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Tuesday 29 May

Today's news from the web

  • Wallbridge canal works claims top national award stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk

    Canal restoration works at Wallbridge in Stroud have won a top national award. The project, which covers Stroud Brewery Bridge, the Canal Visitors Centre, Wallbridge Upper Lock and the Lockkeeper’s Cafe claimed the partnership category of the Waterway Renaissance Awards. Judges praised the works as one of the signature projects of the entire Cotswold canals network at the awards ceremony in Birmingham. Cllr Keith Pearson, Stroud District Council’s outgoing cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This is a huge feather in the cap and puts the Cotswold canals restoration firmly on the map....

  • Canal bridge graffiti put me off town coventrytelegraph.net

    I recently moored my boat on the Oxford Canal for a couple of days at Nuneaton near Bridge Street. I have to admit I was saddened to see so much graffiti on the bridges on the approach to Nuneaton by canal and as I left.A total of 17 bridges in the Nuneaton area were absolutely covered in graffiti. ...

Monday 28 May

Today's news from the web

  • Wilts & Berks Canal appealing for more supporters during National Volunteers week wiltshiretimes.co.uk

    The Wilts and Berks Canal Trust, which is restoring the former waterway from the Kennet and Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames and Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, hopes to recruit more supporters to help with a variety of tasks. Aside from work parties which restore the towpaths, bridges, culverts and wharves, the charity also needs help with fundraising, administration and research....

  • Burnley Canal Festival will bring Weavers’ Triangle to life burnleyexpress.net

    A new Burnley Canal Festival will bring the Weavers’ Triangle to life when dozens of narrowboats descend on September 7th and 8th. The two-day event will culminate in a dazzling “boat glow” event, when scores of barges will illuminate the Straight Mile followed by a huge fireworks display. Emma Bartlet, of the Heritage Lottery-funded Burnley Canal Communities Project, said: “There are so many exciting things happening in and around the canal. “The idea of the project is to get more people interested, engaged and excited about the canal as a major resource for the town. If the festival is a success, funding is in place for an even bigger and better event in 2013....

Thursday 24 May

Waterways Renaissance Awards winners announced

The winners of the 2012 Waterways Renaissance Awards have been announced.
Twenty-nine outstanding projects along canals and rivers in the UK were recognised at a dinner and reception at the ICC in Birmingham. Winners include the Peace Bridge, constructed to unite two once divided communities in Derry~Londonderry, the Granary Wharf in Leeds and the pioneering White Cart Water flood prevention scheme in Glasgow.
The innovative youth volunteering project, Waterways Action Squad won the inaugural Volunteering award. Based across north-west England, the project was the first of its kind to specifically target young people and encourage them to discover, use and care for canals and rivers in the region.
The Droitwich Canals Retoration received a special Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of this landmark restoration and regeneration project.
This is the 10th year of the Waterways Renaissance Awards,and the last to be run by The Waterways Trust, which merges into the Canal and River Trust shortly. The Awards will continue, but will be organised by the CRT from next year.  This year's awards are sponsored by CPC Civils, Galliford Try, Hyder Consulting and May Gurney 
Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive, explains: “This is the tenth year of the Waterway Renaissance Awards and it is truly inspiring to see that, even in these very challenging economic times, people and organisations  are continuing to work together to realise the benefits of our canals and rivers for communities across the UK. All projects mentioned should be justifiably proud of all that they have achieved.”
The full list of 2012 winners and runners-up: 
Outstanding Achievement Award: 
Droitwich Canals Restoration
Area-based Regeneration
Winner: Granary Wharf, Leeds
Winner: Canals for the Community, Stoke on Trent
Runner-up: Ladywell Fields, Lewisham
Commended: Dewsbury Waterways
Commended: Revitalisation of the Monkland Canal, Glasgow
Design & Construction
Winner: The Peace Bridge, Derry/Londonderry
Runner-up: A11 Bow Riverside
Commended: Dutton Upper Horse Bridge, Cheshire
Commended: Granary Wharf, Leeds
Education & Learning
Winner: Lagan Legacy, Belfast
Runner-up: Beauchamp Lodge’s On the Waterfront
Commended: Waterways Action Squad
Flood Risk Management
Winner: White Cart Flood Prevention Scheme, Glasgow
Runner-up: Tregaron Flood Alleviation Scheme
Historic Environment
Winner: Heritage Boatyard & Restoration of Mendip, National Waterways Museum
Runner-up: Bath Bridges & Chimney Restoration
Commended: Cefn Flight of 14 Locks – Education through restoration
Winner: A11 Bow Riverside Footbridge & Walkway
Commended: Kings Cross Central Canal Fund Masterplan
Natural Environment
Winner: Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail
Runner-up: Beam Parklands
Winner: Wallbridge Project, Cotswold Canals
Runner-up: Leeds Waterfront Festival  
Commended: Long Preston Deeps                                         
Commended: Tregaron Flood Alleviation Scheme
Commended: River Nene Infrastructure Improvement 
Recreation & Tourism
Winner: Leeds Waterfront Festival                         
Strategy & Masterplanning
Winner: Edinburgh Union Canal Strategy
Runner-up: Bedford Waterspace Study                
Commended: Spalding Waterspace Study           
Commended: Kings Cross Central Canal Fund Masterplan
Winner: Waterways Action Squad                           
Runner-up: Avon Vale, Kennet & Avon Canal
Commended: Langley Mill Swingbridge, Nottinghamshire

Andrew Denny  | 10.15am | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • New community to expand to fund Ratho canal basin plan scotsman.com

    A NEW village on the outskirts of Edinburgh is set to be expanded to pave the way for the construction of a new canal basin. The Moorings in Ratho will be increased in size to fund the development of the tree-lined docking area at the basin of the Union Canal. Cala Homes has already constructed half of the 100 homes planned for the upmarket development, which has a completion date of 2014. The Edinburgh-based housing giant had intended to fund the completion of the marina area with the sale of an 84-bed care home site. However, despite being on the market since September 2010 the site remains unsold and the firm will instead build 14 new luxury homes to generate the funds required to allow the basin to be completed....

Wednesday 23 May

BW wins case against ‘continuous moorers’

British Waterways believes it can finally crack down more strictly on those who abuse continuous cruising rules, after gaining a judgment in its favour in the High Court.  

Nick Brown, legal officer of the National Bargee Travellers Association, had applied for a judicial review of BW’s new ‘Guidance for boaters without a home mooring’. This was issued last year after their previous ‘Mooring guidance for continuous cruisers’ was criticised by a judge in an earlier case.  

Nick Brown had argued that even the new guidance was contrary to waterways law and was in breach of the Human Rights Act and Equality Act.

However, in the High Court on 9th May, Mr Justice Eder turned down his application, saying that ‘it does not give rise to any properly arguable basis for judicial review.’ 

The judge decided that British Waterways' new rules are now consistent with the British Waterways Act 1995, and that it was ‘misconceived’ that the guidance represents a breach of the Human Rights Act or Equality Act. 

Nick Brown is now faced with paying BW’s costs, estimated at £15,000.

“Revisions to ‘Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers’ were made in 2011 following the earlier judgement in the BW v Davies case”, said  a BW spokesman. “We had consulted with a user group of representatives from national boating organisations – including Mr Brown – on revisions to the guidelines in light of the judgement. 

“The refined and updated guidelines are now called ‘Guidance for Boaters without a Home Mooring’.”

Andrew Denny  | 4.58pm | add a comment

BW develops Big Lottery funding application for Midlands recycling schemes

British Waterways says it is developing a Big Lottery funding application for £1 million to encourage and develop new recycling schemes on the waterways. 

The application is being made in conjunction with the Waterways Trust, the IWA, Groundwork West Midlands and some marinas in the Central Shires waterway region.

In preparation for the application BW wants feedback from canal users about their current levels of recycling. They have developed a 'quick on-line questionnaire' which they would like as many boaters as possible to fill in by Sunday 10th June 2012.  They say you don't have to be a Midlands boater - you can be a boater in any part of the country. Just so long as you have experienced the problem of trying to dispose of rubbish and have wanted to sort it for recycling. 

You can find the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/YPFBDMC

If you wanted to get more involved with the application on a volunteering level, contact stephen.cook@groundwork.org.uk

Andrew Denny  | 2.43pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Council cash gives Droitwich Canals Trust trip boat 'Pamela May' a makeover droitwichstandard.co.uk

    Droitwich's popular charity trip boat, the Pamela May, has been given a fresh new look thanks in part to a £500 grant from Worcestershire County Council. The boat has been serviced and re-painted at Brookline Narrowboats in Dunhampstead during the winter in preparation for the new canal cruising season. And as a part of the work, the Droitwich Waterways (Pamela May) Trust secured a Community Arts Grant to commission Andy Edwards from the Forge Gallery to come up with classical canal boat art. ...

  • Teen takes over Caen Hill Locks waterways cafe thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    At just 19, Alice O’Brien must be one of the youngest – if not the youngest – entrepreneurs in Wiltshire. Miss O’Brien, from Avon Road, Devizes, took over the Caen Hill Café on the historic flight of locks at Devizes in January and she is delighted at the way it is thriving. She said: “I opened on January 20, probably the worst time of year to take it over, but things have been going really well. “The good weather in March helped and the Easter holidays were really good. Now we just need a nice spell of weather over the summer and we’re fine.”...

  • Wiltshire firefighters spread boat safety message on Kennet & Avon canal thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will be visiting boaters along the Kennet & Avon Canal as part of boat safety week next week. Boat safety advisor Rob Buckland will be travelling along the Wiltshire stretch of the canal between May 31 and June 5 to offer free safety advice and free smoke detectors to people who live, work or are holidaying on the water. He will also be giving advice on the dangers to boat users from carbon monoxide....

  • Fears over future of Lydney Docks thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Fears remain that the future of Lydney Docks could hang in the balance. Speculation has been growing that site, owned by the Environment Agency, could be sold off to a private owner. Bosses from the Government department have refused to be drawn on the rumour, insisting they are looking at every option before making any decision....

  • Non-swimmer non-lifejacketed deckhand drowned when Thames tugboat sank wharf.co.uk

    No-one was nominated to take charge of a towing operation that ended with the death of a tugboat crewman, an accident report has concluded. Deckhand Darren Lacey, 40, was a non-swimmer and was not wearing a life jacket. He was pulled under the water when his tug, the Chiefton, collided with a barge and capsized near Greenwich in August last year....

  • Weed boats launched for Games clean up waterscape.com

    British Waterway has launched two new weed boats that will service London’s waterways during the Olympics and beyond. The new boats have been paid for by a £300,000 grant from the Environment Agency, and are being employed as part of the Big Waterways Clean Up, the ongoing London-wide initiative to clean the canals and rivers. One of the boats is being called 'Wenville', presumably in honour of the Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville. The other is as yet unnamed, so BW is inviting people to send in their suggestions for a name for the weed boat. The winner will be invited to christen the boat at the first volunteer event after the Games, where the name plaque will be unveiled. The name needs to be 10 characters or fewer to fit on the boat. Email suggestions to fran.read@britishwaterways.co.uk ...

Tuesday 22 May

First draft of coming winter stoppages revealed

British Waterways have announced the initial draft of their planned maintenance works for the coming winter season, 2012-13. 

This year’s works programme will be the first in its new guise as the Canal & River Trust, although it is not expected to contain any surprises. Winter cruising enthusiasts should find their needs mostly catered for over Christmas and the New Year, with few long stoppages or ‘double stoppages trapping boaters on short stretches for long periods. 

Long stoppages – in some cases for the entire winter season from early November through to mid-March – are proposed for the Lancaster Canal’s northern Capenwray embankment; on the Huddersfield Narrow in Huddersfield itself; on the Leeds & Liverpool canal near Bingley and near Liverpool; and on the western Trent & Mersey near Middlewich (putting the kibosh on a Christmas Four Counties Ring cruise – sorry!) 

Also mooted for winter-long stoppage is the BCN’s Netherton Tunnel, where they will investigate long-running concerns with the stability of the tunnel – and on the Kennet & Avon, where the entire Caen Hill flight at Devizes will be closed. The Llangattock stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal will also be closed all winter, to investigate continuing problems on that stretch. 

No stoppages are shown for the newly restored East London waterways around the Olympic Park, which should by then be free of national security concerns. Whether this is because of the massive amounts of money and maintenance already invested in this area, or because the waterways will be open to public navigation is not mentioned at this stage. 

But these are only proposals. Boaters are invited to comment on them via the Waterscape website – which is likely to be the Canal & River Trust website by the time the stoppages list is confirmed in September. Visit http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/boating/proposed-stoppage 

The list is available as a 'CSV' for viewing in spreadsheets, or as a 'pick-off list' for selecting the waterways you are interested in. Perhaps more handily, it is also available as regional PDF maps, where the stoppages are shown colour-coded. Yellow stoppages mean before the New Year, blue are for spring stoppages, while the glaring red shows stoppages that will stretch both sides of the new year and will impede navigation for several months.  

BW's draft stoppages for 2012-13 winter season -
available as handy colour-coded maps, or filtered by waterway.

Andrew Denny  | 1.21pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Stover canal restoration gets £44,000 to create footpaths thisissouthdevon.co.uk

    Stover Canal Trust has been given a £44,000 boost days after getting the go-ahead to start work on creating footpaths along parts of the ancient and historically important watercourse. Roger Harding, the man who has been at the helm of the project over the last decade, said: "This is so fantastic — it's another huge step in keeping this important piece of history alive." The cash boost has come from the Landfill Communities Fund, distributed by Ugbrooke Environmental Limited through the Viridor Credits....

  • Rickmansworth canal festival 'an amazing success' watfordobserver.co.uk

    This year's Rickmansworth Canal Festival was "an amazing success that everybody in the community wants to be a part of" said organisers. The event, which took place over two days this weekend, featured a flyover of World War Two aeroplanes as part of the Queen’s 60th Jubilee Battle of Britain Flypast....

  • Money set aside for new £1.5million cycle bridge over River Cam cambridge-news.co.uk

    Plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Cam at Chesterton have moved a step closer after £1.5 million of funding was earmarked. The bridge would go from Fen Road on the north bank to the footpath on the south, and would provide a link to the proposed Chesterton station. The funding has been suggested by Cambridgeshire County Council, and Bob Menzies, its head of infrastructure delivery, said he hoped the bridge could be completed by the time the station opens in 2015. It would also fill a missing gap in the Chisholm Trail route which Cambridge Cycling Campaign has been pushing for. Member Robin Heydon described the progress as “very encouraging”....

  • Plans for £15m Northamptonshire marina and wildlife haven bbc.co.uk

    A new £15m inland marina with 550 berths and a wildlife haven could be built in Northamptonshire. Barby Pool Marina at Onley Park, near Daventry, has been designed by the Kirkland Fraser Moor partnership which was responsible for the Eden project. The 36 hectare (89 acre) site will have half of its land dedicated to wildlife and 4km of new footpaths. Daventry District Council recently received a planning application from J Marine Ltd. ... Dawn Cotton, secretary to Onley Park residents association, said: "This could alter the image of the village which will become known as the village located next to the marina rather than its current status as the village situated next to three prisons." ...

Monday 21 May

BW holds final surplus inventory sale

For some time British Waterways has been gradually selling off much of its existing stock of workboats, contractor plant and associated working equipment. BW has had a policy of wherever possible using contract rental, on the basis that much of the equipment goes unused for long periods, and it is cheaper to rent rather than buy and have to use expensive asset management programmes. 

Now BW is holding what will probably be its last auction sale of surplus equipment under its own name, before it becomes the Canal and River Trust. 

The auction, on online website GoIndustry DoveBid, expires at 1pm on Thursday 23rd May. It includes a range of workboats (both powered and unpowered), assorted contractors plant including Ruston Bucyrus and Priestman tracked excavators, compressor, generator welders, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, strimmers, generators, pumps and a wide range of power hand tools.


Andrew Denny  | 4.06pm | add a comment

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