IWA Bulletin Mid-October 2015

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IWA Looks to Bag Retailer Support for Canal Clean-up

Photo:  IWA Notts & Derby Branch work party volunteers removing plastic from the canal 

Retailers in England are being urged by The Inland Waterways Association to help improve local communities by allocating substantial amounts from a windfall levy on plastic shopping bags towards cleaning up canal and river amenities, which are blighted by plastic and other waste.

Thousands of volunteer hours are spent each year removing tonnes of waste from the country’s inland waterways and IWA is calling on retailers, who from early October have introduced a new five pence charge for disposable plastic shopping bags, to help the environment where many of these bags end up.

In 2014 IWA volunteers dedicated 7,000 hours to canal clean-up work parties across the country, up 45% on 2013, and this year is on course to top that. Along with the exotic finds pulled out are considerable quantities of “the usual suspects”, including supermarket trollies, plastic bags, bottles and other packaging waste.

Les Etheridge, IWA’s chairman, appealed to medium and larger retailers, who will be required to collect the charge from customers under the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015, to use some of this levy to support efforts to enhance the waterways environment.  “The new law allows them to decide what ‘good causes’ they will support with what promises to be substantial sums of money,” he said.  “Donating some of this levy to support IWA’s year-on-year clean-up efforts will deliver long term benefits to marine habitats and, of course, to the communities which surround them.”

IWA campaigns officer Alison Smedley added: “Plastic and packaging waste in particular is terrible for the waterways habitat and for marine life, as well as for the wider enjoyment of the waterways’ millions of annual visitors. These are hugely popular places for leisure and well being, so this levy is a massive opportunity for both retailers and waterways bodies such as ourselves to make a real difference.”

According to government (DEFRA) figures, in 2013 supermarkets gave out over 8 billion single-use carrier bags across the UK – nearly 130 bags per person – equating to about 57,000 tonnes of single use carrier bags in total over the year.

Retailers, members and volunteers keen to support IWA’s charitable work on the waterways can get further information from the Association.

IWA News

IWA’s Himalayan Balsam Campaign is a Winner

Photo: IWA is named as winner in the 2015 Living Waterways Awards Natural Environment category.  Pictured here (left to right) Rob Howes of Fountains, Alison Smedley IWA Campaigns Officer and Simon Thurley CRT Trustee and ceremony host

IWA was named as winner in the 2015 Living Waterways Awards Natural Environment category at a ceremony in London on 8th October.
The judging panel, chaired by Sir Christopher Rodriques CBE, judged IWA’s Himalayan Balsam Awareness and Action Campaign hugely successful in tackling the spread of the highly invasive plant.  The winners and runners-up were determined after a series of visits and assessments, which saw the expert judges drawn from the environmental, engineering, architecture and regeneration sectors, visit all of the shortlisted entries to select the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK.

Himalayan balsam is a non-native plant which has spread across the waterway network, crowding out native plants and reducing biodiversity.  IWA’s pioneering campaign, which has increased in strength in the four years since it began, has been joined by volunteers to undertake a record 25 work parties on 14 different waterways in 2015.  Twelve IWA branches took part in the campaign this year, bringing together over 250 volunteers who cleared 17 miles of towpaths and banks.
To promote and support the campaign, this year IWA held a Himalayan Balsam Awareness Week in May, before the main growth season  featuring a range of educational awareness resources and a step-by-step guide for organising work parties, all available online at IWA’s website.  This resulted in many other organisations, some not directly involved with the waterways, being inspired to join the campaign.  

On receiving the award on behalf of the Association, IWA’s Campaigns Officer, Alison Smedley said "Himalayan balsam affects navigation by increasing dredging requirements and limiting places to moor.  It also inhibits the diversity of native wild flowers and even the fish population, so it is in everybody's interests to control it where we can. This award recognises the effort and dedication of everyone who has taken part and I’d like to thank every volunteer, boater, walker or passer-by who has ever pulled up a bit of Himalayan balsam as a result of IWA’s awareness campaign.”

IWA already has plans to expand the approach for next year’s Himalayan balsam pulling season, by re-seeding with locally appropriate native plants, as well as increasing the number of locations where Himalayan balsam work parties are held.

Pelsall announced as location for the 2016 IWA Festival of Water

Photo: Wyley & Essington Junction with Cannock, Pelsall BCN Rally. Photos by Angela Acott.

IWA’s annual Festival of Water is coming to Pelsall in 2016.  The Festival opens on the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday weekend and will be located at Pelsall Common on the Wyrley and Essington Canal near Walsall.  Boat and campsite bookings are now open.

Each year, the Festival attends a different waterway location to bring focus to the local canals and rivers as well as promote local waterway restoration schemes.  The celebrations in Pelsall will be IWA’s way of encouraging greater activity on and around the underused northern section of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and there will be lots of activities in the lead up to the Festival to ensure maximum impact.  Pelsall has been selected because it’s positioned at the very heart of the waterway network, on an extensive stretch of lock-free canal and hence perfect for waterway activities.  

The IWA Festival of Water at Pelsall will have an array of attractions on and off the water providing a fun day out for all the family. Up to 200 boats, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats, are expected as well as a wealth of smaller craft such as canoes, rowing boats, and stand up paddleboarders   There will also be opportunities for visitors to get afloat on board trip boats and as well as land-based craft stalls there will be plenty of artisans trading from their boats.
Highlights of IWA’s well established Festival of Water include an illuminated boat parade, boat handling competitions and in Pelsall, Birmingham Canal Navigation Society is arranging one of their very popular Explorer Cruises for boaters on their way to the event.

IWA Events Team Chairman John Butler said "I am delighted we are able to bring IWA’s Festival of Water to Pelsall this year.  Pelsall is a beautiful, well located site and is an excellent destination for boaters attending the festival who may wish to get to know the waterways of the Birmingham Canal Navigations better. I have been impressed by the level of enthusiasm for this event in Pelsall and Walsall, and I have no doubt that we can look forward to a weekend to remember."
There will be a market and fundraising stalls and IWA’s Events Team would like to hear from boaters, charities and local groups who are interested in hosting a stall for fundraising for both  their chosen cause and IWA. More information is available at on the Festival of Water pages.

There will be no admission charge for visitors so boaters and traders are encouraged to book early for a very popular and busy event.

Make your IWA Festival of Water 2016 boat or campsite bookings now

Bookings are now open for the IWA Festival of Water in Pelsall.  The festival will take place between 27th-29th August and spaces are now being reserved for both boat moorings and the campsite.  Fill in your application form as soon as possible to save your spot.

Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Campaign

Photo:  The River Parrett at low tide – looking downstream from the Barge Lock entrance to Bridgwater Docks

IWA West Country Branch recently achieved an important milestone in the Association’s campaign to make best use of the proposed tidal barrier to be built at Bridgwater on the River Parrett.

At a combined meeting of the Sedgemoor District Council Scrutiny committees on 5th October, it was agreed that the Council and the Environment Agency should include the regeneration potential of the barrier as part of their work programme and that this should be considered in conjunction with an enhanced stakeholder group, which is to include IWA representation.

IWA’s involvement is important because we have suggested that the tidal barrier should be based on a Thames-style barrier which would include a half-tide barrier option used to enhance existing navigation opportunities on the River Parrett.  The local team have promoted this approach by suggesting:

  • Impounding water above the barrier at a fixed level during the summer so as to revitalise the navigation and leisure use of the river in Bridgwater and beyond;
  • Facilitating the reopening of the link from the River Parrett to Bridgwater Docks (using the Barge lock) and hence to the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal; and
  • Facilitating sea-going craft travelling up the River Parrett to Bridgwater and beyond, normally using a lock to be built in conjunction with the barrier.

To support its suggestions, two separate reports have been prepared by Roy Sutton, IWA Hon. Engineer, the first examining the construction and operation of the proposed tidal barrier and the second considering the level of impoundment needed to achieve navigation under the upstream bridges and to enable use of the Barge Lock.
IWA West Country Branch has had initial discussions with Canal & River Trust regarding the Association’s aspirations for regenerating the Grade II listed Bridgwater Docks, including reopening the Barge Lock, bringing back into use the Bascule Bridge (a significant heritage feature of the Docks) and providing a number of visitor moorings for sea-going craft within the inner basin.  Canal & River Trust currently leases Bridgwater Docks from Somerset County Council, although the lease expires in 2020.
Sedgemoor District Council and the Environment Agency are aiming to complete the tidal barrier in approximately nine years’ time.  The next few years will therefore be critical in determining whether the barrier can be designed to enhance the navigation potential of Bridgwater’s waterways and thus bring additional benefits to the local communities through boating, leisure and tourism.  IWA’s campaigning will be vital in optimising the opportunity that this project offers.

IWA’s Waterways Restoration Raffle Tickets Still on Sale

Over 2500 raffle tickets have been sold and IWA is hoping to sell over 7500 tickets in order to raise at least £15,000  to support waterways restoration causes across the country.

The Association will donate profits from the raffle to all waterways restoration societies which receive at least 25 nominations from ticket buyers.  Purchasers of tickets can choose which project or society they would like to support and the more nominations, the more money that society will receive.

So far, 11 societies have qualified and will benefit from the raffle, but lots more can be included if ticket buyers nominate them.  Buy a ticket and support your favourite restoration society now.

There are 10 prizes to be won in the raffle, including a valuable weeks boating holiday, Crick Festival weekend tickets and a Canal Boat Magazine subscription.  The raffle will be drawn on 31st December.

Tickets are still available:
•    Tickets cost £2 each, with 5 tickets per book.
•    A book of tickets will be included in the Winter issue of Waterways, so look out for your tickets there and return your stubs by 31st December.
If you wish to purchase more than one book you can do so online or by telephone on 01494 783453 ext. 611

For more information on raffle prizes, restoration projects and the terms and conditions see:
the IWA Raffle page or contact the raffle organiser Toby Gomm at toby.gomm@waterways.org.uk or 01494 783453 ext. 611.

In this issue of the Bulletin, we are featuring Stover Canal Trust, one of the restoration groups that will benefit from the raffle.

Stover Canal Trust – a Society that will Benefit from the 2015 IWA Restoration Raffle

Photo: WRG Stover Canal Camp, August 2015

The Stover Canal Trust has for many years been working to restore the line of the long abandoned canal near Newton Abbot. IWA has long supported restoration of the waterways and proceeds from IWA’s Restoration Raffle will further benefit this.

An important feature of the canal, the Graving Dock Lock was a dry dock.  It is situated about half a mile south of the canal terminus at Ventiford basin and restoration work involves the partial dismantling of the huge lock masonry, clearing it of tree roots and repointing. A vital boiler, used in the process of bending wooden boards will be reinstalled into its housing.

Part of the Templer Way footpath already runs along the canal and public access to the lock will now be easier with the completion of a new cycle trail and walkway provided by Devon County Council under its ‘Granite and Gears’ initiative.

Since 1951 the Grade 2 listed Graving Docks have slowly fallen into disrepair, this summer WRG volunteers played a role in the lock chambers journey of revival - dismantling damaged brick work and starting the rebuilding process. Whilst working on the project volunteers discovered the overflow weir and archaeologists on site uncovered coins placed under stones, presumably left there by the Navvies that built the canal.

Grant Funding

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.
IWA provides a list of all the grants currently on its website.  Please visit Available Grants.

This month the following grants have been added and are open to applications:
•    Lord Barnby’s Foundation
•    Leach Fourteenth Trust

A Successful Summer of Canal Restoration with WRG

Photo: Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Camp 2015. Photos by Ralph Mills.

This summer, WRG volunteers have been involved in many restoration projects.  In one, a group of WRG volunteers have spent the year backing Canal and River Trust and Grantham Canal Society to help plan the restoration of Locks 14 and 15 on the Grantham Canal.

This project, being run by the Canal & River Trust and the Grantham Canal Society, was awarded an £830,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and in August, after months of planning, had the go ahead to get out digging and establish what had caused lock 15 to lean inwards.

To repair the lock walls, WRG volunteers dug out the earth behind the wall and exposed the brick buttresses, built to hold the wall up. Those working on the project gained a fascinating insight by getting to see behind the lock chamber wall and discovered that over time the supports and lock walls have moved and crumbled.  The  volunteers now face the task of carefully taking them down so that they can be rebuilt.

 At the end of the summer, WRG turned its attention to the eastern end of the Cotswold Canals. Over 10 days a group of 15 hardy volunteers (with a serious love of mud) spent over 660 hours clearing Inglesham Lock chamber of the silt, glass, rubbish and vegetation that has accumulated since the canal closed in the 1930s. The work enabled IWA’s Honorary Consultant Engineer, Roy Sutton, to carry out a survey of the lock chamber. Now armed with more information, WRG hopes to spend the winter months putting together a restoration plan for the forthcoming years.
Check out WRG’s Summer of Canal Restoration photo album to see what other projects WRG volunteers worked on this summer.

With the summer over, WRG’s Board is already planning for 2016. Canal Societies, trusts and waterway groups have been invited to express an interest in hosting a Canal Camp and WRG is now arranging site visits to see what projects would benefit from a Camp in 2016. It already looks like next year is shaping up to be busy with many big restoration projects being boosted by WRG’s input.

Canal Camp dates and details for 2016 will be available by mid-December. If you would like to receive a brochure please email enquiries@wrg.org.uk with your name and address.

WRG and its volunteers have a hard won reputation in canal restoration, built over 40 years.  As a key part of IWA, WRG is supported with a major proportion of subscription income.

WRG’s Canal Camps often act as a catalyst to a project making significant progress in just one week.  This summer WRG volunteers spent 2399 volunteer days (19,192 volunteer hours) restoring English and Welsh canals.  This was additional to regular volunteers who dedicated their weekends to canal restoration and the hours of planning and paperwork that Canal Camp Leaders undertook to ensure each camp would be a safe, fun, well planned experience.  At each canal camp, WRG attracts a wide range of volunteers and its friendship with REMPART and other European volunteers continues to grow.  This summer, 33 international volunteers from Spain, Italy, Germany and France attended a Canal Camp.  In addition, WRG helped 91 Duke of Edinburgh Award students complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award residential.

Canal camps continue to be a great experience for volunteers and stimulate better restoration activity for waterways projects.

HS2 Phase 1- More Amendments

Government have announced recently the ‘Additional Provisions 3 (AP3)’ which relate mainly to Euston Station and consequential changes.

IWA has studied the changes to the bill, and the Supplementary Environmental Statement and a more complete document can be studied on IWA website.

Based on this document, IWA does not propose to make a response to the Supplementary Environmental Statement, or to petition these changes.

If you have any comments, please get in touch by emailing hs2@waterways.org.uk

Waterway Restoration and Development Survey

Canal restoration trusts and societies are being reminded of the survey currently being carried out to measure waterway restoration and development projects in England and Wales.  In order to enable an accurate picture of the current status of canal restorations nationally, it is vital that all organisations respond, ideally by the end of October.  Any restoration organisation that hasn't received a copy of the questionnaire, please contact Geraint Coles of IWA's Restoration Committee by emailing: geraint.coles@btinternet.com

A downloadable version is also available to read.

 Job Vacancy – Fundraising Officer £19,000

IWA is looking to employ a Fundraising Officer to work alongside its small Head Office team.  The role  includes co-ordinating IWA’s fundraising activities from major appeals and raffles to sponsored walks and other events. This will be key in helping IWA diversify and grow its income.  The role will also involve grant applications, the management of grant funding and assisting in the delivery of projects.

Other duties include the provision of administrative support to our fundraising activities, publicising events, handling enquiries, and promoting our work on social media.

The role may be particularly suitable for someone keen to gain a wide range of fundraising experience or a recent graduate looking to establish a career in the charitable sector.  IWA would be willing to invest time and training for the right candidate.

The position will involve travelling and some out of office hour’s work.

For further details and how to apply, please see our vacancy page.

Volunteers Needed: Variety of roles available

National Awards Officer

Jim Shead has retired as National Awards Officer and the Association is looking for a successor.   The post holder (a voluntary position, appointed by trustees) takes nominations for IWA’s national awards and works with the Awards Panel, to make recommendations to trustees.  As well as managing the recommendations, the Awards Officer makes arrangements for presentation of the awards at the Association’s Annual Membership Meeting,  arranging engraving and delivery of trophies, as well as liaison with awards nominators and recipients, etc. 

If you’re interested in making the most of IWA’s awards, please contact: Jenny Black, Volunteers Co-ordinator at Head Office, for a discussion and/or further details.

Festival Volunteers

Come and join the team of volunteers who organise two of the most successful and best attended inland waterways events in the country.

IWA Canalway Cavalcade, now in its 34th year, is held annually over the three days of the early May Day Bank Holiday in the heart of London at Little Venice.

As the event has grown over recent years we need to strengthen the team and provide for succession planning. We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers for the following:

  • Assistant Administrator *
  • Entertainments Manager* & Assistant
  • Publicity Assistant
  • Site Services Manager* & Assistant
  • Social Networking Assistant
  • Sponsorship Manager*
  • Trade Show Manager* & Assistant
  • Catering Admin*.

If you are interested in any of the roles marked * you would need to come along to around 8 Committee meetings held in London.  The other roles may require occasional attendance at meetings or will be needed just at the event itself 30th April – 2nd May. We do pay modest expenses.

IWA Festival of Water 2016 will be held in Pelsall, near Walsall.  The team are looking for 2 volunteers to fill the following roles:

  • Administrative support
  • Publicity Manager

For more information about the roles at IWA Canalway Cavalcade and a job description please contact:  Jerry Sanders, Commercial Director.  Email: exhibition@waterways.org.uk or telephone: 07788 204442

For more information about the roles at IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall please contact: John Butler, Events Committee Chairman.  Email: jmbutler@live.co.uk

Cheshire Ring work party volunteers

IWA Branches around the Cheshire Ring are looking for volunteers to help with a series of work parties to install new and replacement mooring rings.  There will be several teams working around the ring, and volunteers are needed to join the teams to work on the Macclesfield Canal and two sections of the Trent & Mersey Canal (Kidsgrove to Wheelock and Middlewich to Preston Brook).  Volunteers should ideally have some experience of practical work, although full training will be given for any equipment to be used.  A project leader is also required for the Kidsgrove to Wheelock section.  Work party dates will be flexible based on the availability of the volunteers. 

For more information or to get involved please contact: Alison Smedley, IWA Campaigns Officer.  Email: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

About People

Alan Aldous Retires from River Avon Users

Following a long and valued service, Alan Aldous has stepped down from chairing the River Avon Users Group.
Alan, who is an IWA committee member for Avon & Wilts Branch, joined the group as the IWA representative in February 1981.  He took over as chairman in 1984, which he has occupied ever since.

Illtyd Harrington

IWA is saddened to report the death, on 1st October, of IWA Vice President Illtyd Harrington.  Best known as a charismatic councillor and former chairman of the old Greater London Council, he was a keen waterways supporter and regular attendee at IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade.  Illtyd was well connected within the Labour parliamentary party, and was appointed as deputy chairman of the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council by Transport Minister Barbara Castle following the 1968 Transport Act. He later served on the board of British Waterways.

Harry Arnold of IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Waterway Images commented further “Illtyd was deputy chairman of IWAAC whilst General Sir Hugh Stockwell was chairman.  Although they were in effect ‘the opposite ends of the political spectrum’ they got on famously and were a great team, both boosting restoration projects at the time, such as the Montgomery, Ashton, etc.  Despite his socialist views Illtyd got on with everyone though and had connections everywhere, such as with Princess Margaret.  Illtyd also went out on at least one work party on the Stratford.”
Please see the following article about "Our man at the helm on the waterways" to find out about Illtyd's contributions to the canal.

A full obituary will appear in the November edition of  IWA’s Waterways magazine.

Other News

Discover Manchester’s Wonderful Waterways

Photo: Deansgate Locks on the Rochdale Canal  (Photo Taken by Mike Poloway/CRT)

A campaign to attract narrowboats back to Manchester has been launched by Canal & River Trust.

Although two of the region’s major waterways, the Rochdale Canal and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, were fully restored just after the Millennium, leisure boaters have been slow to visit the city in large numbers.

Now the trust wants to turn that around by mounting a publicity campaign to tell boaters about the many attractions on offer in the ‘Venice of the North’. With the help of bright new canal signage, improved towpaths and more regular events, the trust hopes to create a new buzz around Manchester’s waterways.

IWA recognises that Manchester has a huge amount to offer visitors. The city is home to a wide array of cultural and sporting attractions.  Tourist information is available on the Visit Manchester website.

To help boaters get the most from a trip to Manchester, Canal & River Trust has produced a new guidance sheet on city centre visitor moorings including detailed information on the best locations in Piccadilly Village (East Manchester) and Castlefield. (Downloadable as a pdf from the Canal & River Trust website)

Mooring Restrictions Tightened Along Non-tidal Thames

The Environment Agency is tightening mooring restrictions at 22 locations along the non-tidal Thames.

The move follows a pilot scheme where legislation designed for car parking was used to regulate short-stay mooring sites owned by the agency. The first included Oxford, above Osney lock and Walton.

Now the civil procedures for enforcement are to be used at more locations from this month.

The sites will include Hurst Park, Walton Towpath, Walton, Gridley and Miskins, Weybridge Towpath, Desborough Island, Egham, Marlow, Goring, Wargrave (Lashbrook Moorings), Eynsham, Abingdon, Sonning, Boveney, Lechlade, and Kingston Wharf.
The agency is also considering extending the restrictions to Stevens Eyot between Teddington and Kingston and to the land between Molesey & Sunbury Locks.

At most locations, boaters are allowed to moor free for up to 24 hours, but face an increasing mooring charge for subsequent days. Skippers face penalty charges and possible court action if the rules are ignored.

Canal Trust bid for award to buy Community Narrowboat

Volunteers devoted to the Lichfield Canal are hoping to push the boat out soon – with the help of an on-line public vote.

Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s application for an award of up to £25,000 from the One Family Foundation has been approved, and if successful the Trust will spend the money on a narrowboat for use by youth groups, schools and other members of the community.

As a mutual owned by its customers, the One Family Foundation aims to improve the wealth, financial security and health of its members, while having a positive impact on them and their communities.

Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust  would be pleased to receive support for this project if you would add your vote and encourage others to add their vote.  Further information can be found  on the One Family Foundation website.

IWA & WRG Work Party Reports

This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group. 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.

Volunteers Make a Difference

Photo:  Volunteers on IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s Uttoxeter Canal work party, remove ivy to reveal an attractive wall

After a successful summer, contributing to IWA’s award winning ‘balsam bashing’, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s Uttoxeter Canal work party on 10th September, turned its attention to other forms of vegetation management. On a very warm sunny day, most of the volunteers worked on what appeared to be a hedge of ivy forming the front boundary to Crumpwood Cottage. In reality the ivy was completely obscuring an attractive wall, built of coursed stone blocks and finished with half-round copings. One of the volunteers continued with the vital task of removing the ivy regrowth from the weir abutment. While posing for a photograph showing the result of their hard labours in revealing the wall, one of the team, justifiably proud of everyone’s efforts declared “volunteers can make a real difference”. At the very end of the session one of the volunteers had a quick probe with a spade in the soil in front the steps already visible in the wall, suspecting there could be more steps buried; something solid could be felt but we had run out of time and energy to investigate further.

On 26th September, feeling full of energy, following the success of the previous work party, volunteers decided to do some digging in front of the boundary wall to Crumpwood Cottage. As suspected, two more steps were uncovered as well as an intriguing structure. Possibly too narrow to be a path and made of concrete, so obviously much later than the canal, which opened in 1811, it has been suggested it could be part of one of the previous incarnations of footbridge over the river. The group then moved down to Bridge 70 and spent the afternoon continuing to remove regrowth from the many tree stumps along the line of the canal. In addition, one of the volunteers slashed the weeds to tidy the immediate area around the bridge itself.

Piazza Cleared of Weeds

Photo:  Some of the volunteers at IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch’s recent work party

With great weather and working in partnership with Eldonian Housing Association, IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch volunteers, managed to clear all the weeds and overgrowing debris from the Leeds & Liverpool terminus basin piazza.

After a lot of hard work, the piazza is now looking very smart.

Attending the work party were nine volunteers, who put in a put in a total of 48 hrs work.

Work Boat Fills Up

Photo:  IWA Notts & Derby Branch fills a work boat with scrap pulled from the Nottingham Canal (Photo taken by Archie Roberts)

After a last minute change of plan, due to an inadvertent clash with the Robin Hood Marathon event in Nottingham, a cohort of volunteers from IWA Notts & Derby Branch assembled at Beeston Lock on the Nottingham Canal on 27th September to clean up the canal.  Despite the initial challenges of fog, 20 volunteers set off along the canal in various teams litter picking, grappling the canal bed or on the work boat, offside litter picking and collecting any scrap and detritus pulled out.

The sun soon broke through and the length from Beeston down into the city centre, about two miles, received intensive attention.  Volunteers filled the work boat with scrap, which was despatched for unloading at CRT’s Trent Lane depot before returning to the fray for another load.  Following much work, everyone gathered around the work boat by Chain Lane Bridge for a lunch time break.  As part of the planning of the event, Morrison’s supermarket very kindly offered to donate sandwiches and when lunch time came, not just sandwiches but lots of varied sandwiches, pasties, scotch eggs, crisps, shortbread, gingerbread and fruits awaited and were much appreciated.

Once lunch was finished, the group returned to the canal and a successful afternoon clean up ensued.  Overall, the clean up left the tow path and offside clear of litter from Beeston through to Trent Lane depot in the city centre with a large amount of scrap (a work boat and a half) pulled from the canal.  There were shopping trollies, steel fencing, road signs, tyres, mattresses, over twenty push bikes, as well as a motorbike, amongst the haul.  A tremendous day’s work.

‘Usk Valley’ Proves an Asset in Rubbish Removal from the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

At the beginning of October, seven IWA West Country Branch volunteers collected the CRT work boat 'Usk Valley' from Bathpool Moorings and moved her to Bridgwater Docks, removing debris from the canal as the journey progressed.  By October 3rd, she was ready for volunteers to use in conjunction with the branch’s next two planned work parties.

'Usk Valley' was a great asset in the removal of a large amount of debris from the half mile section of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal from Newton lock to Bridge 5, working a total of 43 hours.

The items removed by volunteers are too numerous to mention, however they included: a shopping trolley, two car parcel shelves, car components, two bicycles with the tyres still fully inflated on one of these, two children's scooters, skateboards, large plastic and oil cloth sheets, many clothing items, a mobile phone, five yellow police no waiting cones, as well as countless drinks cans and plastic bottles and eight black sacks of various items.

Percy Pig Supports Annual Manchester Clean Up

The annual Manchester Clean up, organised by IWA Manchester Branch in partnership with Canal & River Trust, took place over the weekend of 10th and 11th October.  At this successful event, a wide variety of work was carried out, including rubbish being pulled out of the canal, litter picking, vegetation clearance and painting.
Based around Lock 69 and Lock 70 of the Ashton Canal in Newton Heath, by the end of the weekend 40 bags of rubbish had been collected, towpath and lockside cobbles had been weeded, and Lock 69 had been painted.  Vegetation was also cut right back along a path giving access to the canal and the fence that had been invisible through the undergrowth was then given a coat of paint.
Over 30 people took part in the weekend, including staff from Marks & Spencer, supported by Percy Pig.  

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.

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:
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Autumn 2015

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2015

30th April - 2nd May 2016 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
27th August - 29th August 2016 - IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall

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/Cleanup Events

17th October Work Party - Greater Manchester (Supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
21st October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd October Work Party - Congleton  (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
24th October Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
25th October Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
27th October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (Supported by IWA N. Staffs & S. Cheshire Branch)
28th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
31st October Work Party – Chester (Supported by IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

4th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th November Work Party - Burslem (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
8th November Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
10th November Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
11th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th November Work Party -Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (Supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcs Branch)
12th November Work Party -Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
18th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th November Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
20th November Work Party - Mossley Bridge, Rugeley (Supported by IWA Lichfield Branch)
21st November Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
21st November Work Party - Greater Manchester (Supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
24th November Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (Supported by IWA N.Staffs & S.Cheshire Branch)
25th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th November Work Party - Congleton  (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
28th November Work Party – Chester (Supported by IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th November Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

18th October Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

1st November Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Back Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
3rd November Waterside Walk - Polesworth & Coventry Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
15th November Waterside Walk - Regent’s Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

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

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Annual subscription for just £15
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount on hire of classic boat Willow
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • The Three Locks Pub, Grand Union Canal nr. Milton Keynes - 10% discount on food
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on 1 day VHF SCR training courses
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • 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

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Katie Thomas


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