By the time the General Election took place on 7th May, pledges of support for IWA’s Manifesto were approaching three hundred names.
Support for IWA’s Manifesto came from parliamentary candidates from all the main parties across the length and breadth of Britain. The number of pledges had more than doubled in the final two weeks leading up to the General Election, as members across the country embraced the campaign by contacting their local candidates.
Among the candidates pledging their support were two former Waterway Ministers, three former Secretaries of State, and the leader of one of the main parties.
The IWA Manifesto identified five key points that the Association was asking future Members of Parliament to support should they be successfully elected. The five points are protecting waterways heritage, building a relationship with waterway groups, joining the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways, supporting the transfer of navigations currently managed by the Environment Agency to Canal & River Trust and supporting the provision of new affordable off-line moorings.
Thank you to IWA branch committee members and many individual members around the country who took the opportunity to contact candidates and talk to them in person, often at waterway locations or on board boats. Pledges of support were received from well over half of all the parliamentary constituencies with navigable waterways in England & Wales.
Of the 289 candidates who signed up to the IWA Manifesto, 39 have now been elected as Members of Parliament, and IWA is now making arrangements to meet these and all other new MPs with navigable waterways in their constituencies. These MPs will be invited to a Reception at the House of Commons later in the summer, where they will have the opportunity to discuss waterway issues with IWA representatives. The five key points from the IWA Manifesto will be discussed in more detail, and the MPs will all be encouraged to join the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways.
Photo: Little Gem in the Pool at Little Venice (photo by Hannah Rankin)
Crowds flocked to the junction of the Grand Union and Regent's canals at Little Venice over the early May Bank Holiday, 2nd-4th May, to enjoy the sun and spectacle of IWA's annual Canalway Cavalcade. The excitment of the event was highlighted by the birth of the Royal Baby just down the road at St Mary's Hospital on Saturday morning. Cavalcade was attended by 147 boats from across the waterway network in addition to the many visitors on the towpath.
The event was opened on Saturday afternoon by Councillor Audrey Lewis, Lord Mayor of Westminster, who praised IWA volunteers for organising the festival for the 33rd year. The opening ceremony also featured speeches from Les Etheridge, National Chairman of IWA, who welcomed visitors and thanked all the volunteers who had planned, organised and staffed the event and Richard Parry, Chief Executive of Canal & River Trust. Libby Bradshaw, Event Manager, also took the opportunity to thank British Land, who had supported all the waterborne events at the Festival.
There was plenty on offer for visitors to enjoy including stalls and colourful boats lining the towpath. A number of the visiting boats took part in the Canalway Cavalcade pageant, themed Canals in Bloom, on Saturday and the procession of illuminated boats on Sunday evening, both of which were a thoroughly enjoyed by everyone at the Festival.
In addition to plenty of entertainment and food there was once again a number of trophies for boaters to compete for at Canalway Cavalcade. A full list of winners is available at IWA's website.
A memorial service for Sonia Rolt was held on 14th May 2015 in The Chapel of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, St Paul's Cathedral. A large turnout celebrated Sonia’s life and recognised her wide range of heritage interests including IWA. Sonia was an IWA Vice President who was very active in the early days of the fight to save the inland waterways. Addresses included one given by Robin Evans former Chief Executive of British Waterways and Canal & River Trust who had originally met Sonia through his work for the Landmark Trust. Sir Neil Cossons former Chairman of English Heritage also spoke of some very special memories. After the service there was a gathering at Tate Modern. Sonia was a special lady and the waterways and heritage movements enjoyed the opportunity to mark her many achievements.
Photo: IWA West Country Branch work party volunteers at Bathpool
IWA West Country Branch has formally adopted a large stretch of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal under Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) volunteer scheme and accepted the certificate from CRT at Bridgwater on 6th May.
IWA West Country Branch has held regular work parties along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal for more than year, with volunteers giving over 1000 hours of their time to help maintain and improve the waterway for all users. The volunteers can often be seen out and about completing a variety of tasks from painting and litter picking to bulb planting and hedge laying. The Branch has now taken the steps to adopt three sections of the canal under CRT’s adoption scheme, and looks forward to increasing its efforts to help maintain and improve these particular areas - the planning of potential projects is already underway.
The stretches that the Branch has adopted are Bridgwater Docks and the Canal length from there to Bridge 6 Taunton Road Bridge; the stretch of Canal from Old Taunton Road Bridgwater Bridge 7 to Huntworth Bridge 12; and Bridge 29 near Bathpool to Firepool Lock Taunton, including the adjacent lockside areas.
If you are interested in volunteering with IWA West Country Branch to support its adoption of part of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal, please contact the Branch Volunteers Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Guests at the unveiling of the mural (left to right), Sandie Morton, IWA Northampton Branch; Richard Parry, Canal & River Trust Chief Executive; Francesca, Gayton Primary School; Sam Line, IWA Northampton Branch; Mrs Celia Irwin, Head Teacher, Gayton Primary School; Mrs Marriott; David Blagrove MBE, IWA Vice-President & Mick Butler, IWA Northampton Branch
A mosaic mural to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal on 2nd May 1815 has been unveiled at Gayton Junction.
The mural, funded by IWA Northampton Branch, which adopted the 4¾ mile long Arm two years ago, was designed and created by children from Gayton CofE Primary School with the help of local mosaic artist David Bowers. CRT also provided an accompanying commemorative plaque.
Francesca, aged 9, one of the children who helped make the mural, supported by Richard Parry, CRT Chief Executive, unveiled the artwork.
The ceremony, which also featured a barbecue party and the cutting of a large birthday cake, marked the start of the bicentenary celebrations that will culminate in IWA’s Northampton Festival of Water, which is being held at the bottom of the Arm on the River Nene at Becket’s Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
IWA's annual summer Himalayan Balsam Campaign begins next week, with an Awareness Week from 16th-24th May, when the public will be asked for help to root out the invasive plant.
During Himalayan Balsam Awareness Week, IWA will spread the message about the damage this deceptively pretty but destructive plant can cause to river and canal banks, biodiversity and waterway habitats. Through social media and the Association’s website, IWA will share identification tips, interesting facts and information on how people can help by joining a Himalayan Balsam pull on their local waterway.
IWA volunteers gave over 900 hours to the campaign last year and cleared over ten miles of waterway from the plant. IWA branches are already busy planning pulls so keep an eye on IWA’s website for more information about these events that will run mainly between late May and the end of July.
You can also get involved by helping to raise awareness of Himalayan Balsam next week by following IWA on Facebook and Twitter (@IWA_UK) and sharing our posts and Tweets about the invasive species, keep an eye out for the #RootOut2015 hashtag. You could even Tweet about the plant via your own Twitter accounts using these suggested Tweets:
Get involved with @IWA_UK's #RootOut2015 Himalayan Balsam Campaign & improve your local waterway environment http://buff.ly/1DWalx1
Spot Himalayan Balsam by looking out for its flowers, leaf shape and red stems. Learn more http://buff.ly/1JvQYjA #RootOut2015 @IWA_UK
Himalayan Balsam can negatively impact wildlife, boaters & anglers by damaging waterway banks #RootOut2015 http://buff.ly/1H61YGJ @IWA_UK
IWA has helped Wilts & Berks Canal Trust (WBCT) secure funding for the main contract of the Studley Grange project, which aims to restore 1.25 kilometre section of the Wilts & Berks Canal and create a wildlife trail, with a grant of £4000, to go towards dredging the canal channel. WBCT has also secured £50,000 from Big Lottery/People’s Millions and agreement from the Underwood Trust to co-fund the dredging and the planting of the Wildlife Corridor.
Funding for the remainder of the basic civil engineering has been made possible by a grant to WBCT of just under £350,000 from Viridor Credits Environmental Company through the Landfill Communities Fund. The main works are scheduled to start towards the end of May, subject to final confirmation from Biffa that the site is ready.
WBCT still needs to reach its remaining funding target of £25,000 to complete the Studley Grange project; the amount raised to date is over £9,000.
Information on the Studley Grange project and how to donate to its fund is available at WBCT's website.
IWA has two projects that have successfully made it to the second stage of CRT’s Living Waterways Awards, IWA’s National Himalayan Balsam Campaign and IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch’s Chester Festival 2014. Both projects will now undergo a site visit from assessors in the next two months, to decide whether they will make it on to the Award’s shortlist. Watch out for further information later in the summer to see if the projects are successful.
At the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) Leaders Training Day, several people expressed an interest in doing a First Aid Course. WRG has therefore arranged for Jason Day, of Northern Lights Training, to run a One Day First Aid Course on Saturday 13th June at Staveley Miners Welfare, Chesterfield Canal (over the same weekend as the WRG Training Weekend). The course is open to volunteers from WRG and waterways societies.
If you are interested in attending please contact Jenny Black on 01494 783 453 ext.604 or at email@example.com. Spaces are limited.
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 and are open to applications:
IWA is saddened to report the death of Joy Yeates who passed away in hospital on 28th April after suffering from ill health. Joy had been a long time member and supporter of IWA serving on IWA West Country Branch committee for many years, including as Treasurer until 1995. Joy was always there to support Jean Hall when presenting slide shows and lectures together and they attended many events on behalf of IWA raising funds and awareness via their sales stall. She was also a member of the Bude Canal Society, and later the Bude Canal & Harbour Society.
IWA reported the sad news of the death of Don Evans in its May Bulletin and covered a small part of his involvement in waterways organisations throughout his lifetime. Thanks to the efforts of Don's brother Brian, this obituary has now been extended and looks at Don's contribution to the waterways in greater detail. You can read the full obituary to Don Evans in IWA's May Bulletin.
Photo: CRT dredging treatment site
CRT has opened a pilot dredging treatment site near Coventry as part of its plans to carry out £80m worth of dredging over ten years. With new legislation, the cost of disposing of dredging via landfill has increased dramatically in recent years, and the site should provide a cost efficient place to process dredgings that are not suitable for other uses, such as being spread onto agricultural land or re-profiling eroded canal banks.
It is now illegal to take ‘wet waste’ to landfill, so CRT has decided to explore other avenues of processing dredgings. Because of the nature of the charity’s dredging work, which can result in lots of material being dredged at once, it is difficult and costly to find companies to take the dredgings. At the treatment site, CRT is trialling various methods of drying out the dredgings, which will then be reused or, if they are contaminated, safely taken to landfill.
The site has been set up in partnership with Land & Water and FCC Environment Ltd, and the trial is part of investigating the need for, and viability of, setting up a network of such sites. The first 3,500 tonnes of dredged material was taken to the new site in March (with more arriving throughout the year). CRT plans to monitor how quickly and efficiently the material dries out.
The site includes drying lagoons that drain the wet dredgings. This opens up opportunities for a range of uses for the dredged material including landscaping, capping for landfill sites and use in land restoration. The volume of material should dry down by a third on average, which reduces the amount going in to landfill, and the associated costs.
CRT’s annual national boat count has confirmed that licence evasion rates are below 5% for the sixth year in a row, with 95.4% of boats on the waterways it cares for found to be holding up-to-date licences.
The national boat count also paints a picture of the changing numbers of boats across the country. London, for example, has seen an increase of 291 boats sighted year-on-year, equivalent to more than five boats arriving every week. Nationally the number of boats sighted during the count was up around 3% on 2014.
CRT has invited candidates to apply to its Navigation Advisory Group (Licensing & Mooring). The Group is one of several national advisory groups that provide CRT management with specialist advice and guidance, help to shape policy and plans and guide CRT’s decisions in the areas of their specialisms.
The focus of the Navigation Advisory Group (Licensing & Mooring) is on boat licensing and moorings policies along with their implementation. Members are appointed by CRT’s chief executive and serve for terms of up to three years, which are renewable. Generally members would serve no more than two terms. CRT seeks one new member to join this group as part of an open recruitment process.
The group meets four to five times a year. Matters considered by the group are jointly agreed by the group and the head of customer services, and the group reports regularly to the chief executive on its advice and recommendations.
Suitable candidates for the group would be experienced and credible in the area of leisure boating, particularly residential boating. An appreciation of wider issues as below is desirable:
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 20th May. Further information about the vacancy, including how to apply, is available at CRT’s website.
Despite making progress at many locations along the Lichfield Canal, the Lichfield and Hatherton CanalsTrust is facing yet another major challenge.
Long-delayed plans to extend the Lichfield Bypass are now moving forwards and Staffordshire Highways intends to install a tunnel under the Birmingham Railway line by the end of next year. This is parallel to the crossing that needs to be installed to get the Lichfield Canal to London Road.
It is not possible to include both the road and Canal in a single tunnel and for operational reasons, it is essential that the canal crossing is installed immediately after the road goes through.
The main issues are gaining a railway possession from Network Rail and ensuring site access before the planned housing developments start. The Trust is now faced with a project cost estimated to be in excess of £2.1m and has a short time to raise this.
Cotswold Canals Partnership has launched a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to raise £15 million towards the cost of the restoration of a 4-mile stretch of the Stroudwater Navigation from Stonehouse to Saul. The project would bring Stroud, Stonehouse and the villages to the west such as Eastington and Whitminster within navigable reach of England’s waterway network.
The launch was marked by a ceremony on 14th May at the Westfield canal bridge near Stonehouse. A six-week period of public consultation has now begun with a public exhibition on 30th May at CRT’s Gloucester Docks Offices in Commercial Road. The final application for funding is due to be presented in November.
Image: Foxton Locks visualisation in Foxton Discovery App (image by Holovis)
The new BoilerHouse at Foxton Locks is now open to visitors following a major investment and development of the facilities. The new exhibition space includes interactive digital technology to showcase the history of the Inclined Plane, together with a new ‘Foxton Discovery’ app that virtually recreates and simulates the boat lift.
More information, including how to download the Foxton Discovery app, is available at the Go Leicestershire website.
Lengthman's Cottage on the Stratford-upon- Avon Canal, dating from c1812 and built for the lengthsman who maintained the lock and stretch of canal to the next lock, is hosting a series of events on 16th and 17th May as part of The Landmark Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Lengthman's Cottage is one of the five Landmark sites chosen by Anthony Gormley for LAND, his sculpture installation celebrating Landmark's 50th Anniversary. The sculptures are all in place for one year, starting from 16th May.
More details, including a full programme of events taking place at the Cottage over the 16th and 17th May, is available at The Landmark Trust’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 hard at work at IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s work party on the Macclesfield canal
A bright, sunny and warm April day greeted volunteers meeting on the Macclesfield Canal at Congleton for the regular monthly IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire work party. On this occasion, the volunteers continued the work from February and March work parties to uncover and restore the old ramp leading to the former canal lengthman’s cottage. In addition volunteers also undertook the usual litter pick, although it was encouraging to note that the amount of litter now collected every month seems to have reduced (hopefully evidence that the regular litter picks are prompting people to take their litter home with them).
A length of the ramp has now been uncovered and volunteers have replaced missing stones from the walls that formed the sides of the ramp, as well as laying a base layer of hard core. This is preparation for the installation of wooden edging and fine gravel in the coming months.
The local Town Council has been supportive and plans to provide low maintenance plants to further enhance the banking along this area of towpath between Congleton Station and the Dane Aqueduct. CRT contractors have also relayed an improved towpath surface between the Railway Station and Bridge 76 as part of Congleton Town’s cycle route, making the visitor moorings in that area a much nicer place to stop.
Already there are many positive comments being received from towpath users and local residents with regard to the improvements in the area and IWA, CRT, Congleton Town Council and local residents working together over the coming months aim to build on this for the benefit of all.
Photo: IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch work party team
IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch work volunteers enjoyed a change of location in April and headed over to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Eldonian Village. The group cleared lots of litter from in and around the Canal between Eldonian Village Hall and Stanley Locks, including the removal of a large wheelie skip from the canal behind Robert Lynch House, and weeded and tidied up the towpath.
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 Summer 2015 edition of IWA's Waterways Magazine is now available to read online.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - April 2015
Lee & Stort Branch - Lee & Stort Recorder - Spring 2015
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
South West Region - Sou'Wester - April 2015
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - May 2015
Major IWA events in 2015
30th - 31st May 2015 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Cumbria
29th - 31st August 2015 - Festival of Water, Northampton
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.
16th May Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
19th May Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Swansea Canal (supported by IWA South Wales Branch)
20th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
21st May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
22nd May Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd May Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
26th May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
30th May Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
31st May Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
3rd June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
6th June Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
6th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th June Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
9th June Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northamtpon Branch)
10th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
14th June Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
17th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
18th June Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th June Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
20th June Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
20th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd June Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Aylestone Meadows (supported by IWA Leicestershire Branch)
24th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
25th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
26th June Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th June Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
28th June Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
29th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
17th May Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal, Mile End to Limehouse (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th May Waterside Walk - River Ouse, Linton-on-Ouse (River Foss Society)
3rd June Waterside Walk - Ashby Canal nr Hinckley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
3rd June Waterside Walk - River Foss, Easingwold - Coxwold (River Foss Society)
7th June Waterside Walk - Islington to Mile End (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
13th June Waterside Walk - Shropshire Union Canal and Brewood Countryside (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch)
21st June Waterside Walk - Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
26th-27th June Waterside Walk - River Foss (River Foss Society)
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