IWA Bulletin

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IWA’s Vision for London’s Waterways

IWA’s Vision for London has recently been launched. This is an in-depth report that looks at the complex issues faced by the many different users of the capital’s rivers and canals.

Over recent years, there has been a large increase in the number of boats on London’s waterways and greater demands on the waterways corridor for leisure and commuting purposes. This is putting increasing stress on the infrastructure of London’s historic waterway system, leading to conflicts of interest between stakeholders. We are highlighting many of the areas we believe need action in order to protect everyone’s enjoyment of this important asset and maintain it for future generations. It will be used as a basis for our London Region manifesto for the next few years. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the report, please email londonvision@waterways.org.uk. Alternatively, you can read the London Vision Report online.  

Canal Restoration Conference

Over 40 different restoration societies and 116 individuals came together in Wolverhampton for the seventh annual Canal Restoration Conference jointly hosted by IWA and Canal & River Trust on Saturday, 30 March.

restoration conference 2019

This year’s conference was entitled ‘Relining Your Pockets’ and focused primarily on how to source and secure funding for a restoration project. At the event, IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group chairman, Mike Palmer, launched our Waterways in Progress report, which aims to provide restoration societies with case studies that show the wide-reaching benefits that a canal restoration can bring to a local area.

There were presentations and breakout sessions looking at many of the different areas around securing funding and running a successful restoration project. The day ended with a funding Q&A session, where restoration societies were able to receive specific advice from the funding experts for their individual projects. If you were unable to attend the conference but would like to receive a copy of the presentations, please contact Jenny Morris, IWA Restoration Hub Coordinator (IWA): jenny.morris@waterways.org.uk  

Come along to Canalway Cavalcade


IWA Canalway Cavalcade is being held this coming weekend (4-6 May) at Little Venice, Paddington. Come and see Browning’s Pool transformed by over a hundred colourful boats with bunting flying. You can also enjoy live music, refreshment stands, craft stalls and plenty of family fun at one of the biggest events in the nation’s waterways calendar. There is a packed programme of events both on and off the water including a themed pageant of decorated boats on Saturday; boat handling competitions and an evening procession of illuminated boats on Sunday. There is also a parade of historic and working boats on Bank Holiday Monday. Younger visitors can visit a Teddy Bear’s Picnic or watch a traditional Punch & Judy show in Rembrandt Gardens as well as trying their hand at arts and crafts.

Opening Times:

Saturday 4th May    10 – 6pm
Sunday 5th May       10 – 6pm and 9pm – 10.30pm
Monday 6th May      10 – 5pm

For more details of what’s on, timings, how to get there plus a full listing of food & drink, craft and other stalls, please visit the IWA Canalway Cavalcade pages on the website.

Vote for your Favourite London Waterscapes

At this year’s IWA Canalway Cavalcade, visitors are being asked to vote for their favourite London waterscapes – views that include a river or canal. In the Mayor of London’s new London Plan, specific reference is made to the importance of protecting heritage assets and riverscapes (views that include a river). It focuses on the management of London views and the importance of protecting these views from development. Three iconic London views are listed in the plan – each of these is on the River Thames.

Horse Bridge View One

We believe that there are many other important waterscape views that also deserve protection. Visitors will be able to vote for their favourites from our top four choices and also nominate other waterscapes across London that hold a special place in their hearts. The Horse Bridge at Little Venice, Cumberland Turn on the Regent’s Canal, Three Mills at Bow on the River Lea and the Hampstead Road Locks at Camden Town are the four views that we have chosen as the most iconic in the capital. Do you agree? Come along to IWA Canalway Cavalcade and have your say.

You can also vote online. Voting opens on 4 May.

Parliamentarian of the Year Nominations Now In

On 13 May, we are holding our annual Parliamentarian of the Year event at the Houses of Parliament. This year, we asked Restoration Societies to nominate local MPs who have shown particular support for their waterway restoration projects. These nominations have now been received and a shortlist is being compiled. The winner will be announced at the Parliamentary Reception and a press release will be sent out following the event.

The deadline for this year has now passed, but if you have a supportive MP and would like to nominate them for next year’s event, please do let us know. We will support all nominations with a press release to the local newspaper. Send your nominations to alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk.

We are once again very grateful to Lord German for hosting the event, which will include a number of brief presentations including one from Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and another from Mike Palmer, Chairman of IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, who will be presenting the Waterways in Progress report. This report highlights waterway restoration success stories and shows the real difference it makes having a supportive MP and local council backing your scheme.

#PullSnapStomp Campaign

Launching during Non-Native Invasive Species Week (13-17 May), we are once again running our annual Pull Snap Stomp campaign to help eradicate Himalayan balsam which grows rife along river and canal banks in the summer months.

Himalayan balsam is a non-native, invasive species of plant which causes widespread erosion of river and canal banks, leading to collapsing towpaths, flooding, increased siltation of waterways and other damaging environmental impacts.  Local wildlife can also be affected as the natural biodiversity of the area is reduced as native plants can’t compete with such a fast growing invader. The plant is easily spotted by its reddish-pick stem and pretty pink/purple flowers. It needs to be pulled before it goes to seed to stop the spread for next year.

We would love you to get involved - either by joining an IWA ‘Balsam Bash’ being held by our branches across the UK, or by signing up online and taking five minutes out of your towpath walk to pull up some of the Himalayan balsam growing there.

To find a ‘Balsam Bash’ please visit the Himalayan balsam pages on the website. If you would like to hold your own Balsam Bash, we have materials to support this. Please email: nicola.kiely@waterways.org.uk.

London Moorings for IWA Festival Goers

Over 120 boats will be heading to our 2019 IWA Festival of Water at Waltham Abbey over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Many of these will be travelling through London to get there.
Moorings in London can be busy, but following negotiations with Canal & River Trust, we have secured a number of pre-bookable moorings for Festival-goers.
12 new bookable moorings will be available in central London - three at Rembrandt Gardens, six in Paddington Basin and three at Kings Cross. Bookable moorings aside, it’s usually possible to find a place to moor up for short stays as long as you are flexible about where you stop and don’t mind breasting up.
Find out more about these moorings on our IWA Festival of Water website pages.

8 Tonnes Rubbish Cleared From Grand Union Canal

On 5th and 6th April, IWA Milton Keynes Branch volunteers were joined by volunteers from local businesses to give the waterway through the city a thorough spring clean as part of the national Great British Spring Clean.  On the Friday, the stretch from Fenny Stratford to Giffard Park (6 miles) was tackled; Saturday’s stretch was from Giffard Park to Galleon Wharf, Old Wolverton (4 miles).  The haul weighed around eight tons and finds included an arm from a store mannequin, as well as the usual supermarket trolleys and bikes, a bed, an airbed, several mattresses, garden chairs, traffic cones, timber, a tennis racquet, boots and shoes, and, literally, a kitchen sink.

Across the two days 76 volunteers attended and between them worked for a magnificent 478 hours.  Two participating children each received a Certificate of Merit as a memento.

IWA Member Updates

IWA’s Annual Report and Financial Statements

In accordance with IWA’s Articles of Association and under current Company and Charity law, IWA’s trustees are responsible for approving the Annual Report and Financial Statements, and are required to submit them to Companies House not later than 30th September each year.

Trustees have agreed that the Annual Report and Financial Statements should be made available to members on the website as soon as they are signed off by trustees.  This year, this should either be at the 22nd June or the 10th August trustees meeting.  Members will continue to have the right to request printed copies to be sent by post.

In making this change, members may have sight of the Annual Report and Financial Statements earlier than previously.  Our past practice of asking members to formally approve the Annual Report and Financial Statement at the AGM would now be at odds with the legal requirement to submit accounts by 30th September, unless we brought forward the AGM from its traditional last-Saturday-in-September slot to the middle of summer, which trustees felt would be unpopular with members.

Members will continue to have the opportunity to review and discuss the Annual Report and Financial Statements at the AGM, and to question and hold trustees to account.

New Region Chairman of South West & South Wales Region

Captain Roger Francis CMMar (Retired) has been appointed as Chairman of the IWA’s South West & South Wales Region. Roger lives in North Somerset and is a lifelong inland waterways enthusiast. He owns a narrowboat based on the Mon & Brec and recently served as Chairman of the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals’ Trust.

Career-wise, Roger spent his entire life at sea and latterly served as a Deep Sea Pilot for over 20 years.  He remains active within the maritime community and, in particular within Maritime London and related charitable endeavours.  

Commenting on his new appointment, Roger says, “We have some exciting things going on in the SWSW Region for which we have our tireless volunteers to thank. My focus is on assisting our branches to raise awareness of their activities as well as helping to secure much needed funding and community support.”


Many of the offers below can be claimed simply by using your IWA membership card.  For others, log in or phone the membership team on 01494 783453 for details.

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

Enjoy the Waterways Through Hire Boats and Leisure

ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays (Direct Bookings Only)
Blackwater Boats - 10% discount on boat trips
CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount on holidays
Canal Boat Magazine - 5 issues for £5.00
City Centre Cruises - 10% discount for Sunday lunch cruises in Manchester
Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount on adult beginner 'Stand Up & Paddle' lessons
Jenny Wren- 10% discount off cruises
Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd- 10% discount on published prices

Eating Out

To take advantage of eating out offers you just need to produce a valid IWA membership card.

Kings Lock Tearooms- 10% discount on food
The Clifford Arms Pub - 10% discount on food
The Three Locks Pub - 10% discount on food

Better Value on Boats and Equipment

Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channelglaze Ltd. - 5% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
IceGripper - 20% discount on ICETrekkers Diamond Grip
Kings Lock Chandlery - 5% discount (exclusions apply)
Marine Mega Store Ltd
- 15% discount
Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
RoadPro - 5% discount
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard


Forge Studio - 10% discount
Harbour Clean - 10% 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 1 day RYA SRC VHF Licence Course

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

We have been looking at ways to provide more benefits to the waterways and everyone who uses them, and have extended our insurance offer to help you find the best available cover for your boat, your home and your car.  Every policy purchased or renewed helps IWA, allowing us to further our charitable work for the waterways.

See more information about the IWA insurance schemes for boaters

Free Donations to IWA Every Time you Shop Online

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