IWA Bulletin July 2013

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IWA Work Parties Other News

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Top Story

The Future of the Environment Agency's Navigations

The announcement of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review during the last week of June brings about an even more challenging climate to progress IWA's aspiration of the Environment Agency's navigations to be transferred to management by Canal & River Trust, as the next step to achieve Aickmans's visionary National Waterways Conservancy.  Most government departments saw cuts to their budgets with the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs having to take a 10% cut. Support for the Environment Agency swallows about one third of Defra's budget, and discretionary spend on areas such as navigation are therefore particularly susceptible to grant cuts. The future for the Agency's navigations is therefore particular bleak if the promised transfer to Canal & River Trust fails to materialise.

On 28th June, Government announced the outcome of its triennial reviews of the Environment Agency and Natural England, and has decided not to merge the two bodies.  The report says, however, that further economies and efficiencies for both bodies are essential.  The Review states that an initial assessment found no need for navigation to remain under the control of a non-departmental public body, such as the Environment Agency, but as the proposed transfer arrangements are being reviewed separately by Defra it looked at the matter no further, but said that further announcements would be made shortly.  The full Review report is available on the Government website

As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review announcements, the Government also announced that English Heritage was to be split into two separate bodies. The part that undertakes regulatory activity and provides advice on historic structures and archaeological matters will remain in public ownership, but under a new name (the current working name is 'National Heritage Protection Service', but something more user-friendly is to be sought).  The part that looks after 420 historic properties is to transferred to the charitable sector under arrangements that appear to be almost identical to Canal & River Trust.  A new charity is to be set up, which will take on the name 'English Heritage' and inherit the current English Heritage's 'membership' arrangements and initially be funded with an £80 million grant over a period - but after that, there is likely to be no more government money. The properties will stay under public ownership, as is the case for the former British Waterways canals and rivers, but management of them will be vested in the new charity. The copying of the Canal & River Trust arrangements for English Heritage may give some indication of Government's view of the success of the new CRT, and therefore its suitability to manage the Environment Agency's navigations too.  There is further information on the English Heritage website.

Key points of IWA's lobby for the Agency's navigations to be transferred to Canal & River Trust are:

  • IWA strongly supported the formation of the Canal and River Trust (CRT) as it opened up new sources of income and provides greater financial flexibility and stability.
  • The financial deal to set up CRT was very good given the financial climate and better than other areas of the public sector. Furthermore it is insulated CRT from further government cuts.
  • The government has indicated that it wishes to see EA navigations transferred to CRT in 2015 subject to affordability and agreement of CRT Trustees. IWA strongly supports such a transfer.
  • EA navigations are heavily dependent upon government subsidy with 65% of income coming from government grant and 35% from boaters. The level of grant is under pressure and may well reduce further. If new income streams are not found boaters will have to pay much more.
  • Inclusion of EA navigations in CRT will provide a more secure future for them and potentially open up new sources of income. This together with the economy of scale could protect the boaters' pocket.

It was as long ago as the mid 1950s that IWA co-founder Robert Aickman argued that the inland waterways should be managed as a conservancy outside of direct government control. This was a time of great decline and waterway closures as the freight role of most waterways disappeared. However Aickman was a visionary and he recognised the leisure potential of the green corridors running across the country. Largely due to IWA campaigns the closure programme was halted by the end of the 1960s and growth in leisure use resulted in a renaissance of our waterways. However most waterways remained under government control and funding was always a hand to mouth affair, for example in the early 1980s Blisworth tunnel had to be closed for over four years as there was not enough money to repair it. More recently breaches on the Brecon & Abergavenny Canal resulted in British Waterways (BW) leaving the Cotswold Canals restoration project. Even before the recent financial crises there was a steady drop in government funding of waterways, but the recent austerity era has not just introduced cuts but has led government to question how much the taxpayer should subsidise leisure pursuits. IWA will continue to argue that some government funding is necessary given the wider benefits waterways bring to communities but the Association realised that a new model was necessary. 

IWA strongly supported the formation of Canal & River Trust (CRT) a year ago. Handing over the former BW waterways to a specially created charity is a first step towards realising the Aickman vision. The lucrative investment property portfolio has been locked into the charity and the 15-year financial settlement with government is generous compared with what has happened elsewhere in the public sector. More importantly it provides a known and secure income from government whilst CRT looks to develop new sources of income. Had BW still been in existence the latest austerity round would have certainly led to more cuts.

Where does this leave the Environment Agency's (EA) navigations? Although they remained outside the formation of CRT the government has made it clear that it wishes them to be transferred in 2015 subject to affordability and the agreement of CRT trustees. IWA strongly supports such a transfer. EA navigations are in a generally good condition resulting from investment over many years; this is particularly true of the Thames but less so in East Anglia. However, the long term sustainability is precarious as they are even more dependent upon government grants than BW was. 65% comes from the taxpayer and only 35% from boaters, even worse there are currently no other sources of significant income. If nothing changes then the inevitable fall off in government grant will have to be met by further cuts in running costs (and hence service standards) together with higher than inflation licence/registration charges. The EA knows that it has to find new sources of income but there are limits of what a government body can achieve. By joining the CRT EA navigations will benefit from economy of scale with a large marketing organisation geared towards raising money including that from the charitable sector. The Thames in particular is a very lucrative waterway corridor where the potential for charitable fundraising is huge. Inclusion of EA navigations in CRT will move much closer to full realisation of the Aickman vision.

The government review of whether to push for a transfer of EA navigations is about to get underway. Money is very tight to enable a dowry that will satisfy the CRT trustees and there may have to be consideration of innovative financial solutions. IWA will give every support and encouragement to government and CRT and it will be a major campaigning activity.

Defra also asked the Environment Agency to look at alternative arrangements for its three ports (Rye Harbour, Dee Conservancy and Lydney Harbour), which would not be transfered to Canal & River Trust, over a year ago.  The first two are understood to be commercially viable and may be sold off, but Lydney Harbour may be transferred to a not-for-profit body for £1 along with a dowry.  Proposals are with the Agency's board for consideration, and are likely to become public knowledge shortly now that the future of the Agency is more settled.  The Agency is still awaiting the outcome of a Harbour Revision Order for the Dee, to modernise its powers, which has been under consideration by Government since 2005.

IWA News

Countdown to National Waterways Festival
It’s less than three weeks to go until the National Waterways Festival opens at Cassiobury Park, Watford. Have you purchased your tickets?  Don’t forget there’s 25% discount for online bookings.  The Festival Team is excited to welcome the wonderful volunteers who will start to arrive today (1st July).  Next week the team will start setting up the site so we are ready on the 19th July to showcase the IWA’s work to the people of Watford and surrounding areas.  If you fancy volunteering then please contact  Ann Myall.  There’s still time left to book exhibition space and craft workshops too. And finally, check out the entertainment programme and plan your weekend at what’s sure to be a great National Festival.

Last Chance to Book Exhibition Space at National Waterways Festival

It’s the last chance to book trading space at the National Festival taking place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st July. The highly populated location of Hertfordshire is the perfect venue for exhibitors to showcase their wares and Festival Organisers expect to draw record crowds.
There is a variety of spaces to choose from starting at just £87 for a market stall to larger areas in the Premier Marquee. Download PDF with more information about exhibition spaceTraders who book before Friday 5th July will receive free advertising in the show guide. Please share this opportunity with your friends, colleagues and family.

London Canal Museum to Showcase Rare Towpath Tractor at IWA's National Festival

The London Canal Museum plans to show one of the UK’s last surviving Towpath Tractors at IWA's National Festival 2013 at Cassiobury Park in Watford, from 19th to 21st July.

Built in 1960 by Wickhams of Ware, Hertfordshire, the Towpath Tractor was used to replace horses on the Lee Navigation and on the Regent's and Grand Union canals in London for approximately 20 years, prior to the decline of commercial canal traffic.

Very few of these mechanical work-horses have survived, so the festival provide a rare opportunity to see a fully-working Towpath Tractor close-up.

At the festival, around 400 boats, many decorated, are expected to line up along the Grand Union Canal. Heritage craft will also feature strongly, with historic working boats on display.  The event is also renowned for its high quality entertainment and there is always something to keep everyone amused.

Find out more about IWA's National Festival 2013.

HS2 - The Waterways View - Progress Update

Thanks to everyone who looked at IWA's HS2 Phase 1 Draft Environmental Statement, and especially to those who emailed their comments. IWA is merging these with comments from the Waterways Working Group Partnership and IWA's Branch Planning Officers who, as ever, have their eyes and ears to the ground and have provided valuable additions. IWA will be responding to the two consultations due on 11th July, and once the response has been ‘signed off’ IWA will put it on the web for you to have a look at. As we have seen in the press recently, HS2 continues to move ahead and everyone needs to continue to engage.

Those of you who are at the National Festival this year, why not pop in to the IWA marquee and have a look at the HS2 Campaign Boards the team has put together? These highlight some of the ‘impact hotspots’ on the phase 1 London - Birmingham - West Coast Main Line (with stubs to Leeds and Manchester) project where the detail is pretty well understood. We have also shown potential impact sites on the Phase 2 (Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester) route outline with some detail around what could happen on the Chesterfield Canal, if Chesterfield Canal Trust and IWA are not successful in engaging with HS2 on practical alternatives. HS2 is a real ‘Jekyll and Hyde’- a big infrastructure project with the potential to create jobs in construction, operation and economic effect, but the ‘dark side’ of impact on people’s homes, the environment and our waterways. IWA is working with your support to ensure the issues around Waterways are understood and addressed, and a better balance between benefits and losses is reached.

For those of you out there who have and are contributing to our work on HS2 a big thank you.

Volunteers in Action – Start of Waterway Recovery Groups Summer Canal Camps
With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, 40 volunteers met up on Saturday to participate in the first of WRG’s summer Canal Camps. WRG runs over 25 week-long working holidays each year to help restore the derelict canals of England and Wales, with around 15 camps running through the summer months. Currently 22 volunteers are spending the week working on the Wey and Arun Canal, helping to create a 1km disabled access footpath and viewing area alongside Cranleigh Waters. Another 18 volunteers are working on the Cotswold Canals assisting the Cotswold Canals Trust with restoration work on Griffin Mill and Ham Mill Locks. During the week volunteers will learn how to bricklay, repair towpaths and construct a temporary dam - all of which will allow further restoration work to be carried out later on in the summer. Next week sees a new set of volunteers restoring the wharf walls of a derelict Pumping Station on the Wendover Arm, Grand Union Canal and another group finishing construction work on Steppingstone Bridge on the Wilts & Berks Canal.
WRG still has a few places left on their summer camps on the Monmouthshire Canal (24th-31st August) and Swansea Canal (31st August – 7th September).
For more details about WRG activities email jenny.black@waterways.org.uk or call 01494 783 453 ext 604

IWA Chester & Merseyside River Mersey Campaign Convoys

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch's River Mersey Campaign Convoys will take place on 7th and 8th July.
The first convoy was held in 1967 as part of the IWA National Rally in Liverpool. Regular convoys started in 2010 with 26 boats and have been building in popularity since.

This year there will be two convoys. There will be 10 narrow boats travelling from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool on Sunday 7th July (weather permitting) and 5 narrow boats travelling from Liverpool to Ellesmere Port on Monday 8th July.
This particular journey can be quite expensive for boaters due to licence fees needed for the Manchester Ship Canal plus a fee for Brunswick Lock, but the Branch has arranged significant discounts thanks to its good relations with Peel Ports and Liverpool Marina.
To make this event a bit different this year, there will be three boats completing double crossings as part of a circular route linking Ellesmere Port, Liverpool and the River Weaver.
The Branch will be joined by the Stephen Goldsbrough Boat Owners Club and Broken Cross Boat Club.

Improvements to Caldon Canal Towpath at Cheddleton

Works to make a popular stretch of Caldon Canal towpath more accessible and user-friendly for the local community are complete and were officially opened by Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s Central Shires waterway partnership, on 27th June.

The Caldon Canal towpath through Cheddleton has been rebuilt to give walkers, cyclists and disabled visitors a clean, green traffic-free route, between two of the area’s most important and popular historic attractions.

The ‘Connecting the Heritage’ project has seen the Canal & River Trust improve 1.2km of towpath linking the Churnet Valley Railway Station and Cheddleton Flint Mill making it easier for people to visit both.

The project has also included the creation of a wheelchair-friendly boat access point at the Flint Mill, specially designed in conjunction with The Beatrice Charity which provides boat trips for those with a need to get afloat, along with the installation of new visitor moorings near to the steam railway station to enable boaters to stop and use the shops, pubs and other facilities, providing a welcome boost to the local economy.

The improvements are the first big community-inspired project to be delivered as part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) which is aimed at protecting, enhancing and celebrating the special landscapes of the Churnet Valley.

The £200,000 project has been part funded by CVLLP with additional funding being provided by Communities Mean Business, the Canal & River Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The project has also benefitted from significant involvement of volunteers from the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch (formerly known as IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch).

The volunteers campaign got underway on 4th March 2007, when a Cheddleton Waterway Community Day was held and the village was invited to come down to the canal for a walk, to enjoy a fun Sunday afternoon out and to say how valuable the canal is to your community.

The event was organised by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch in partnership with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club, the Beatrice Charity and Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust.

West Midlands Region Volunteer Vacancies

IWA West Midlands Region has a vacancy for a magazine editor and a web master.

Following the decision by each branch to issue its own newsletters, the region's magazine, Navigation, has now become an annual review of the Region’s activities.  The magazine will aim to contain more articles of an historical nature on waterways within the region with just a couple of pages providing the notices of the Annual General Meetings and other related matters.

We would welcome interest from any members in the West Midlands Region, who can volunteer two to three hours a month, who are able to both write articles and sub-edit submitted work, with a view of collating and formatting the texts for publication over the Christmas and New Year period.

Whilst each branch in West Midlands Region maintains its own pages on the website, there are also pages for the region that would be enhanced by input from a regional webmaster. The region would welcome interest from any members in the West Midlands Region, who have experience with website editing (using a content management system), or the willingness to learn, to add and update information on the region pages.  Appropriate training on the systems used will be given.

If you are interested in either of these roles please contact Vaughan Welch, West Midlands Region Chairman, at vaughan.welch@waterways.org.uk, by 31st July.

About People

Roy Davenport

We are saddened to report the death, on 16th June, of Roy Davenport.  Roy was the husband of the late Sheila Davenport MBE, who worked tirelessly for the Association for many years supporting the then very small Head Office staff in the 1970s to early 1990s and helping to mastermind the Association’s trading activities.  Roy helped with practical support throughout this time.

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:

Manchester Branch - Manchester Packet - Summer 2013
Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Summer 2013

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:

Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire - Worcester Bar - May 2013
Middlesex Branch - Middlesex Matters - Summer 2013
Peterborough Branch - Hereward - Summer 2013

IWA Work Party Reports

IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch – Himalayan Balsam Work Party - 27th June 2013

The first of a series of four Himalayan Balsam work parties on the Caldon Canal took place on Thursday 27th June, when volunteers from IWA, Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust and the Churnet Valley Railway met at Consall Station in the Churnet Valley.  They were supported by the Canal & River Trust in the form of Volunteer Leader, Stuart Collins, and his aluminium trailable boat.  Among the volunteers were three local high school students.

One team set off in the boat to pull out all the Himalayan Balsam that was growing out of the bank of the canal downstream of Consall Station all the way to Flint Mill Lock, while the rest of the volunteers tackled the Balsam that was growing out of the thin strip of land between the canal and the railway between those two points. The first (upstream) stretch had only small outcrops of Himalayan Balsam, so this was all pulled up and removed from those areas, filling 5 black sacks.  Further downstream the Balsam was so extensive that the volunteers progressed to slashing it.  By the end of the day most of the Himalayan Balsam between Consall Station and Flint Mill Lock had been dealt with, although a return visit later in the summer may be necessary to deal with any that were missed along with the smaller plants lurking beneath the canopy of other plants.  It was noted that the plants were not as well advanced as they were on the first work party last year, at the same time of year, perhaps because of the cold weather in the spring. 

The volunteers all felt rather soggy by the end of the day, as it had started to rain in the afternoon, but all had enjoyed the day and felt it was a worthwhile exercise. 

There are three further Himalayan Balsam work parties in the Churnet Valley this summer, all 10am to 4pm: 

Thursday 11th July – Meet at the western portal of Froghall Tunnel, Foxt Road (B5053), Froghall, Staffordshire to work upstream towards Consall.

Thursday 1st August – Meet at Basford Bridge, Cheddleton to work in both directions.

Sunday 11th August – Meet at Consall Lime Kilns to work upstream.  Nearest parking is at Consall Visitor Centre, Consall Nature Park, Consall Forge, Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire, ST9 0AF. 

For further information on any of these work parties please contact Bob Luscombe, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch Work Party Organiser, on 07710 054848
or bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk.

Rugeley Community Work Party - 23rd June 2013

IWA Lichfield Branch returned to the Brindley Bank area in Rugeley on Sunday 23rd June.  The rain had come down in bucket loads overnight and on the morning, the showers turned into persistent rain that lasted into the afternoon.

Nonetheless, seven hardy souls turned out to cut the grass, do some more work on the historic tramway and remove Himalayan Balsam. Last year the weed had already flowered by the time the branch removed it, and yet there was visibly less of it this year.

IWA Manchester Branch Towpath Taskforce - 22nd June 2013

IWA Manchester Branch carried out a clean up in the Lumb Lane area on the Ashton Canal on the 22nd June. Volunteers carried out vegetation clearance and litter picking opposite the Ashton Packet Company, who provided volunteers with with additional manpower and cups of tea.

Whilst some cleaned up the moss covered coping stones, others concentrated on a leaking drain, litter picking, and vegetation clearance on an overgrown embankment fronted by an attractive stone wall.

Some ten bags of rubbish were carted to a collection point, whilst the cut vegetation was conveniently stacked amongst vegetation further back.

IWA Lee & Stort Branch Work Party - 22nd June 2013

IWA Lee & Stort Branch had a ‘Tidy Up Ware’ day on 2nd June in preparation for the Ware Festival on the first weekend in July. 

The branch was joined by the Cubs and Beavers of the 5th Ware Scout Group.

A good contingent arrived along with their respective leaders, and a few parents. They all worked relentlessly, trimming back the vegetation, pulling up weeds, raking and barrowing the debris, in return for unlimited penguins and orange squash.

Ware towpath is now a lot more spacious and comfortable to walk along.

IWA West Riding Branch - Evening Work Party in Leeds - 14th June 2013

The first of a series of evening work parties organised by IWA West Riding Branch took place on Friday 14th June.  The idea was to encourage people to get a bit of fresh air and exercise after a hard week in the office, whilst doing something worthwhile improving the city's canal-side environment. 

Unfortunately rain meant that the planned re-painting of the mileposts couldn't take place, but litter picking was carried out along the first mile of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and some vegetation clearance took place.  Weeds were removed from cobbles and mooring rings, including the area around Milepost 1.  A plaque on the wall records past work by IWA volunteers who replaced and painted the mileposts in 1997.  Some of the volunteers have subsequently returned to paint the first milepost. 

Further evening work parties in Leeds are planned for Friday 26th July and Friday 9th August.  Contact elaine.scott@waterways.org.uk for further details. 

IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.

Other News

European Regional Development Funds

The UK Government has announced that European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) are to be allocated to Local Enterprise Partnerships areas across the UK for a seven year period through a new decentralised EU Growth Programme. There is a total of 6.2 billion Euros over the seven-year period. Whilst this is a big sum, it is over a long-period and is likely to be competitively sought after by a range of interest all intent on demonstrating the jobs and value it could bring to their area - but there could be some potential funds for waterway projects, including restoration work.  The key to gaining funds will be to make good relations and a good case to the relevant Local Enterprise Partnership.

The government has given a commitment that the Growth Programme Funds will be allocated to Local Enterprise Partnership areas as an important new source of finance to stimulate local growth and jobs. This marks a significant shift from previous European programmes which were substantially centralised with limited local involvement in many key areas. Under this new model, decision-making powers will be transferred from Whitehall to local areas. Local Enterprise Partnerships and local partners will be in charge of these European Funds hence the importance for waterway promoters to forge good relationships with relevant Partnerships.

Further information, including a breakdown of funds allocated to each region is available on the Government website.

Boat Safety Scheme Warning on Portable Gas Equipment
The Boat Safety Scheme has issued a warning to all boaters to minimise the use of portable gas equipment following recent accidents.  The risks of explosion, fire and Carbon Monoxide poisoning are all drawn to attention, when such equipment is used in any confined space – this especially includes inside vessels, but also includes outdoor confined areas, such as in lock chambers.  Most portable gas cylinders leak small amounts of gas when cylinders are changed, so this should never be done indoors under any circumstances.  Further information is available on the Boat Safety Scheme website.

Reedbeds Could Help Revive Polluted River Lea

The rivers in East London’s Lea Valley are among the most polluted in Britain.

The creation of reedbeds along the River Lee Navigation could be a low-cost and attractive part of a solution to the river’s significant pollution problems.

A new independent report commissioned by Thames21 for our Love the Lea campaign, and funded by the Environment Agency, reveals huge potential for reedbeds to boost biodiversity, reduce the effects of pollution and improve the social and amenity value of the lower Lee Catchment.

Find out more on the Thames21 website


Warwick Sensory Garden Opens to the Public

The chairman of Warwick District Council , Cllr Richard Davies, officially opened Saltisford Canal Trust new sensory garden on Wednesday 26th June. Warwick District Council  funded the new garden and site improvements for disabled visitors, with a grant.

The sensory garden is in located within the Trust's community orchard and consists of a series of raised timber beds, themed fragrant planting and new special paving has been laid to make it fully accessible for wheelchair users. The garden is intended to stimulate all the senses with separate beds featuring Colour, Aural, Texture, Scent and Taste.

Lancaster Canal Boat Trips

Lancaster Canal Trust hosted boat trips for local school children on 27th June to help promote the Lancaster Canal.

A coach party of 55 children from Heron Hill School in Kendal, enjoyed trips in the narrow boat ‘Waterwitch’ from Crooklands Bridge landing stage. Lancaster Canal Trust volunteers gave a commentary along the way on the wildlife, beauty, and history of the canal.

Whilst waiting to board Waterwitch the shore part groups took part in nature walks and talks by the Lancaster Canal Trust.

The Lancaster Canal earned its name ‘Black and White’ by carrying coal from Wigan coal fields and Limestone from Kendal quarries.

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Guildford Boat House- 20% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • 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 www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public

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 NarrowBoat 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

Waterway Events

Major IWA Festivals and Boat Rallies

19th - 21st July IWA National Festival - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire 

Other Festivals and Boat Rallies


5th - 7th July  Ware Boat Festival 2013 - Festival of London Waterways
5th - 7th July Guildford Festival Boat Gathering
6th - 7th July Stratford River Festival
6th - 7th July Scarisbrick Marina Festival and Open Weekend
12th - 13th July Evesham Festival
13th - 14th July Cosgrove Canal Festival
20th - 21st July Pershore Town River Festival
20th - 21st July Preston Riversway Festival
27th July Linslade Canal Festival
28th July Audlem Festival of Transport


10th - 11th August Blisworth Canal Festival
24th - 26th August
Outdoor Leisure Show
24th - 26th August North Cheshire Cruising Club Boat Gathering


1st September Angel Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
7th - 8th September Slough Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
6th - 15th September Mayor's River Thames Festival
13th - 15th September Burnley Canal Festival
14th - 15th September Village at War Weekend (Stoke Bruerne)
21st - 22nd September Whitchurch Gathering of Boats
21st - 22nd September Huddlesford Heritage Gathering


6th October Banbury Canal Day

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/Clean-up Events

2nd July Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
4th July Work Party - Three Mills Lock (IWA North & East London Branch)
5th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Staffs & Worcester Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire)
6th - 7th July WRG weekend dig - Oldham (WRG North West)
7th July Work Party - Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
11th July Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
18th July Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th July Work Party - Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
20th July Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
24th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Marsworth (IWA Chiltern Branch)
26th July Work Party - Leeds & Liverpool Canal (IWA West Riding Branch)
27th July Work Party - Salterhebble Locks (IWA West Riding Branch)
27th July Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
28th July Work Party - Bugsworth Basin (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

7th July London Towpath Walk (IWA London Region)
13th July Walk - Lugg Navigation (Friends of the Leominster Canal)
23rd July Towpath Walk - Grand Union Canal, Bletchley (Railway & Canal Historical Society)

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

Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton