IWA Bulletin Mid-November 2013

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Top Story

HS2 Campaign - Phase 2 Consultation

HS2 Phase 2 comprises two further sections of track, beyond those in Phase 1 which proposed a route from London to Birmingham, with a link to the north of Birmingham rejoining the existing West Coast Main Line at Handsacre. This route also proposed two ‘spurs’ to allow future extensions from HS2 to Manchester and Leeds.

The consultation on these two further routes for Phase Two of HS2, connecting the West Midlands with Leeds, Manchester and beyond, was launched on 17th July 2013 and closes on 31st January 2014. This consultation seeks people’s views on the proposed high speed rail route, as well as on the impacts of the proposed line of route.

As part of its work to protect waterways, IWA is planning to submit a response to this consultation and incorporate feedback from members as well as branches and other waterway organisations, to ensure the needs of the waterways and their users are heard in the overall debate.

IWA’s draft response is based on the information currently received, and will be available for comment until 13th December when it will be withdrawn for updating and preparation for submission.

Comments are invited to hs2comments@waterways.org.uk providing corrections, further information, members comments on what is proposed as a consultation response, or members suggestions for comments for IWA to include.

Download IWA's draft response to HS2 Phase 2 Consultation (2.5MB)

If anyone wishes to see the original consultation documents, they can be downloaded from HS2 Ltd’s website.

For more information about HS2, including the Phase 1 consultation visit IWA's HS2 campaign page.


IWA News

WRG Volunteers from Across the Country Descended on Stroud

Over the weekend of 9th/10th November more than 100 Waterway Recovery Group volunteers descended on Stroud to help with the on-going canal restoration work of the Cotswold Canals Trust.  Every year WRG is invited to a different site by a canal trust to hold its annual get-together, for new and regular WRG volunteers. The reunion  provides WRG volunteers with the opportunity to meet up and undertake some major canal restoration work. This year volunteers worked at six sites along the line of the canal,  carrying out an enormous amount of work over the weekend:

  • Vegetation was cleared up and down stream of Hope Mill
  • Griffin Mill Lock was cleared out and landscaping work was started
  • Coping stones were reinstated at Griffin Mill Lock
  • Trees and vegetation were cleared by the WRG Forestry Team at Ryeford Lock and Skew Railway Bridge
  • Vegetation was also cleared around Gough’s Orchard Lock and from the channel below
  • Volunteers also spent time clearing and burning debris in and around Brimscombe Port

Jon Pontefract, Volunteer Manager of the canal project  said ‘Despite the rain and mud, many volunteers achieved a huge amount of work that gave Phase 1A a good clearance, together with the technical work at Griffin Mill Lock and Forestry work at Upper Mills.   It was an enjoyable experience to host so many and to introduce newcomers to the Cotswold Canals.

WRG attracts a wide range of volunteers, of all ages, from across the UK, Europe and occasionally further afield. The Bonfire Bash was no different with volunteers coming from locations such as Grimsby,  Manchester and even Dundee for the weekend!  

See the Bonfire Bash photos.


The Bristol Avon in Bath

Whilst Canal & River Trust is the navigation authority for the Bristol Avon between Hanham Lock and the bottom of Bath Locks, and Bristol City Council is the navigation authority downstream of Hanham Lock, there is no navigation authority for the navigable section of river upstream of where the canal leaves the river, just below the locks, to the head of navigation upstream at Pulteney Weir.  For some time a number of boats have moored on this section of river adjacent to the Rugby Club, but the landowner, Bath & North East Somerset Council, has now given notice to the boat owners to leave the site owing to concerns about sanitation, rubbish left and lack of insurance for some of the boats.  The Council plans to install electric and water facilities and charge for future use of the moorings.  The Council’s action have led to protests from some of the boat owners who have been asked to vacate the moorings, which previously have not attracted charges for use.

The different circumstances of canals, where the land is owned by the navigation authority, and river navigations, where the land both underneath the waterway and both banks may be under different ownerships can be confusing.  To help explain the situation in Bath (and elsewhere), Alan Aldous of IWA Avon and Wilts Branch has prepared an informative briefing.

See location of the mooring site.

IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch Restoration Project Donations

IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch has donated £700 to support local restoration projects.

On Thursday 14th November, cheques were presented by Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman to Brian Macknish of the Thames and Medway Canal Association and Bob Draper of the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust.

The donations were made from the profits generated at the 2013 National Trailboat Festival at Bodiam Castle over the May Bank Holiday. The event, organised by IWA Kent and East Sussex Branch, attracted over 20 boats which cruised up the river from Scots Float near Rye, to Bodiam.


IWA Calendar Competition

IWA launched its annual calendar competition earlier this month and a brilliant selection photos have already been entered. Photos entered can be viewed in the calendar competition group on Flickr.

The closing date for the competition is 31st January 2014, so there's still plenty of time to enter. The winning entrants will have their photographs featured in the IWA's 2015 calendar and will also receive three free copies of it.

Entrants may submit up to 20 photos of UK waterways. Please include a brief description of the waterway location when uploading your photos.

Photos can be submitted by:

Find out more about the calendar competition.


New Volunteer Group Formed to Work on The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Association (BATCA) is a new volunteer group that has been formed to work on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

The canal spans 14 miles through beautiful scenery between the two Somerset towns from where it gets its name and boasts an interesting history as well as diverse wildlife. BATCA has been formed to promote, protect and to raise awareness of this lovely facility and the surrounding area.

The group is supported by both the local Canal & River Trust team and IWA West Country Branch as well as working closely with the Bridgwater & Taunton Volunteers.

BATCA hopes to attract more like minded people interested in volunteering on the Bridgwater & Taunton with a number of roles available, including administrator and fund raiser. For more information contact Mike Slade.


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:

East Midland Region - Aegre - November 2013

Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - Autumn 2013
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Autumn 2013
North Riding Branch - The Northern Navigation News - Autumn/Winter 2013

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

Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - Summer 2013
Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Autumn 2013
Chelmsford Branch - Branch Newsletter - October 2013
South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - November 2013


IWA Work Party Reports

IWA Milton Keynes Branch Adoption Work Party Summer and Autumn Round-up

IWA Milton Keynes Branch recieve adoption certificate 2013
IWA Milton Keynes Branch adopted the Grand Union Canal from Bridge 94 to 96 on 29th August 2012. The main feature of this stretch is Fenny Stratford Lock and its accompanying swing bridge, pump house, sanitary station, refuse depository, motorcycle barrier gate, visitor seats and fencing. It was the first adoption registered in CRT's South East region.  A working party was assembled and members participate as they are able on action days which are co-ordinated, if appropriate, with CRT's volunteer leader. CRT provides materials, life-jackets and other equipment for the work and the nearby branch of Travis Perkins has sponsored supplementary materials.

Work over the period since adoption has been focussed on Fenny Stratford Lock and its environs, which had become run down.  Work completed  during the regular work parties (which does require a watchful eye and on-going maintenance to counter the ravages of weather and boat traffic) includes:

  • Cleaning, preparation and painting of the wood, metal and masonry on the:
    Lock, swing bridge, attendant bollards, lock-side coping stones, pump house doors and windows, bridge plaque, sanitary station door, enclosure fencing for the station and adjacent refuse depository, motorcycle barrier gate, CRT sign frames, towpath side site black and white fencing and gates.
  • Vegetation management, including:
    Weeding the lock area, clearing, replanting and maintaining the associated garden beds and hanging baskets with the generous sponsorship of Dobbies World and clearing overgrown vegetation.
  • Other work, including:
    Posting new notices and working with CRT to improve rubbish collection.
  • The Adoption Work Party has also repainted the Lock Cottage fencing in thanks to the owners who have contributed to the uplift of the area by putting up and maintaining lovely hanging baskets on the cottage.

The next big task that faces the adoption work party is bringing the towpath hedge north of the Pump House up to bridge 94 back under control. This work is being planned in conjunction with CRT, and the plan is to carry out a proper re-laying of the hedge once it has been brought down to the right height.

IWA Lichfield Branch - Decking Preparation and Strimmer Training

A very brave eight volunteers from IWA Lichfield Branch arrived at St Augustine's Firld on the Trent & Mersey Canalon Sunday 27th October, which had the worst weather forecast seen for a long time. As it happened, the only rain the group faced was during the break for tea and cake, so the volunteers managed to complete most of what was set out to do.

The main job of the work party was to clear the decking area again, which had become badly overgrown during the summer, and to start clearing the canal bank.
IWA Lichfield Branch is only at the beginning of what is quite a complicated project.  The next stage will be to replace part of the decking, which is rotten, and begin to sandbag the canal bank.


Sheffield & Tinsley Canal Clean Up

The dates of the clocks going forwards and back by one hour heralds the biannual cleanup on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal, organised by IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch. On 27th October the branch once again had the invaluable help of the Abbeydale Rotary Club and Adsetts Canal Project during the cleanup. As in past years they worked in two directions with one group heading down the Tinsley Lock flight and the other heading towards Sheffield. In all twenty-two people, one baby and one dog took part. From the lock flight they worked on the towpath and non-towpath sides of the canal. There were several places where people had had picnics and fires, and unfortunately at most of these sites people had left their rubbish behind.

Approximately forty-five bags of rubbish were collected, and other items included canvas chairs, yards of fishing line, a television, a fridge and a fishing rod.


IWA Lichfield Branch Work Party - Friday 8th November

Volunteers at Brindley Bank, M Beardsmore
The branch's Friday work party saw a lucky thirteen volunteers working in the Brindley Bank area by the aqueduct on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley.

The footpath from the bottom of the ‘Bloody Steps’ to the aqueduct was finished in quick time, so the team started to fill in behind the piling at the far end of the moorings.

The grass had the last cut of the year, with the footpath from Wolseley Road having the side vegetation strimmed. The steps were cleared of leaves and accumulated moss to make them safer during the winter months.

Meanwhile, work to rebuild the wharf wall continued, although hampered by the persistent rain. The team was joined by a Police Community Support Officer, who advised that reported incidents of anti-social behaviour are well down since IWA started the renovation work, and that some offenders had been caught.  Anyone observing anything untoward on the waterways should call the ‘101’ telephone number to report any incidents.

The branch's volunteers are of all ages, and many wear different ‘volunteering hats’. On this occasion the branch members included volunteers and visitors from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, Stafford Riverway Link, Rugeley Lions, CRT, the Police, and local residents.

Photo courtesy of Margaret Beardsmore.


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

Environment Agency Announces Navigation Charge Increases

The Environment Agency (EA) has announced its Navigation charge increase for 2014-15. It has considered all feedback received from both national and local customer representatives and concluded that as part of its on-going commitment to make EA waterways more financially sustainable, it will increase registration charges for boats by 4.8% next year, in accordance with its existing three-year charging plan. Charges for commercial boats will remain at 2011 levels.

2014-15 is the final year of the three-year charging plan, which applies to all Environment Agency-managed waterways. The plan calculates the increase in the registration charge on a yearly basis by taking the July Consumer Price Index (CPI) and adding 2%. The 2013 July CPI was 2.8% giving an overall increase of 4.8%.

The funding that EA currently receives from Government covers 65% of its national navigation expenditure (75% for the river Thames). This funding will not remain at these levels but reduce in the coming years. EA therefore sees rises in registration fees as necessary to help it continue to deliver the best service it can on the navigations it manages.

The increase is only one of a number of measures being implemented by EA to make the navigations it manages more financially sustainable. EA says it will continue to reduce costs, grow income from existing and new commercial activities, explore new ways to protect the income it is due from all customers and will look to work with more partners and volunteers. EA has said that it will continue to provide a sustainable service that meets customer requirements despite these changes.


Canal & River Trust To Invest an extra £2 million in Waterway Works this Winter

This winter Canal & River Trust (CRT) plans to spend an extra £2 million on the waterways, bringing the total year’s spend on major works, general maintenance and repairs to over £80 million.

CRT has allocated over a quarter of the extra £2 million to spot-dredging across the country, whilst the remaining money is to be spent on bridges, weirs, culverts and cuttings across England and Wales, including:

  • Painting six bridges in London and the South East to extend their lifespan as part of the national bridge painting project. (Estimated cost - £650,000; start date – October 2013)
  • Carrying out works to mitigate water loss and repair the culvert outlet at Arley Weir on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. (Estimated cost - £250,000; planned start date - January 2014)
  • Stabilising a bridge wing wall and replacing 8.5m of canal wash wall at Dicconson's Bridge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. (Estimated cost - £250,000; planned start date – January 2014)
  • A number of repairs to Woodseaves Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal, including targeted rock de-scaling and tree removal, repairs to rock buttresses and supports, and works to the towpath. (Estimated cost - £250,000; planned start date – January 2014)
  • Removing tree roots and re-lining Culvert 88 on the Llangollen Canal. (Estimated cost - £100,000; planned start date – March 2014)

In addition to these works CRT plans to spend up to a further £2 million to control offside vegetation this winter in response to feedback from this autumn’s local user group meetings. 

Sponsored Kayak Trip Raises £12,000

On Tuesday 8th October Justin Hansen and the rest of the Gutless Kayak team completed their sponsored kayak from Skipton to Baltic Wharf, Bristol. Taking thirty-two days Justin and the team kayaked 420 miles and navigated 280 locks to raise money for research into the early detection and treatment of bowel cancer.

So far over £12,000 has been raised with all funds going directly to St Mark’s Hospital charitable foundation. The Gutless Kayak team hope that this will increase to £20,000 now that they have completed the trip.

For more information visit the Gutless Kayak blog.


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
  • ABC 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 Narrow Boat magazine 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 events in 2014

3rd - 5th May 2014 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
24th - 26th May 2014 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Devon
6th - 8th June 2014 - IWA Campaign Festival, Chester

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

16th November Cheshire Locks Project Work Party (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
16th November Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch supporting CRT Towpath Taskforce)
19th November Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
20th November Work Party - Fobney Lock, Kennet & Avon (IWA Guildford & Reading Branch)
21st November Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd November Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch supporting CRT)
24th November Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
24th November
Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
26th November Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton (IWA West Country Branch)

2nd December
Work Party - Hatton Locks (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
7th December Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
7th - 8th December
Weekend Work Party - Chelmer & Blackwater (IWA Chelmsford Branch)
8th December Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
8th December Hedge Planting Work Party - Cheddleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
8th November Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
15th December Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
17th December Cheshire Locks Project Work Party (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th December Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
21st December Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)

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


Upcoming Towpath Walks

17th November River Avon Walk (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th November London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
28th November Waterway Walk (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

1st December London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
8th December London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks 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 Stefanie Preston



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