Join us for one of our new waterway webinars. We are rolling out a regular programme of speakers for our supporters, to cover topic areas including our campaign successes, waterways heritage, our canal adoption schemes and more. We are committed to continue a programme of activities for our members as much as possible in these challenging times. We have some very good speakers lined up and topics you might be interested in, starting with:
Presented by IWA National Chairman, Paul Rodgers
7th April - 7:30pm
Register now for 'IWA - more relevant than ever'
Presented by Geoff Wood / Mick Butler, IWA Northampton Branch work party organisers
Tuesday 14th April – 7.30pm
Register now for 'One Arm...many heads - transforming the Northampton Arm'
Presented by Alison Smedley, IWA Campaigns & Public Affairs Manager
Tuesday 21st April – 7.30pm
Register now for 'Bringing waterways to the attention of government'
Presented by Maarja Kaaristo, IWA Manchester Branch
Tuesday 28th April – 7.30pm
Register now for 'Changing the face of the Ashton Canal'
Presented by Amy Tillson, IWA Campaigns Officer
Tuesday 5th May – 12.30pm
Register now for 'Protecting our Waterways Heritage'
Find out more about our forthcoming waterway webinars and register your place.
In addition, a number of our branches are moving their public meetings and socials online. Check the IWA calendar for details.
At a meeting held in March by video link, Defra's Navigation Team was keen to hear our input on the likely impact of Covid 19 on waterways across the country.
Our key concerns include boaters' health and access to facilities, people not being able to afford to pay mooring and licence fees, navigation authorities' ability to deal with emergency repairs, and the impact on many waterway businesses, including hire boat companies through having to close down their operations. We are concerned that smaller navigation authorities will be badly affected, as well as the larger ones, particularly with the restrictions coming on top of extensive damage in the recent winter storms.
Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to do what we can to help navigation authorities, waterway businesses and boaters and are currently assisting Defra in identifying the wider issues.
The video meeting covered other ongoing issues such as funding for the publicly owned waterways, the importance of navigation authorities providing sufficient basic facilities and other issues relating to the heritage and restoration of the waterways.
Ahead of the Spring Budget on 11th March, we had already raised concerns with HM Treasury about a possible change concerning red diesel which had been reported in the press. Our letter welcomed Government's aim to reduce carbon emissions but raised concerns that removing all access to red diesel could achieve the opposite of its desired effect and negatively impact on the environment and the economy.
The Budget subsequently confirmed that Government will remove "the entitlement to use red diesel except for agriculture, fish farming, rail and non-commercial heating" from April 2022. We remain concerned that the change could result in adverse environmental and economic impacts through a loss of tourism, employment and trade. We welcome the announcement that boaters will still be entitled to use red diesel for heating and cooking, which was one of the concerns we had raised. Government has said it will explore options for how this will work for boats with only one fuel tank.
We will be taking up an offer from HMT, received immediately after the Budget announcement, to be part of discussions on why other sectors should still be allowed to use red diesel. We will attend these meetings to put the case that removing the subsidy completely would have a detrimental effect on commercial craft including the hire boat trade and waterborne freight traffic which represents a small but important contribution to having less lorries on the road. We are passionate about protecting and restoring the country's 6,500 miles of canals and navigable rivers for the future and know that to do so, we need to make boating more sustainable and affordable, as well as preserving our precious waterways environment and heritage.
The news in the Budget that the Chancellor has committed to at least doubling the funding the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies is welcome news, as IWA also wishes to see more research into alternative forms of propulsion so that more boats can move to using cleaner forms of energy in the future.
We have taken the decision to cancel IWA Canalway Cavalcade on 2nd and 3rd May 2020, but the event will return to London's Little Venice on Saturday 1st May 2021 for the full Early May Bank Holiday weekend. Our Trailboat Festival on the Wey & Arun 23rd – 25th May will not now be going ahead this year.
IWA Festival of Water in Perdiswell Park, Worcester, is currently still due to go ahead over the August bank holiday weekend but is under constant review based on government guidance. Bookings remain open for both boaters and campers and we are currently hoping that the festival can be staged.
We hope we will be able to run our Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camps from July onwards, but this will also be reviewed as the situation develops.
We are saddened to report that we have heard of the death of Dr David Hilling MBE, IWA Vice President and eminent authority on many areas of transport. David was an enthusiastic member of IWA's Inland Shipping Group, including being its chairman for some years and keenly promoted the benefits of transport by water wherever he went. He had a widely respected career in the academic world, and was considered a world authority on ports and inland shipping, publishing many books and papers, and was widely travelled on the strength of this, including lecturing for five years at the University of Ghana. He was appointed an MBE in the 2004 New Year's honours for services to the inland waterways.
We are saddened to report the death of Roger Hasdell on 29th February. As well as being a prominent figure in IWA Northampton Branch for the best part of 50 years, Roger was a volunteer editor of IWA's Waterways magazine from March 1973 to December 1989. He was awarded the Cyril Styring Trophy in 1990.
Buy online and raise money for IWA at no cost to you. It is so easy to do your shopping with thousands of partner sites 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 £1500 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.
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.
Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channelglaze Ltd. - 10% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
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
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
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!