Photo: Les Etheridge arrives in Liverpool
IWA’s National Chairman Les Etheridge is asking for your support as he gets stuck in to IWA’s fundraising efforts and undertakes the eight-mile sponsored IWAlk this month. Les hopes to raise as much money as possible at this event, which takes place on Sunday 22nd February, to help fund the purchase of four new minibuses for IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).
WRG’s minibuses are showing signs of age after many valuable years of service, and replacements are needed. The minibuses are a vital part of WRG’s operation as they are used to transport tools, equipment and volunteers to waterway restoration sites across the country.
Each minibus costs around £25,000 and, with your help, Les wants to play his part in helping to reach this target.
To sponsor Les online visit his Virgin Money Giving page or send a cheque payable to “The Inland Waterways Association” to Sponsored Walk, IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA.
Find out more about IWA's sponsored walk.
On 13th February, Canal & River Trust (CRT) announced its plans to provide greater clarity to those boaters who have stated that they will ‘continuously cruise’, but then do not move their boat far enough or often enough to meet the Trust’s published ‘Guidance for Boaters without a Home Mooring’.
CRT plans to monitor how far boats with Continuous Cruising licences move over the course of their licence to see if they satisfy the requirements for continuous cruising. On the expiry of their licence, those that have consistently failed to move in accordance with CRT’s Guidance will be refused a new licence unless they take a home mooring.
This new policy is planned to come into force on 1st May 2015. Ahead of the introduction of the new policy CRT plans to write to anyone with a boat registered as not having a home mooring to advise them of the process. In addition CRT has said regular reminders will be sent to all boaters whose limited movement is a cause of concern. For the first few months while boaters are becoming familiar with this policy, CRT has proposed to issue short duration licences to give those boaters concerned a further opportunity to establish an acceptable range of movement.
IWA has consistently supported the concept of genuine continuous cruisers, but equally, IWA has recognised the problems caused by those with a Continuous Cruising licence who do not follow the appropriate navigation guidelines, and has pressed for a resolution to this for a number of years. A lack of consistent enforcement of continuous cruising within the guidelines in the past has caused a number of issues that now need to be addressed.
In light of this, the Association welcomes CRT’s announcement of a new policy to clarify the guidelines for continuous cruisers and to enforce them.
IWA will watch closely to see how this new policy and its enforcement progresses, keen that all action taken is consistent and fair. The Association is pleased that positive action to tackle the problem has been agreed, but recognises it will take time for the solution to be achieved, as this is a complicated matter that is not solely a CRT issue. IWA now looks forward to the restoration, over time, of fair mooring conditions for all boaters.
Photo: River Lock waypoint survey
IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch plans to undertake a project to leave a legacy of the successful IWA National Campaign Festival that was held in Chester in June 2014. The Branch has decided the installation of a tidal river level gauge would be ideal as it could serve both as a reminder of the event and to help craft to navigate safely when travelling to the upper reaches of the River Dee, beyond the weir at Chester.
The Branch has worked with Canal & River Trust (CRT) and L P Archaeology to complete the first stage, the installation of a waypoint on the side of the River lock so that the gauge can be accurately calibrated. The next stage is to manufacture the gauge itself after which the Branch’s work party group, in conjunction with CRT, plans to prepare the lock wall ready for the installation of the gauge and backing board.
Following the success of IWA’s Waterways Restoration Raffle, work has now commenced on the navigation project that was one of the nominated causes. The “Ringing the Ring” project will see mooring sites around the Cheshire Ring improved and augmented. The project will involve three IWA branches (Chester & Merseyside, Manchester and North Staffordshire & South Cheshire) and two navigation authorities (Canal & River Trust and Peel Holdings, the owners of the Bridgewater Canal). The first stage of the project will be to assess the 50 mooring sites that were included as part of an IWA Manchester Branch project in the 1980s, and will replace any missing mooring rings at those sites. The second stage will be the installation of mooring rings at new visitor mooring sites around the ring, at sites to be agreed with Peel Holdings and Canal & River Trust. Surveys of the existing and possible new mooring sites are due to be carried out by branch volunteers over the next few weeks.
It is hoped that the work will be complete by the end of 2016, as a fitting way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Cheshire Ring, which happened in 1976, with the eventual reopening of the Rochdale 9, which had been the missing link following the restoration of the Ashton and the Lower Peak Forest canals and their reopening in 1974.
Anyone wishing to get involved with this project within any of the three branch areas, either with helping with the surveys, getting involved with work parties to install the mooring rings, with suggestions of sponsorship, or to make suggestions for any new mooring locations, is invited to contact Alison Smedley, IWA Campaigns Officer, email@example.com.
Photo: IWA Award Winners 2014 (copyright Waterway Images)
IWA is looking for nominations for its annual National Awards.
Nominations are invited from members, branches and regions and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st March 2015. Nominations should state which award is appropriate and how the nominee's contribution relates to the award criteria.
The names and contact details of the nominator and nominee should also be provided.
The award categories are as follows:
Award nominations will be considered by an Awards Panel nominated by trustees, and recommendations made to trustees for final approval.
Find out more about each award and the winners from previous years.
IWA Peterborough Branch has teamed up with East Anglian Waterways Association as part of Project Hereward. The project aims to secure the restoration of the Forty Foot River, the navigation link between the Middle Level Navigations and the Great Ouse, including Welches Dam Lock which EA closed to navigation in 2006. This would allow boaters to more easily navigate between the UK’s canal network and the Great Ouse system.
More information about the project and the history of these waterways can be found at East Anglian Waterways Association’s Project Hereward website.
Many organisations and charities offer free funding opportunities in the form of grants which can be applied for by going through their specific application process.
To view the list of all the grants currently on the website please visit Available Grants.
This month the following grants have been added to the website:
IWA is saddened to report the death of David Wood on 30th January. David was a long-standing IWA member active with the former London Branch, and later London Region. He was IWA London's Planning officer for many years and the leader of the early IWA London Ring Cruises. As well as being very active in IWA, David was also greatly involved in Thames matters, regularly reporting on Port of London Authority meetings and involved in the Thames Sailing Barge Club; including writing a history of the Club. His interest in writing also saw him produce the book 'Powder Barge', and he was involved in the Society for Sailing Barge Research, of which his wife Elizabeth is the current chairman.
At the end of January the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published its report into the deaths of the mother and daughter from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning on a boat on Lake Windermere. The report reiterates the importance of boaters taking proper steps to protect themselves against CO poisoning.
The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is a key source of information on how to stay safe and avoid CO poisoning. Its aim is for all inland boaters to understand the following points, as this could help reduce the number of CO related deaths on boats. Boaters should recognise:
Photo: Summerhill section of the Canal behind the Boat Inn
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s project to restore the disused Lichfield Canal has received a grant of £336,000 from the Social Investment Business towards work on the Heritage Towpath Trail.
The Trust plans to use the funds to open the section of the Trail from The Boat Inn on Walsall Road to Barracks Lane near Brownhills for the first time since the canal was abandoned in the 1950s. The funds will enable the Trust to purchase two areas of land, construct a new culvert over Crane Brook to replace the one demolished during motorway construction in 2001-3, remove sixty years of natural growth and lay down a public footpath that will connect across the aqueduct.
When the work to restore the Trail is completed it is hoped that the Summerhill section of the Canal will be in water within a relatively short time.
At the beginning of February, the Department for Transport announced a £450,000 grant to upgrade the canal towpath near Skipton. This has been welcomed by Canal & River Trust (CRT), Craven District Council and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
The money will fund a project led by CRT to upgrade a 2.5 mile stretch of the towpath that runs alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Skipton to Bradley. Installation of a new, all-weather hard surface is planned with the work due to start in April and expected to last for about three months.
There is more information at CRT's website.
Canal & River Trust (CRT) has announced that it plans to create a new canoe trail that will be the longest in the UK. The project will see over 10,000 young people from some of England’s most deprived communities help to transform 150 miles of canal for the trail.
The trail will be the longest of its kind in the UK, first launching in Merseyside and over five years stretching to Humberside. 15-24 year olds and their families will be recruited to create social action teams along the length of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation. Each group will have opportunities to help design the trail and then organise and run a year-round programme of activity for their community based on the trail.
CRT has been able to develop the project thanks to a £1.3 million donation from The Desmond Foundation. There is more information at CRT’s website.
Photo: From left - Fran Littlewood & Julie Sharman from CRT, Michael Hughes from Tameside Council, Cllr Chris Paul from Transport for Greater Manchester Committee and Site Manager Matt Maguire
Work to upgrade the towpath along the Ashton Canal as part of Greater Manchester’s Cycle City programme has begun.
The stretch of towpath that runs from Piccadilly Basin in Manchester City Centre to Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne, will be resurfaced with an all-weather path and widened as part of the project. Proposals also include improvements to access points to the Canal for pedestrians and cyclists.
It is expected that towpath improvements will take about twenty-one weeks to complete. While the improvement work is carried out, short stretches of the towpath will be closed and diversions put in operation.
There is more information at Canal & River Trust’s website.
On 10th February the £20million redevelopment of Castle Mill boatyard in Jericho, Oxford was approved. The scheme will create a “piazza” square between St Barnabas Church and the Oxford Canal, bordered by a community centre, boatyard, nursery, restaurant and twenty-two homes. However, members of Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee have attached forty-five conditions to the approval.
Historic Narrow Boat Club (HNBC) has organised an auction of canal antiques. There will be 199 lots including masthead lamps, water cans, tiller arms, tools and some lucky dips.
The auction is planned for Saturday 21st March at the Village Hall, Green Road, Weston, near Stafford, ST18 0JQ. Viewing is from 10am with the auction starting at 1pm. The auction is open to all HNBC members and to guests of HNBC members. Non‐members registering must be guests of members. Bidders may register in advance and should be registered before the start of the auction.
For further information and to download and read the catalogue visit HNBC’s website.
This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). IWA branch reports contain information from their latest work parties where volunteers have worked to help maintain their local canals. WRG reports on its Canal Camps and weekend digs to keep readers up to date with the restoration work the group has been undertaking.
Photo: Volunteers at IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch’s work party (photo by Mike Carter)
Volunteers with IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch completed a good days work on 31st January and managed to clear all the saplings from the offside bank of the Shropshire Union Canal at Cow Lane (Union Terrace). The Branch took on the task having received a request from local residents and businesses who had noticed the area was attracting lots of litter. It is great to see such interest from the local community.
Photo: Volunteers at IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch's work party (photo by Bob Luscombe)
On a cold January day, eight volunteers turned out to support the first Congleton Work Party of 2015 with IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch. The objective of the day was to clear litter that had accumulated over a number of years from a 1.5 mile stretch of the Macclesfield Canal between Congleton Wharf and the Brookhouse Lane Bridge (no. 72). Recent hedge to edge cutting had exposed a considerable amount of litter and the volunteers collected over fifteen bags of rubbish as well as a significant amount of cardboard and polystyrene packing together with a number of furniture items that had been fly tipped over a period of many months. At the end of the day, the entire 1.5 mile length of towpath and adjoining embankment had been cleared.
A few of the volunteers also uncovered an historic ramp that used to run from the towpath up to a canal keepers cottage. The existence of this ramp was originally identified by one of the regular volunteers from historical maps from the beginning of the last century. Having identified and cleared a small section of the ramp, volunteers plan to try and restore the ramp back to its former status over coming months, which would open up a new access point to the canal towpath for all to enjoy.
Photo: Volunteer with IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch pull bike from the Canal at Middleport (photo by Andy Price)
Thick fog and an iced-over canal did not deter people from turning out to clean up the Trent & Mersey Canal through Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday 8th February. The annual Stoke-on-Trent Canal Clean Up this year was centred on Middleport, and was organised by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and supported by Canal & River Trust, Trent & Mersey Canal Society, Burslem Port Trust and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust.
The volunteers worked as far as the Tunstall Bypass Bridge in one direction, and the start of Festival Park in the other direction, a distance of over 2 miles. Twenty-five bags of litter were collected from along the towpath and included a number of curious finds such as forty blue plastic bottle tops without any bottles, a string of sausages and a floating bag of potatoes.
The Canal channel was cleared of submerged rubbish under four bridges, as well as quite a few objects being retrieved from the canal opposite Middleport Pottery, where there is an access point on to the towpath. Unbroken ice on the canal gave a new dimension to even the most experienced of grapplers, with the first few throws of the grappling hook being required to just break through the ice.
Of the various bicycles that were pulled out, Alan Christian of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust hopes that one of them will be able to be recycled for use in his “Blenderbike” project, which will give the public an opportunity to blend their own smoothies using pedal power when the project gets out and about to local events.
Two truck loads of assorted scrap, including car parts, fencing panels, insulation material, a mattress, about five bicycles, fishing wire and a gear box were taken away at the end of the day. Volunteers then enjoyed a well earned warming cup of tea and delicious cake in the Middleport Pottery Café.
On 11th February, IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch held a successful work party. Eleven volunteers, and a well behaved dog, spent just over two hours litter picking about three miles of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal towpath between Falling Sands and Stourport. The team collected over twelve bags of rubbish all destined for the nearby Council refuse depot. Volunteers were keen to get involved and came from as far afield as Malvern and Quinton.
Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch - Worcester Bar - Winter 2014/15
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Winter 2015
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Spring 2015
South Yorkshire & Dukeries - Keels & Cuckoos - March 2015
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - January 2015
Major IWA events in 2015
2nd - 4th May 2015 -
30th - 31st May 2015 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Cumbria
29th - 31st August 2015 - Festival of Water, Northampton
IWA Fundraising Events in 2015
22nd February 2015 - IWAlk, West Midlands
IWA Branch Events in 2015
3rd - 5th July 2015 - Ware Boat Festival, Hertfordshire
4th - 5th July 2015 - Welsh Waterways Festival, Welshpool, Mid-Wales
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.
18th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th February Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
21st February Work Party - Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
25th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th February Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
28th March Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA Bridgwater & Taunton Canal)
28th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
1st March Work Party - Leamington Spa (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
3rd March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
4th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th March Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
12th March Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
14th March Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWa West Country Branch)
18th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th March Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th-23rd March Work Party - Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
21st March Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Hatton (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
24th March Work Party - Burslem Arm (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
25th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th March Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th March Work Party - Erewash Canal (supported by IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
28th March Work Party - Erewash Canal (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
28th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
28th March Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
29th March Work Party - Sheffield & Tinsley Canal (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
1st March Waterside Walk - Regent's Park, River Tyburn, Regent's Canal, Little Venice (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
3rd March Waterside Walk - Fradley Junction (IWA Lichfield Branch)
4th March Waterside Walk - River Foss (River Foss Society)
15th March Waterside Walk - Limehouse, Thames, Docklands (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th March Waterside Walk - Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
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 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
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