn Leamington Spa, CV31 3JZ - 15% discount on food from main menu
Ring 'O Bells Pub, Marple SK6 7AY - 10% discount off food
Three Locks Pub, Soulbury, Stoke Hammond MK17 9DD - 10% discount off food
Wharf Pub, Bugbrooke NN7 3QB - 10% discount
Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
IceGripper - 20% Discount on ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip
Kings Lock Chandlery – 5% discount on purchases excluding all fuels (diesel, gas, coal, wood, etc)
Marine Mega Store Ltd - 15% discount
Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
RoadPro- 5% discount
Solar Technology International- 10% discount on PV Logic Narrow Boat Kits & Foldup Panels
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
Zead - Free Postage & Accessories
Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
Forge Studio - 10% discount
Harbour Clean - 10% discount
I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
Lee Sanitation - 10% on orders over £100
Paper Wizard - 15% discount
River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on selected training
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
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
It is so easy to do your shopping via easyfundraising. Every time you do, a percentage will be donated to IWA and it will cost you absolutely nothing extra.
There are over 3,100 shops and sites for you to browse and buy through on the easyfundraising site. Usually the thing that stops people raising money in this way for their favourite charity is that they simply forget. Since we launched IWA onto easyfundraising we have raised over £1000 so it is a brilliant way to support IWA. Find out more about easyfundraising.
How to remind yourself to raise money for IWA via easyfundraising:
By using the app, the reminder toolbar or shopping through the easyfundraising site, you can help IWA raise hundreds and hopefully thousands of pounds.
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453