Tag Archives: Waterscape

Canal News – Chesterfield Canal Festival

Chesterfield Canal Festival

  The Chesterfield Canal Trust will be holding its Festival at the new Staveley Town Basin near Chesterfield.

Tour the area by boat, vintage bus and steam train, try the minature train ride or have a go on a Segway. Plus, stalls, canal societies, children’s rides, canoeing, a clown, food and a real ale bar.

The entertainment marquee will being putting on music and fun all weekend, with a concert on the Saturday night featuring The Swing Commanders.

Staveley is on the western section of the Chesterfield Canal, which is not connected to the network, so this festival will be mainly for trail boats using the brand new slipway. However, there is a craning pad which the Trust will be using. Time for this facility can be booked.

For further information, or to book a stall or boat, please contact festival@chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk or 01246 477569

With both broad and narrow locks, rare wildlife, and impressive feats of engineering as the canal climbs into Derbyshire, the Chesterfield Canal has much to offer.

Known locally as ‘Cuckoo Dyke’, it runs from Chesterfield, through Worksop, to the River Trent at West Stockwith. The 46-mile canal has 59 narrow locks, six wide locks, and two tunnels – one of which, Norwood, collapsed at the start of the 20th century.

Fortunately, even though commercial traffic was scarce, the lower reaches were saved and have been popular with pleasure boats ever since. Much of the rest of the canal has been restored, and work is underway to once again create a water highway from Chesterfield to the Trent.

Canal News – waterscape.com

Canal News – Events coming soon

Rickmansworth Canal Festival

19 May 2012 – 20 May 2012 Rickmansworth Aquadrome

Frogmoor Lane,  Off Harefield Road,  Rickmansworth,  Hertfordshire.                 WD3 1NB

The trunk route of Britain’s canal network, the picturesque Grand Union links London through the Chilterns with Birmingham via the longest single canal in Britain.

Boating and community festival on the Grand Union Canal at Rickmansworth. With boat gathering, music, entertainment, beer tent, boaters’ tug of war and farm animals.

Volunteers wanted to help organise the festival – for details contact david.montague@btinternet.com. For boat and trader booking forms, visit the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust website.

Crick Boat Show and Waterways Festival

02 June 2012 – 05 June 2012

Crick Marina,  West Haddon Road,  Crick,  Northamptonshire,  NN6 7SQ

The Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal is a quiet canal through rolling hills and beautiful countryside, including the waterway landmark of Foxton Locks and the highest point on the Grand Union.

 Waterways festival with boat trips, live music, children’s entertainment, food and drink stalls, competitions, food demonstrations, evening ghost tours and seminars.

Waterways businesses exhibiting will include boat builders, waterway accessories and services to arts, crafts, holidays and gourmet food specialists.

Moorings and campsite available. For tickets, call 01283 742972 or visit http://www.crickboatshow.com.

For exhibitor queries, contact Ian Sharpe on 01283 742977 or ian.sharpe@wwonline.co.uk. For other queries, contact Rachael Maher on 01283 742962 or r.maher@wwonline.co.uk.


Etruria Jubilee Canals Festival

02 June 2012 – 03 June 2012

Etruria,  Staffordshire,  ST1 4RB

Trent & Mersey Canal –  This cross-country canal through the North Midlands offers excellent views over the Cheshire Plain and impressive engineering feats – including Harecastle Tunnel, the first of its kind.

 The Etruria Jubilee Canals Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Canals on the first weekend of June each year.

This year’s festival will celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee around the waterways at the heart of the Potteries. A Jubilee Flotilla and a giant Jubilee Tea party are among the exciting events planned.

Music and dance will compliment colourful narrowboats moored along the towpaths in Etruria. There will be lots of activities for children and a fantastic day out for all the family is promised.

‘Princess’, the historic beam engine in the Jesse Shirley Bone and Flint Mill will be ‘in steam’. There will be traditional crafts, vintage vehicles, boats galore, entertainments and much more!

Caldon Canal – Could this beautiful canal through Staffordshire be England’s most scenic waterway?


Canal News – April 13th – Waterscape.com

Canal News



Canal cruise and museum experience

12th Apr 2012

Once again Mersey Ferries and the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port are working together to create a special day out for canal and industrial heritage fans.

The venture, which started last year, sees the popular Manchester Ship Canal cruises departing from and arriving at the Museum in July. And it will be even easier than before for Ellesmere Port residents to book onto the cruises since tickets are now on sale at the museum.

National Waterways Museum manager John Inch said: “Last year was a good launch for this new cruise and we’re delighted to be taking this new partnership further by having tickets on sale at the museum. This will make it easy for local people and our regular visitors to take a place on this fascinating trip.”

On Thursday July 12 and Saturday July 14, members of the public will have the chance to visit the museum at a special discount rate to learn all about the history and culture of the North West’s waterways, before boarding the ferry for a trip to Salford Quays. And on Friday July 13 and Sunday July 15 the trip begins at Salford and takes visitors to Ellesmere Port, where they can spend the afternoon at the museum.

And each day the trip finishes with a bus service back to the departure point so visitors can return to their cars. Visitors also get an annual pass to the National Waterways Museum as part of the deal.

Full details of pricing, times and online ticket sales can be found at www.merseryferries.co.uk or by calling 0151 330 1444. Tickets are also available for sale at the National Waterways Museum shop.


Take a walk on the wild side

10th Apr 2012

On Wednesday 18 April members of the public can join one of British Waterways’ ecologists, Dr Mark Robinson, for a free guided walk at Coney Meadow Reed Bed wildlife reserve next to the Droitwich Canals.

Boat and bridge on the Droitwich Barge Canal

The canal re-opened in the summer of 2011. The bridge takes a minor road to Droitwich across the canal. Immediately on the other side of the bridge is Ladywood Lock (no.8 formerly no.1), which is the last lock before Droitwich.  © Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Created in 2008 as part of the restoration of the canals through Droitwich, the reserve is home to a whole array of wildlife, which Mark will talk about together with the site’s on-going management.

Valuable habitat for wildlife

Dr Mark Robinson comments: “The five hectare nature reserve is maturing into a really valuable habitat for wildlife. It is a combination of reed bed, grassland, scrubland as well as many mature trees. As such it is home to many birds including reed warblers, grasshopper warblers, reed buntings, common snipes and herons. The habitat is also home to many insects and mammals, including, we believe, otters.

“Later this year the canal and the nature reserve will become part of the Canal & River Trust which is taking over from British Waterways as the guardian of the waterways. Come along to hear about the wildlife that is on your doorstep but also how volunteers have got involved in looking after the habitat – from installing barn owl boxes, planting, and maintaining trees and shrubs to helping to manage the sites water supply.”

The whole walk will take approximately an hour and will be just over a mile long. It is suitable for most people as the terrain is mostly on reasonably well kept rural paths together with roughish grassland.

Those attending should meet at the Leisure Centre Car Park by the canal at 10am.

Book your free place by either emailing Suzanne.byrne@britishwaterways.co.uk or calling on 07900 276 544.

 Fun weekend at Lower Heyford Wharf

21 April 2012 – 22 April 2012

Lower Heyford Wharf
Station Road
OX25 5PD

Related Waterways

 Lower Heyford canal bridge.   Nearer road bridge 206 and original bridge, now a footbridge behind.  Views through of Heyford Wharf.  Rail road bridge to left of photo.  Entire road bridge now subject to weight limit and may be replaced in due course  © Copyright Chris Cox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The Oxfordshire Branch of the IWA are hosting a Spring Event at Lower Heyford Wharf (home of Oxfordshire Narrowboats).

Meet members of Oxfordshire Branch IWA and the Muddy Waters Team at this Fun weekend.

Visit the Muddy Waters boat specially designed for children’s holidays, take a boat trip on the Oxford Canal, join in a variety of children’s activities, including face painting, craft activities, games, quizzes etc.

Enjoy Morris dancing, live music and lap up the atmosphere at this exciting waterside event.

To pre-book your boat trip contact 01865 356140 or email muddy.waters@live.co.uk

Oxford Canal North of Napton Lock 12

Oxford Canal, North of Napton Lock 12 and Bridge 115. Napton Hill windmill to the North.  © Copyright Peter Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal News Waterscape.com March 24th 2012

Canal News


Hillmorton twin locks


Easter boats gather at National Waterways Museum

21st Mar 2012

The Easter Boat Gathering 2012 at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, is set to be a spectacular celebration of narrowboat culture.

Around fifty boats from across the canal network are expected at the four day event, which runs from 6 April.

And for 2012, the traditional fun and games will be joined by a Sea Shanty festival and three days of musical entertainment (April 6-8) and evening concerts. During the first three days of the gathering, shanty singers from across Europe will be performing their atmospheric songs among the museum’s historic dock buildings and renowned boat collection.

Family fun is guaranteed with children’s crafts and music workshops, plus costumed characters bringing Porters Row to life. Shanty singers will be showing youngsters how to perform traditional songs and highlighting some of the more gruesome aspects of life at sea. Add with old fashioned games around the museum, and there is plenty for all the family.

“Showcase the heritage and tradition of the canals”

Museum marketing manager Oliver Briscoe said: “We’re excited by the plans for the Easter Boat Gathering this year with a real emphasis on music and family fun. It’s a great chance to showcase the heritage and tradition of the canals to the general public in a great setting.”

Other events across the festival include demonstrations of traditional crafts, lectures, book stalls, lock demonstrations, battle of the tugs, and a tour of the museum’s Heritage Boatyard. The full programme will be available on the museum website at http://www.nwm.org.uk nearer the time.


BW plans for 2012 boating season

16th Mar 2012

Following continued dry weather in some parts of the country British Waterways (BW) has published details of overnight lock closures at targeted locations in the Midlands and South that will help make the most of available water resources throughout the main boating season.

Some parts of southern and central England experienced the driest year on record in 2011 and the Environment Agency recently confirmed official drought conditions in the South East.

In January BW announced an additional £700,000 investment in around 24 schemes to improve water resources for the main boating season and, whilst the vast majority of the network will not be significantly affected, BW will also be locking selected lock gates overnight as a further measure to help conserve water throughout the summer.

The restrictions, which will come into effect on parts of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals before the end of March, will see boat movements controlled in some key locations with gates being locked at the end of each day to minimise wastage through vandalism or paddles being left open. Similar measures will be in place on the Kennet & Avon Canal as groundwater levels fall. These restrictions will be reviewed throughout the season and adjusted where appropriate and special openings will be considered at peak times such as Bank Holiday weekends.

“This is an unusual year”

Vince Moran, operations director explains; “We don’t want to restrict opening times, particularly so early in the season, but I’m sure most boaters would recognise that this is an unusual year. That’s why we’re investing a significant amount of money on a package of schemes which are focussed solely on maintaining navigation on the vast majority of the network throughout the main boating season.

“However it would be foolish of us to make this investment if we weren’t then careful with the water that it yields and that’s why we’re implementing these restrictions at selected locations in order to ensure we use water sensibly and responsibly to see us through the summer”.

The restrictions have been planned following discussions with boating organisations, canal societies and waterway businesses. As a direct result of these discussions BW has produced special maps showing the restrictions and the varying potential drought risk across the network as a tool to help boaters to plan their journeys.

“Only a small proportion of the network will be affected”

Vince continues; “Boating should be a pleasurable experience so we’ll ensure that boaters have access to a range of clear, accurate and up-to-date information to help them plan an enjoyable journey. And, of course, only a small proportion of the network will be affected so if boaters don’t need to be in the South East then what better opportunity to explore another hidden corner of the nationwide canal system?”

An example of the navigational map for April 2012 can be found alongside other drought information on our Reservoir Watch page.

Waterways festival and giant boat jumble

01 April 2012

Gloucester Waterways Museum  Llanthony Warehouse  Gloucester


Related Waterways

Gloucester & Sharpness Canal  River Severn

Buy new and used products for boating, watersports and the outdoors at bargain prices. Plus, live music, craft demonstrations and free entry to the museum.


£3.50. Accompanied under-14s go free.

For traders’ booking enquiries, please contact 07976 383971 or rjtrelfa@talktalk.net.River Severn

 This mighty river, famous for its tidal bore, is Britain’s greatest natural waterway.

Canal News – Waterscape.com

Canal News



Sale of craft to societies and Trusts

14th Mar 2012

British Waterways is planning to offer a number of ex-working boats for sale to waterway societies, partnerships and Trusts.

This follows a review of BW floating plant requirements, which identified a number of vessels which are no longer needed by their waterway or department. BW are currently considering if any of the craft can be used elsewhere in the organisation, or by our national contractors.

Once this has been determined, and before a public auction takes place, BW would like to offer the remaining vessels for sale to waterway societies, partnerships or Trusts.

Interested parties can view the full list of craft here and more information can be obtained by emailing mick.carrington@britishwaterways.co.uk

An expression of interest for any items needs to be made by email to Michael Carrington by 5pm on Wednesday 4th April. All expressions of interest will be treated on a first come first served basis.

Once an expression of interest has been agreed (subject to availability and acceptance), the item will be removed from the auction and the process of selling them to the purchaser will begin.

Any organisation purchasing craft will need to take over ownership of the vessel and should note that some of the craft are regarded as ‘life expired’ by BW for routine waterway maintenance works. Consequently, maintenance of these craft can run into several thousands of pounds each year.

BW will provide the information we have, but purchasers should also make their own enquiries.

Terms and conditions of sale

Any group expressing an interest must ensure they can comply with the following terms and conditions of sale;

• All craft are sold as seen with no guarantee.

• Craft may/will require works to bring them up to current Merchant Shipping regulations. The new owner will be responsible for its upkeep and compliance.

• The craft will require registering and licensing, at the new owners’ expense.

• The owner will be required to provide British Waterways with evidence of registered moorings for the craft.

• The craft must have all British Waterways identification marking removed. Re-painted in none BW corporate colours, and have all existing identification markers replaced with new ones, following completion of sale.

• All craft to be removed from British Waterways sites within 14 days, unless by written agreement.

IWA walk on the Trent & Mersey Canal

22 March 2012

Tunnel Top,  Northwich Road,  Dutton,  Runcorn,  Cheshire,  WA4 4JY

Related Waterways

Trent & Mersey Canal

Join the Inland Waterways Association for a walk along the Trent & Mersey Canal from Dutton.

The walk takes you over the top of Preston Brook Tunnel, along the canal towpath, through Longacre Wood and back via footpaths, bridle paths and lanes. The distance is about 3 miles.


Meet at Preston Brook Tunnel Top. Members and non-members welcome.Trent & Mersey Canal

This cross-country canal through the North Midlands offers excellent views over the Cheshire Plain and impressive engineering feats – including Harecastle Tunnel, the first of its kind.

The Trent & Mersey Canal was the most ambitious part of canal pioneer James Brindley’s plan to connect the principal rivers of England. Its importance was recognised by its early name of the ‘Grand Trunk’ Canal.

The canal was promoted by pottery producers such as Josiah Wedgwood, eager to abandon the rutted roads of the area for this new, smooth form of transport. Consequently, it runs through the heart of the Potteries, but also offers rural cruising through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

The canal has also achieved fame through the Inspector Morse story, The Wench is Dead, reputedly based on the true story of a murder committed by 19th century boatmen working out of Preston Brook.

Big spawn count and crayfish survey

26 March 2012

Fens Pool Nature Reserve,  off Pensnett Road,  Dudley,  West Midlands,  DY5 4NE

Related Waterways

Stourbridge Canal

Volunteers needed to help with the annual survey of frogs and toads at Fens Pools, near the Stourbridge Canal. The day will also involve checking for invasive narrow-clawed crayfish.

Evening. To book and get details of meeting times, contact paul.wilkinson@britishwaterways.co.uk.Stourbridge Canal

Although short, the five-mile Stourbridge Canal from Stourton Junction to the Dudley No. 1 Canal provides an essential line of access to the Birmingham Canal Navigations and offers a fascinating journey through the area’s glassmaking heritage.

Scenery varies from rural to industrial, though much of the latter is now gone. A short canal arm links the waterway with Stourbridge Town Centre. A glass-making cone, one of only a handful left in the world, lies alongside the flight of 16 locks leading to Brierley Hill.

Canal News – Waterscape.com

Canal News


 Montgomery Canal – Frankton LocksFrankton Locks

Frankton Locks are at the northern end of the Montgomery Canal, just south of the junction with the Llangollen Canal. The hours of opening are restricted.  © Copyright Martin Clark and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Tuesday 27 March 2012 – Wednesday 31 October 2012
Tuesday 27th March 2012 until Wednesday 31st October 2012
Lock opening times 12 noon until 2pm, 7 days per week including Bank holidays.
Bookings are required for passage through the locks.
You can book any time before 10am on the day of passage.
To book, please ring our Northwich Office.
Please note there are no passages available without a booking or outside these hours.
To book a passage, call 01606 723800

Enquiries: 01606 723800


 Between Lock 20W and 21WHalls Lock. Huddersfield Canal, Greenfield

This section was restored to use in 2001.  © Copyright Michael Fox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Tuesday 13 March 2012 – Friday 30 March 2012
Towpath between Halls Lock (Lock 20w) and Lock 21w

Closure of towpath to public – No restriction to navigation as a result of these works.
This is to facilitate gas mains replacement works

British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience caused

Enquiries: 01782 785703

Canal News – March 9th

Canal news – March 9th

Saturday 10th March 2012 – Jumble Sale at Peace Memorial Hall, Pinfold Lane, Penkridge. 10am – noon. Set-up and jumble donations from 8.30am. Clothes, household goods, books, CDs, games, toys, small furniture, crockery, glassware, etc. Refreshments available. Admission 30p. (Held jointly with Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust). Donations of jumble can be brought to Branch meetings or to Penkridge early on the day, or it may be possible to arrange prior collection – contact the Chairman as below. An offer of temporary storage facilities, e.g. a shed or garage, would be appreciated.

 Saturday 17th March 2012 – Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust are holding a Quiz Night with Fish & Chip Supper at Boley Park in Lichfield and have invited members of IWA Lichfield Branch to join them. Tickets £8 including supper (vegetarian option available). Tea/coffee provided or bring your own drinks. Start time 7.30 pm at Boley Park Community Hall, 7 Ryknild Street, Lichfield, WS14 9XU (next to the Co-op store – plenty of free parking). More details and tickets from Sue Williams on 01543 671427 or book online at http://www.lhcrt.org.uk

 Cannock Extension Canal & Woodland Walk – Thursday 8th March 2012

21 walkers and several dogs assembled at the Turf Lodge for this enjoyable stroll in the early spring sunshine. Crossing the busy A5 to the truncated end of the Cannock Extension Canal, we passed two active boatyards and colourful moored boats, and noted the remains of several former colliery basins. Leaving the canal at Wyrley Grove Bridge we spotted a herd of deer in the nearby fields (I saw them but missed the photo!). From Lime Lane, well trodden paths through the woodland edge of Wyrley Common led us to Engine Lane where the remains of the Slough Arm Canal were visible, still holding some water. Heading north along an old mineral railway (the Norton Branch, LNWR) brought us back to the A5 but a pleasant route across the fields avoided the traffic and returned us to the canal at Pelsall Road Bridge for a short stroll back to the pub.

Can you help manage fruit trees on the River Severn and Gloucester & Sharpness Canal?

6th Mar 2012

British Waterways is looking for people who can dedicate some of their time to helping them care for fruit trees alongside the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and on River Severn lock islands from Stourport to Sharpness.

Danielle Jackson, from British Waterways’ environment team, says: “This region is renowned for its variety of fruit trees and traditional orchards. We all know that the canal and river are symbols of our industrial past but they are also important keepers of our natural heritage too.”

There are two training sessions taking place at Holt Lock Island, near Holt Fleet in Worcestershire for interested volunteers:

• Pruning for apple and pear trees, Thursday 22 March

• Pruning for plum trees, Saturday 12 May

Danielle continues: “We are hoping that interested people will help us to manage our existing fruit trees to ensure they are producing a good crop for the community to enjoy. We are also hoping that in the future we will be able to plant new trees to add to our local larder! People don’t need any previous training as we will provide a full initiation and we would ideally like people who can provide a few days a year to help out.”

To register your interest or find out more, including the timings of the sessions contact Danielle Jackson on 01452 318095, or email danielle.jackson@britishwaterways.co.uk

Grove Colliery BasinsThe Slough Arm from an old bridge.

Canal News, Waterscape, Feb 24th 2012

Canal News


 Fradley Junction

Burton upon Trent


DE13 7DN

T: 01827 252000Fradley Junction, Trent and Mersey Canal, Staffordshire

This is the junction of the Coventry Canal with the Trent and Mersey. The famous Swan Inn is the white painted section in the 200 year old (listed) brick building.

Some refer to it as the “Mucky Duck”.

© Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Boaters, walkers and families alike find much to interest them at Fradley Junction – the spot where the Trent & Mersey and Coventry canals meet.

The junction is particularly busy during the summer months, with guided walks taking place along the towpath and boaters having a well-earned break at the café or nearby pub. Children are kept busy at the Fradley Pool Nature Reserve, with pond-dipping, bird-watching and various other nature-related activities on offer.

Services offered:

• Leisure attraction

• Nature reserve

• Visitor centre

• Restaurant

• Cafe

• Pubs + bars

• Boat hire

• Food

• Family friendly

 Model boat fair

03 March 2012 – 04 March 2012Model Boats Pelsall

 National Waterways Museum

South Pier Road

Ellesmere Port


CH65 4FW

Related Waterways

Shropshire Union Canal »

Model boat fair at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. See model boats being demonstrated in the docks, view them up close on display and shop for the latest in model boat parts.

For more details, call the museum on 0151 355 5017 .

National Waterways Museum, 4 March

The bottom lock at The National Waterways Museum is being drained so our team can carry out lock gate replacement.

Come and join British Waterways on Sunday 4 March for a unique behind the scenes look at the locks. British Waterways teams will lead tours around the works, answering your questions about how lock gates are hand-crafted.

The team will also be able to tell you about how we care for and maintain the historic lock structures and the local area.

Unlocking the history

The locks at the museum site are designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed structure and point of the Shropshire Union Canal. The locks open into the Manchester Ship Canal, which leads onwards to the River Mersey. The site was a working port until the 1950s and is made up of a system of locks, docks and warehouses, together with a pump and engine room.

 Shropshire Union Canal at Barbridge, Cheshire

Seen from beneath the arch of Bridge No 100 (Bremilow’s Bridge) across the Shropshire Union Canal (originally the Chester Canal), which carries Stokehall Lane. Note the width of the bridge hole – far more than bridges further south on Telford’s narrow Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal. From here northwards, locks are fourteen feet wide, and boats up to a beam of ten feet are still able to navigate the canal to Ellesmere Port.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The canal was designed and engineered by William Jessop and Thomas Telford as part of an ambitious project aiming to connect to three nearby major rivers – Severn, Mersey and Dee. The section from Whitby Locks to Chester opened in 1795, linking two of the rivers. The connection to the River Severn was never completed.

Time: 11am-4pm

Location: National Waterways Museum, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4FW

Can you help British Waterways look after Gloucester’s waterways?

The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal

The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal at Frampton on Severn viewed from the swing bridge. Frampton on Severn church is on the right.  © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 22nd Feb 2012

British Waterways is looking for people who can dedicate some of their time to helping them care for Gloucester’s canals, river and dock. There are ten different roles available, all based in the Gloucester Dock office, which range from fundraising and heritage, to environment and even film making.

Lucy Bowles, British Waterways’ volunteer coordinator, says: “We’re in the midst of a really exciting time on the waterways. This summer the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, River Severn and Gloucester Docks will all be handed over to a brand new charity, the Canal & River Trust. This means we have new opportunities to work with the people who love their local waterway and have time or skills they can offer to help these 200-year-old treasures.”

The opportunities available are:

– Environment assistant

– Orchard creation volunteers

– Environment library assistant

– Film creator for internal communications

– GIS research volunteer

– Fundraising assistant

– Gloucester Docks and Saul lock keepers and rangers

– Volunteering development officer

– Heritage team assistant (to cover Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and South Wales)

There will be an informal drop-in session at The Dock Office, Commercial Road, Gloucester GL1 2EB anytime between 2pm and 5.30pm on Wednesday 22 February where you can find out more about the positions advertised.

Alternatively, you can visit http://www.waterscape.com/volunteering or call Lucy on 07824 327 274.

Guy Douglassv, who volunteered with the environment team last year, says: “By volunteering with British Waterways I noticeably improved my job prospects, through gaining valuable experience in the water management industry. After graduating, I joined the environment team at Gloucester and contributed towards many challenging and interesting projects. The team were really enthusiastic and helpful, constantly sharing their specialist knowledge and encouraging me to get involved. It also me more confidence and material when attending interviews, and it lead to me getting two job offers which I had never anticipated before the placement took place.”

Canal News – Waterscape – Feb 11 2012

Canal News


 Bradley Workshop, 16 February

Bradley Arm Canal

The canal leads from the ‘New Main Line’ to the British Waterways workshops. Once part of Brindley’s ‘Old Main Line’ and latterly the ‘Wednesbury Oak Loop’. © Copyright John M and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

  Visitors will be able to take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the lock gate workshops on the Bradley Arm of the Birmingham Canal Old Main Line, for the second time, following a popular first year. So, if you missed out here’s your chance to check out the impressive woodworking workshop where thousands of lock gates have been put together over the years.

Bradley Workshop, near Tipton, is one of the hubs of the nation’s waterways, the place where lock gates are carefully refurbished and new ones crafted. Inside its doors, more than 90 lock gates are built every year, which are then taken and used across the nation’s network of canals.

Janet Carter, workshop manager commented: “Last year’s event went really well and we felt we should open up the workshop again in order to give more people the chance to come and take a peek into the workshops. It’s satisfying to give people a chance to see the scale of the work we do to ensure that the waterways are preserved for today’s users and future generations, as well as gain an appreciation for the magnificent industrial heritage in their local area.”

In addition to exploring the workshop, visitors will be able to look round the heritage working boat Scorpio. Volunteers will be on hand to take visitors on a tour of the boat and talk about its history. The education team will also be there with lots of fun activities and information for the whole family.

Time: 9am-3pm. The workshops will be open to the public for self-guided tours.

Location: Bradley Workshop, WV14 8DW.

Booking: Not required.

Volunteer day: National Nest Box Week

19 February 2012

Lock House



DY10 3RL

Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Volunteers wanted to help install bird and mammal boxes along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, as part of National Nest Box Week.


Meet in the Lock House car park. Booking essential. Please contact paul.wilkinson@britishwaterways.co.uk.

Hazelstrine Bridge on the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Wildwood, Stafford

An old working narrow boat from London moors up in the picturesque setting by Hazelstrine Bridge, which carries Hazelstrine Lane over the Staffs & Worcs Canal at Wildwood, Stafford.  © Copyright Mari Buckley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

   The Staffs & Worcs Canal, as it is commonly known, was built as one of the trunk routes of the canal age – but is now justifiably popular with pleasure boats. Leaving the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood, and rising over the Compton Summit before dropping to meet the River Severn at Stourport, it runs for 46 miles through almost entirely rural surroundings.

Cutting through mostly soft undulating landscape fashioned by geological events of over 400 million years ago, the Staffs & Worcs is an essential link between major waterways as well as being an enjoyable cruise in its own right. Once full of coal boats, it now forms part of two separate cruising rings. The canal skirts the Birmingham and Black Country conurbation without ever becoming truly urban, making a delightful route through scarce West Midlands countryside.


Crick Boat Show tickets on sale

Crick Marina

The entrance to the Marina from the Grand Union Canal (Leicester Line).  © Copyright Ian Rob and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

9th Feb 2012

Tickets have gone on sale for this year’s Crick Boat Show and Waterways Festival, one of the biggest events in the waterways calendar. This year, the festival will be on 2-5 June, meaning it will fall across the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.

The festival is a great family day out, with attractions including boat trips, live music, children’s entertainment, food and drink stalls, competitions, food demonstrations, evening ghost tours and seminars. More than 200 waterway businesses will be exhibiting, including boat builders, waterway accessories and services, arts and crafts, holiday companies and gourmet food specialists.

Boats and entertainment

The event is expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors, arriving by boat and over land. Moorings and campsites are available for those wanting to make the most of the festival by staying for more than one day.

Crick Boat Show is held at Crick Marina, on the Grand Union Canal Leicester Line in Northamptonshire. It is organised by Waterways World, in partnership with British Waterways and Crick Marina.

Visitors can save up to 25 percent by buying tickets in advance rather than on the gate. For tickets, visit http://www.crickboatshow.com http://www.crickboatshow.com.

Businesses interested in exhibiting should contact Ian Sharpe on 01283 742977 or ian.sharpe@wwonline.co.uk.

Anchor Lane View

The junction of the Bradley Canal Arm with the Birmingham Canal viewed from the Anchor Lane bridge, the Black Country Route bridge in the background.  © Copyright Gordon Griffiths and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Canal News – Waterscape – Jan 27th

Canal News


Montgomery Canal east of Llanymynech Taken from the trip boat on the Montgomery Canal.  © Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Biodiversity grant for Montgomery Canal

26th Jan 2012

A rare floating water plantain is getting the chance to thrive on the Montgomery Canal, thanks to a biodiversity grant from the Welsh government.

The Montgomery Canal is one of the world’s leading sites for the Luronium natans floating water plantain. The canal is already a Site of Special Scientific Interest for almost half its length and a Special Area of Conservation for its entire length within Wales.

The £60k award from the Ecosystem Resilience, Diversity and Compliance Fund will allow British Waterways’ ecologists to improve the canal habitat. Work will include dredging near Brynderwyn Lock and trial management of in-channel nature reserves. A downloadable wildlife interpretation trail for visitors will also be created, covering the stretch of canal from Welshpool Town Wharf to the nature reserve at Whitehouse Bridge.

Protecting rare plants

Stuart Moodie, ecologist, British Waterways said: “This is a great project to improve the ecosystem and increase understanding of the importance of the wildlife on the Montgomery Canal. The canal is already a well-loved attraction. The funding will enable us to carry out vital dredging works. This will improve and protect the natural habitats along the canal, which provide safe havens for its rare creatures and plant life.”

Water pool with wildlife  Nice natural pool on a sunny May weekend.  © Copyright John Carver and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

As the steady restoration of the canal progresses, British Waterways and partners are committed to the carefully managed use of the waterway to ensure a sustainable future for these rare communities of flora and fauna.

IWA walk at Kingsbury Water Park

02 February 2012

Dog & Doublet

Dog Lane

Bodymoor Heath

Sutton Coldfield

West Midlands

B76 9JD

Related Waterways

 Lock on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

This lock, known as Curdworth Bottom Lock, is close to the Heart of England Way and to Kingsbury Water Park.  © Copyright Angella Streluk and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Birmingham & Fazeley Canal »

Join the IWA Lichfield Branch for a walk around Kingsbury Water Park and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Meet at 10.30am for 10.45am start at the Dog & Doublet Inn car park. Optional lunch at the pub afterwards. Contact Mike Moorse on 07799 140068 or email lichfield@waterways.org.uk for more details.

 Echills Wood Railway

A 7 1/4 inch Gauge miniature railway at Kingsbury Water Park.  Established in 1972 at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire: re-established here in 2005   The railway is operated by a group of 7 1/4 ” gauge railway enthusiasts and takes its name from the word ‘Echill’ derived from ‘Eche being an old English word meaning “a piece added or set aside”, which dates back as far as 1000 AD hence the name Echills wood = a small copse that has been set aside.

© Copyright Andy Stephenson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Volunteer lock keeper campaign proves popular

24th Jan 2012

British Waterways’ volunteer lock keeper campaign has got off to a flying start with over 300 people enquiring about the roles in the first week.

Last week saw Brian Blessed don a life jacket and take to the Kennet & Avon Canal to open lock gates and help out passing boaters. Launching the organisation’s campaign to attract new volunteers to the waterways he said: “Ever since I was a child I’ve loved our canals and rivers, going off exploring on my bike and looking for wildlife.

“They’re unique places so I would urge people with a real passion for their local waterway to get involved as a volunteer lock keeper. They meant so much to me as a child so I think it’s important we all do what we can to help protect them for our next generations to enjoy.”

Huge number of applications

Brian’s enthusiasm for the role has infected the public, as the British Waterways volunteer team reports a huge number of applications for the role. Ed Moss, national volunteering manager explains: “The campaign is stirring up a high level of interest because so many people want to help. The role of the lock keeper is such an iconic role that appeals to people to get outside, work the locks and help their local community.”

British Waterways is currently rolling out the volunteer lock keeper scheme to over 60 new locations. Volunteers don’t need any previous lock keeping experience although enthusiasm, people skills and an interest their local area will come in handy.

For more information about how you can get involved visit http://www.waterscape.com/volunteerlockkeeper.

Lock on the Caldon Canal