PRESS RELEASE: Waterway Recovery Group to Buy New Excavator

Issue date: 30th January 2014

The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) plans to purchase a new excavator in 2014.

WRG intends that the new 2.5 tonne excavator will play a key role in assisting its volunteers with waterway restoration work as well as allowing other waterway societies to undertake projects without the costs involved in commercial plant hire. To enable the excavator to be easily transported around the country WRG also plans to buy a new trailer. WRG aims to use the excavator to train the next generation of waterway navvies in the operation of a technical, but essential, piece of equipment.

In December 2013, WRG’s old JCB excavator Blue was donated to Buckingham Canal Society, after 17 years of service to the waterway restoration movement. Although Blue was still going strong, it began to show signs of age and WRG decided that the excavator’s days of travelling around the country to different work sites should come to an end and that a replacement was required.

The new excavator, a trailer and other essential operational accessories (including a quick release hitch, buckets and vandal guards) are likely to cost around £30,000. The majority of this cost can be met by generous legacies already received from supporters but some further funding is needed and plans are in hand to raise this with a range of fundraising activities during 2014.

Mike Palmer, WRG Chairman, said “We were all very sad to see Blue go after so many years of service but our volunteers give their time freely and they deserve kit that is reliable and effective. It is time to find a new, modern excavator that will make waterway restoration work all the more efficient. Additionally the new model will be far more environmentally friendly with a low emission engine and use the latest eco oils. After Blue’s huge contribution to waterway restoration on many sites, the new excavator is expected to continue to make a difference all across the network for years to come”.


Notes for editors

Waterway Recovery Group
had its origins in waterways restoration working during the 1960s, but formally came into being in 1970.  The aim was to be the coordinating force, not centred upon any individual project but backing up and assisting local groups on any worthwhile restoration project.  Since then considerable knowledge and experience of restorations methods have been built up.  Waterway Recovery Group is now a part of The Inland Waterways Association and at present WRG owns a fleet of vans, and a range of plant including dumpers, pumps, mixers, winches, and other sundry equipment.

WRG activities are funded by IWA, donations and legacies.

Volunteering with WRG is a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). WRG offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying; stone walling; machine operation and restoration techniques! Each week costs £56 which includes food and accommodation. WRG has launched its 2014 Canal Camps – for more details go to the WRG website

About IWA – notes for editors

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IWA campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain's inland waterways.
About IWA
Volunteers restoring the waterways. The Waterway Recovery Group is part of IWA.
About WRG