• Holidays
  • Property
  • News

Developed in conjunction with Ext-Joom.com

How to Advertise on Canal Cuttings!

Pay button

Adverts

For Trade adverts anywhere on this site, contact us for details.

After payment, please send advert text and pictures to [email protected]

Welcome to Canal Cuttings.

Canal News? Narrowboat articles? Waterside Property for sale? Holiday, boats and B&B accommodation? It's all here! Explore the site to find out more.    
Contact: [email protected]



Warming up?

I took our narrowboat out at Easter and was amazed the difference between the quiet empty canals on our way out and the hustle on the way back. The difference? A few degrees centigrade.
After all the Winter planning, it seems everyone is desperate to have some warm weather and get back on the cuttings.

Good luck to you if you are planning anything - may the sun always shine when you are on the tiller!



Here's a sample featured property. Many more via: THIS LINK
Property Sample:

£ 120,000

Midlands
Leeds  and  
Liverpool
Canal

Ref no: 0096

*

Canal-side, 2-bed character cottage, 32' moorings. Wolseley Bridge, Staffs [Ref:0110]

New: Easter 2017

Canal-side, semi-detached, 2-bed character cottage, with 32' mooring. The kitchen overlooks the Trent & Mersey Canal at the bottom of the garden! Stunning views towards Cannock Chase.


Here's some sample latest news. More news via: THIS LINK
A good friend of CanalCuttings.co.uk is planning to take a sabbatical and spend at least 8 months exploring the canal network.

They are looking for a Reverse Layout boat: see this Wanted advert: Boat Wanted

Can you help?

An Artist's view on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Copyright - Pauline MarshallAn Artist's view on the
Kennet and Avon Canal
by Pauline Marshall

A solitary heron poised on the canal side with sunlight filtering thought the early morning mist, two swans silently gliding behind the narrow boat in the moonlight, the colourful narrow boats and the ever changing landscape.

These are just some of the wealth of inspiration that the canal system has to offer me as an artist.


Copyright - Pauline Marshall

2007 provided me with my first venture at painting, displaying and trying to sell my pictures canal side on the Kennet and Avon. I overcame the obvious problems such as getting a trading license, finding someone to provide public liability (although I am not sure what damage a painting could do to anyone unless it is psychological! I soon found out the other problems.


Copyright - Pauline MarshallFirstly and probably most importantly…the weather. Last year was so wet that if we did venture anywhere as soon as I brought out the paintings, it rained! We had intended to take our boat, Equinox down to Oxford from its mooring at Bradford on Avon.


Copyright - Pauline MarshallThe furthest we had taken it the previous year was Great Bedwyn and guess where we ended up again…Great Bedwyn. After spending one rather alarming afternoon trying to go through a lock with me doing the winding and my husband, Brian trying to negotiate the boat, in the middle of a horrendous storm. I was stranded at the top during the lightening with no shelter at all! We decided to return home to our mooring in Bradford on Avon.


Copyright - Pauline MarshallLess obvious problems included the fact the Brian did not want to stop at my chosen location for displaying my paintings for very long. He soon developed the wander lust that is his main reason for buying our narrow boat. Storage space was another factor; there just isn’t enough room on board for lots of easels, paintings and of course painting materials alongside all the tools, bits of wires, various ongoing projects that Brian seems to think essential to carry around.


Copyright - Pauline MarshallThen there is the attraction that the boat has for visitors from the family and friends who do not really want to spend a perfectly good boating day sitting in one place trying to sell pictures. Of course visiting grandchildren usually coincide with prime holiday day!


Copyright - Pauline MarshallFinding your spot can also be quite a challenge. The day is perfect and course everyone else has noticed and have taken up all the prime parking spaces. One of the conditions of the trading license is that it must be on the hard standing areas of the tow path, just where everyone else wants to be.


Copyright - Pauline MarshallProblems aside, the canals and their abundance of wildlife, colourful boats and characters provide me with many ideas for my paintings. It is also very easy to focus on your painting with none of the distractions that you would find at home.

So once again this year we will be cruising along the canal system, maybe you will see me if so stop and look and have a chat. You never know you might appear in one of my pictures!

Pauline Marshall

Website




Directory of Canal Art and Artists - Hand Painted Canalia and Canalware

Canal Based Craft And Art Businesses - Artisans Working On Or Close To A Canal.


Ken Allen Ken Allen
Staffordshire Artistic Wood Turner

Ken Allen's Page - Contact Ken - By phone: 01889 570373 - By email: [email protected] - Or, just visit the Woodturner's Bothy Workshop, Shugborough Hall Estate off the Trent and Mersey / Staffs and Worcs at Haywood Junction.



Jayne Ashley- Canalware Artist

Visit the facebook page at www.facebook.com/vintagerosecanalware
or phone Jayne on 07717 166227


The Ark Stained Glass

Martin Farrant, The Ark Stained Glass, Northampton NN3 6BT

Tel: 07779 513 167
Email: [email protected]
www.stainedglass-northampton.co.uk
www.facebook.com/thearkstainedglass



Eric Gaskell - Canal Linoprints

Painter - Illustrator - Designer

Tel: - 01788 521182 Mob: 07784934374
email [email protected]
www.canalprints.co.uk



Copyright - Pauline MarshallPauline Marshall - Canal Artist

Pauline Marshall's Page - An Artist's view on the Kennet and Avon Canal -

www.TheFaerieGrotto.co.uk



Shirley Winstanley - Artist

Shirley is an Australian Artist who visits the UK regularly and loves our canals!

Landscapes / Seascapes / Nudes / Drawing and Painting Classes / Commissions Considered

PO Box 354 Maylands Western Australia / Facebook


Canalware tub had painted decorativeTricia Murphy - Canal Ware

Tricia Murphy's Page - www.ShabbyPots.co.uk - Hand painted metalware and wood.



Canal Art - "Roses and Castles" by Trina Day, Artist

Trina Day - Roses and Castles

Trina Day, Artist - Canal Art's Page - Roses & Castles - You can see more of Trina's work on www.Boat-Foray.co.uk - Trina's eBay



Julie Tonkin - Courses in Canal Art - Painting Roses and Castles

Contact Julie for further details on 01384 569198 or e-mail [email protected]


Willowmoor - Floating Art Gallery

Willowmoor Art Workshop's Page - Floating art gallery by artist Michelle Martin - www.ArtOnBoard.co.uk



Krystyna Wooding
Canalware and Folk Artist

Tel: 07971 011723
/ 07805 602618

Email: [email protected]fts.com
Web: www.DracoCrafts.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/DracoCrafts





Power Solutions for Onboard Energy


Springwood Haven Leisure Ltd

Springwood Haven
Mancetter Road
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
CV10 0RZ

Tel: 0845 4566572 (local rate from a land line)
Or 024 76 393676
Enquiry Email: [email protected]
www.onboardenergy.com

Onboard Energy - UK suppliers and installers of independent power equipment and systems to commercial and private customers. Supplying quality brands such as Victron and Whisper Tech.


Cleversolar UK

Grenville Road
Braintree
Essex CM7 2PP

Tel: 0203 239 6990

Enquiry Email: [email protected]
www.cleversolar.co.uk

We supply a range of solar energy products for use on narrowboats and canal barges and, in particular, the most efficient solar panels on the market using Sunpower solar cells.


Onboard Solar

Based on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Derbyshire.

Tel: Call Tim on 07810 885 734 to chat about your requirements (live-aboard boater - leave message if necessary)
Enquiry Email: [email protected]
www.onboardsolar.co.uk

Onboard Solar specialises in complete high performance fully installed solar power packages for the inland waterways.





Canal Architecture in Great Britain

The UK's canal system developed, and is still developing its own styles of architecture.

Canal Architecture - Staircase Locks at Stoke on Trent / Caldon Canal


Canal Architecture - Old Canal Warehouse, Workshop in Chester Basin - Shropshire Union Canal - Chester Canal SectionThe canals themselves have their own structures: the most common of which are bridges and locks, but other distinctive structures include lock keeper's cottages, wharves, basins, dry and wet docks, warehouses, aqueducts, lifts and even the remains of inclined planes.


Canal Architecture - Disused Lime Kiln on the Welford Arm of the Grand Union Canal (GUC Leicester Branch) The canal companies had other operational buildings like toll houses, offices, stables as well as the warehouses, workshops and wharves. And of course the canals attracted manufacturing industry and agricultural merchants to their environs. Along the canals you will still see the remains of canal related buildings, quarries and mines, lime kilns, coke ovens and brick works.

There are two main types of canals, those that follow the contours of the land typical of James Brindley (1716 – 1772) one of the most notable English engineer of the 18th century - 'The Father of English Canal Building' and his followers and those that employ great civil engineering feats of cuttings, tunnels, aqueducts and embankments like Thomas Telford FRS, FRSE (1757 - 1834) civil engineer, architect and stonemason, and a noted road, bridge and canal builder and his exponents, both types were of course be hybridised at at the convenience of the canal builder.


Canal Architecture - The saucer shape is appatent here on the Caldon Canal after a breach in 2009 If you were to look at an empty canal in cross section then you would probably see that the canal is generally saucer-shaped with a bank at either side. The side on the down slope of the contour line is usually thicker or wider and accommodates the towpath, thereby making the canal stronger. The towpath is usually separated from the surrounding land by a hedge, fence or wall where no natural boundary was apparent.


Canal Architecture - Old Canal Wharf at Norbury JunctionCanals are usually managed in sections where the water level can be controlled by operational canal architecture: weirs, sluices, spillways with 'stop planks' available every now and then generally under bridges where the canal is at its narrowest. Planks are used to block off the canal when there is a breach.

Bollards are used to tie boats to or to slow boats down as they enter locks. Many of the older metal bollards show wear from the usage of ropes.




Canal Architecture included signs like this one on the Llangollen Canal

Sign Posts and Milestones are regular canal architecture features along the course of canals as are winding posts, mooring rings and other metalwork.

On many bends in the canal or near railway bridges you can find slopes built into the bank designed to allow horses to be recovered from the canal after falling in.

Canal Architecture - Barton Marina

Modern canal architecture includes marinas, old canal building conversions as well as new 'Urban Splash' apartments or offices.




..

Boat Holidays

British Holidays - Author: Krishan Bakhru

Boat Holidays - Brentford Thames Lock on the Grand Union Canal ( GUC)  Main Line

Boat Holidays - Visiting an Award Winning Pub on the Llangollen CanalHoliday making in Britain usually makes one think of English beaches like Brighton, shopping in Oxford Street and the endless rain showers that seem to happen just when you are about to go outside. This is only one aspect of British holidays though. There are quite a number of places and things that you can do while you are on a British holiday.

Outside of London there are some very interesting places that you can visit.

Stratford-on-Avon is one such place. This city is considered as the birthplace of Shakespeare. You can take a guided tour of the city or ramble around by yourself and imagine how the place looked in Shakespeare’s time.


Boat Holidays - Naturewatch - Kingfishers - Birds Along The WaterwaysOn the other hand you might want to spice up your British holidays by getting close to the wildlife that can be found here. There’s lots of fishing to be enjoyed, as well as deer stalking, and of course there is the famous Loch Ness Monster to take some photographs of, if it ever appears. These wildlife encounters can be found in the northern tip of the UK, which is Scotland.

Ireland and the warm Irish hospitality can also brighten up your British holidays. Besides enjoying the warm friendly atmosphere of Irish life, you can see places like the Giant's Causeway and marvel at the immense presence. Sheep lovers will also be enthralled at the sight of these wooly bundles dotting the landscape everywhere that you look.

Of course you may prefer to enjoy your holiday in the height of luxury. Anyone who would love to indulge themselves in this manner will be able to find luxury hotels and lodges that have these five star amenities. Here the women can pamper themselves at beauty spas and have manicures while the men enjoy honing their clay pigeon or skeet shooting.

Boat Holidays - Hiring a Narrowboat

Boat Holidays - See Canal ArchitectureNarrowboats are another interesting way to consider spending your British holidays. With a narrowboat you can float down many of the waterways in England and see the passing countryside from your windows. This is a great way to have a leisurely holiday without getting caught in traffic. For the purposes of your holiday you should first see if the narrowboat will be comfortable and suitable for your holiday.


Besides interesting trips in the countryside British holidays can offer an interesting cultural experience. A visit to Buckingham Palace will show you the wonders that have been accumulated from different countries at different times. Stonehenge is another marvel that you might want memories of.


These are just a small taste of what you can find in British holidays. Apart from enjoying the usual holiday fare of sightseeing, shopping, nightclubbing and spending time at the beaches, the adventurous at heart can experience a whole different dimension of Britain if they so wish, which is what makes your British holidays all the more enjoyable.

Boat Holidays - May Day at the side of the Grand Union Canal (Leicester Branch)

Article Source

About the Author:
Author's Sites:

Free Ebooks, Herbal Remedies and Natural Beauty Care

With Christmas behind us, it's time to plan for 2015. Still a little too cold for most of us to be afloat, but the armchair adventurers are poring over maps and brochures, or gloomily estimating how much work will be required to get their boat ready for the cruising season.

The house market has not really taken off yet this year, but holiday companies are eager to take your bookings. Take a look at our Cottages and Narrowboat holiday sections to see if anything takes your fancy. Some of the accommodation provides an income that keeps historic buildings alive - a good excuse for taking a holiday!

There's an excellent Welsh business opportunity in the Boats for Sale section - anyone fancy making their living aboard a narrowboat?

Finally, take a look at the worrying news from the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust - can anyone hel them find the final £500,000 to realise their dream?

If you have some pictures and an account of a canal journey you made recently, but don't have a blog to post it, just contact us and we will display it for you

Links

The object of canalcuttings.co.uk is to disseminate information and views about the inland waterways and canal UK related subjects. We invite you to do the same.

Subject to editorial review and amendment we will publish articles, photographs and news that we feel that our readers would be interested in. It doesn't matter how unusual or remote the subject is, we will consider articles of no less than 200 words of unique copy, to a maximum of 1000. There is no limit to the number of articles submitted, providing the subjects are interesting and meet with our editorial approval. To accompany the articles we would appreciate at least one picture, graphic and/or banner. Pictures and graphics should be of the following sizes:

440 x 60 (Banner)

120 x no longer than 600 (picture or graphic)

Information provided should be kept up to date if necessary, but please no more than 4 amendments per year.

Shroppie Fly at Audlem Locks

Shroppie Fly at Audlem Locks

If you are an organisation or business with a website all we ask in return is a prominent link to our site from yours. However, if you do not have a website we would still like to hear from you. You will see that we also have a directory for boat hire companies, associations, suppliers and other canal UK or UK waterway related businesses and would be happy to offer reciprocal links.

Autherly Junction

Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital

Email from the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital:

We are Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital, a registered charity run by volunteers and operate a 24-hour wildlife hospital and rescue service, throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Cleveland.

CygnetsSwans are subject to many horrific injuries, such as discarded fishing tackle, power cable collisions, lead poisoning, deliberate cruelty such as shooting and stoning, crash landing on roads and railway tracks, fuel spillages, attacks by dogs and destruction of their habitat to name but a few.

The incidents our volunteers are called to are nothing short of horrific, and we are called to respond by many other charities and organisations such as local Police forces, councils, park rangers, the Environment Agency, British Waterways, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and encouragingly, the National Swan Sanctuary in Surrey.

While rescuing a swan in Crewe with a broken wing last week, a Pen with 3 cygnetscanal boat owner suggested we contact you, to possibly run an article about the work we do, in order to make canal users more knowledgeable about what happens to these birds and more importantly to make them aware of our contact details should they need to report an injured swan. We regard boat users as the eyes and ears of the waterways, and they are always more than helpful when trying to rescue a swan and always have the kindness to report injured birds.



Thanks very much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Dan Sidley, Co-Founder,

Contact the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital



For urgent enquiries only regarding injured swans and wild animals, please telephone; 07763 424 892 (24-hours) Whilst we provide a totally free, round-the-clock rescue service for injured swans and wild animals, we respectfully ask you consider making a donation to our Sanctuary when contacting us regarding an injured animal, so we can continue to further our important and valuable work for wildlife.

For all non-emergency enquiries, please email;
[email protected]
Please only email us with non-emergencies. Do not email us details of wildlife casualties, as we may be unable to check our emails frequently due to the volume of work at the Sanctuary.

Postal address only;
Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital
Registered Charity No. 1113771
C/O The Westerlies, Stillington Road,
Easingwold, Near York,
North Yorkshire, YO61 3ES

If you would like to make a donation or contribution to our valuable work , please ensure cheques or postal orders are made payable to "Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital" and sent to the address above. Please ensure you enclose your address should you wish to receive a letter of acknowledgement and receipt in return. You can also donate to our Charity online by clicking the link 'donate' button found below.

We also welcome donations of items bought from our Amazon Wish List. This allows you to choose the item at the level of donation you wish to provide to us, which will serve the injured animals in our care. The items are shipped directly to our Sanctuary, so all you have to do is choose the item you wish to donate to us - it's as simple as that! Our Amazon Wish List can be found by clicking the link below.

Sanctuary address only;
Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital
Barlow Nature Reserve, Barlow,
Near Selby, North Yorkshire.
Members of the public who wish to visit our Sanctuary for a guided tour must do so by contacting us in advance, either via email or telephone. The Sanctuary is open for visitors once a week between 11am and 4pm. To avoid disappointment or risk being turned away, please DO NOT turn up unexpectedly or without an appointment.


Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterways Trust

Creating a brand new waterway for the twenty first century

Kevin Whately doing the voice over for B&MK Waterways Trust Video

The idea of building a canal linking the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the Great Ouse in Bedford was first proposed by Samuel Whitbread, brewer and Bedford MP in 1810. In 1995 The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust was formed to resurrect the idea of a broad waterway linking Milton Keynes with Bedford. This short stretch of 24km is the missing link in the national waterway network and would allow navigation form the North Sea to the Severn revitalising communities along the route including that of the Fens and is recognised by British Waterways as of national strategic importance. Over the years the project has built support from local MPs, all political parties, local councils and the public and has been written into the local plans.

It is of course a major and very expensive project, the first completely new waterway in two hundred years. Money is difficult to come by, so the B and MK waterways trust has developed the strategy of building a series of linear lakes or waterway parks in stages along the designated route. Area groups have been created to provide impetus.

Milton Keynes area group is a very lively and determined one. A 6km stretch from Milton Keynes towards the M1 has been waymarked and interpretation boards have been sited along it. Last autumn this section gained outline planning permission from the local council and includes an area designated for a future marina. Last year also the group was granted £250,000 by the Big Lottery Fund and was on the shortlist for £25 million which unfortunately went elsewhere. However the £250,000 enabled significant progress to be made in working up detailed route plans and undertaking the complex studies needed to build the waterway.

The Trust has also turned its attention to the section the other side of the M1 which covers land in Mid Bedfordshire and in Bedford Borough, passing through villages such as Brogborough and Marston Moretaine. With funds from various sources members are working on the establishment of a “permissive path” which will track the route of the waterway and be a green route between urban spaces. This section needs to be signposted and publicity generated.

This year’s walk will cover some of the central section with a 4 mile walk from the top of Brogborough Hill to the Forest Centre at Marston Moretaine. There will be an exhibition at the Forest Centre where we hope to have a model of the “Brogborough Whirl”, one of innovative ideas to overcome the obstacle of the hill which nonetheless provides wonderful views over the Marston Vale.

For information contact [email protected] or visit The Trust’s website at www.B-MKWaterway.co.uk


Terms and Conditions

We don't really need these any more (Thanks for your comments, Granny Buttons!)

Obviously, the Website and its content are copyright: none of the content may be downloaded, copied, reproduced, transmitted, stored, sold or distributed without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. This excludes the downloading, copying and/or printing of pages of the Website for personal, non-commercial home use only.

Thanks!



Visit Market Drayton - Market Drayton Museum - Market Drayton Town Centre Walks

We visited Market Drayton
as part of our summer cruise 2009

Market Drayton lies primarily on the western bank of Thomas Telford's Shropshire Union Canal between Tyrley Locks (5) to the south and Adderley Locks (5) and is a north Shropshire market town. Market Drayton's southern suburbs are on the River Tern, between Shrewsbury and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Shropshire Union crosses the River Tern and a minor road close to the southernmost visitor moorings. The town was formerly known as "Drayton in Hales" and earlier until the late 17th C, simply as "Drayton".

Market Drayton Museum

The Story of Drayton, Museum & Resource CentreThe Story of Drayton, Museum & Resource Centre, a small but perfectly formed, local volunteer society on Shropshire Street, details the history of the town from the earliest times to the present.

Open April to October on Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat, between 10.30 and 13.00.

Market Drayton Town Centre Walks

Tudor House Hotel and Restaurant - 1 Cheshire Street, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 1PD - Tel: 01630 657523

There are a couple of interesting town walks - We walked the 'Discovery Trail' following the map (40p) purchased at Market Drayton Museum.

Market Drayton is on National Cycle Route 75 and the A53 Trunk Road (by-pass) skirts the northern edge of the town passing over the canal at Lord's Bridge (No.64).

The town is promoted as 'the home of gingerbread'. The oldest recorded mention of gingerbread in Market Drayton goes back to 1793. At its peak, the traditional biscuity gingerbread, which contained rum, was made by four bakers in the town. Today the leading gingerbread maker is Image on Food, who produce nearly one million novelty gingerbread figures for Britain's leading retailers.

There are a number of 17th and 18th century half-timbered buildings in the town centre, as well as a restored Norman church, St. Mary's, next to the Grammar School of 1558.

The town's 'Buttercross' marketplaceThe town's 'Buttercross' marketplace is ancient, with a market charter granted from 1246, and the market continues today. The great fire of Drayton destroyed almost 70% of the town in the 17th century. It was started at a baker's, and quickly spread through the timber buildings. The Buttercross in the centre of the town still has a bell at the top for people to ring if there was ever another fire.

West Drayton is home to Palethorpe's, now part of the Pork Farms Group who are the towns largest employer - famous for their pork products and the Müller Dairies using much of north Shropshire's milk making yogurts and other dairy based products.

Clayton's Picture Framing at 15B Stafford Street (Tel: 01630 655785 - TF9 1HX) a short walk from canal bridge #62 has a selection of framed canal art, framing accessories and will frame pictures to your own requirements.

Bus to and from Market Drayton centre

Arriva bus No.64There is an unmarked bus stop close to the canal opposite The Talbot public house (MAP) serviced by an Arriva bus No.64 to Shrewsbury via Market Drayton, Bus Station (MAP) (£1 each way - Free with bus pass!) - About 300m to Morrisons one way and the town centre the other, 200m to Lidle and a little further to Netto.

Check with www.arrivabus.co.uk

When we last looked the Monday to Saturday arrival times at Market Drayton, Bus Station were 07:09 - 07:39 - 09:09 - 10:09 - 11:09 - 12:09 - 13:09 - 14:09 - 15:09 - 16:09 - 17:09 - 18:19 - 18:59 - 19:29 Be at the Talbot at least 10 minutes before these times. Return departure times at at Market Drayton, Bus Station are: 07:31 - 07:41 - 09:11 - 09:11 - 10:11 - 11:11 - 12:11 - 13:11 - 14:11 - 15:11 - 16:11 - 17:11 - 18:11 (Ask for 'The Talbot' pub).


The Four Counties Ring - The 4 Counties Ring

Four Counties Ring England - Cruising the 4 Counties Ring - We have cruised the Four Counties Ring twice, once clockwise, once anti-clockwise.

Dry dock at juntion of Calden and Trent and Mersey canals - Four Counties Ring EnglandThe four counties referred to in the name of this well cruised ring are Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and West Midlands.

How long is the 4 counties ring? - The 4 county ring canal cruise covers about 110 miles and has 93 locks plus one tunnel just under 2 miles long and a couple of short ones. The ring should take around 50 hours cruising.

Canada goose - Four Counties Ring EnglandHire companies on the ring give their customers a week to complete the cruise. That means you would have to cruise on average just over 7 hours per day. For boat owners, we would say ten days to two weeks is a fast enough pace! That brings the cruising hours down to around 4 hours per day. A full month gives you chance to do some serious site seeing.

The canals you will cruise on the four county ring are:

The Staffordshire and Worcester Canal;
between Autherley Junction, Wolverhampton in the West Midlands to Haywood Junction, Great Haywood, in Staffordshire.
See Part 1 and Part 2


Trent and Mersey Canal; between Haywood Junction and Middlewich in Cheshire.

Middlewich Arm of the Shropshire Union Canal; between Middlewich and Barbridge Junction, Wardle in Cheshire.

Shropshire Union Canal; between Barbridge Junction, Wardle, Cheshire and Autherley Junction, in West Midlands. Passing briefly through Shropshire.

Remote and scenic countryside - Four Counties Ring EnglandThe ring is mainly through remote and scenic countryside, with exception through the urban and industrial areas around the potteries of Stoke and Stafford. There are a few towns and villages that the cruise touches or passes through, such as: Stone, Kidsgrove, Middlewich, Nantwich, Market Drayton, Penkridge and Wolverhampton being the main ones - Wheaton Aston being one of the villages.

Picture of tug front narrowboatWe cruised the Four Counties Ring in 'Maid of the Mist' anti-clockwise between Saturday 14th May and Sunday 22nd May 2005, with an additional two days Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May when we cruised from Otherton, near Penkridge to Stone. Making our cruise 11 days in total. A really good time was had by all! Our eldest daughter joined us for three days of the cruise between Sandbach, Cheshire and Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Anglo Welsh at Norbury Junction - Four Counties Ring EnglandIf you are hiring a boat then the starting point can be anywhere on the circuit where there is a hire company. If you are an owner you can join the circuit at one of the seven junctions along the way.

 

However you cruise this circuit you are guaranteed to love it!


British Canal System, Rivers, Broads, Fens, Drains and other navigable and previously navigable inland waterways.

As we develop information about each entry we will link to the information from this list.
    • Aberdeenshire Canal
    • Aike Beck or Lockington Navigation
    • Aire & Dun Canal (project)
    • Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire
      • Aire & Calder Dewsbury Old Cut Section
      • Aire & Calder Main Line
      • Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby Section
      • Aire & Calder Navigation : Wakefield Section
      • River Aire
    • Alford Canal (project)
    • Ancholme - Witham Canal (project)
    • Andover Canal
    • Andover Canal to Basingstoke Canal (project)
    • Annandale Canal (project)
    • Arbroath - Forfar Canal (project)
    • Ashburton Canal (project)
    • Ashby Canal - Ashby de la Zouch Canal
    • Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals
      • Ashton Canal
      • Macclesfield Canal
      • Peak Forest Canal
        • Whalley Bridge Branch
    • Aylsham Navigation
    • Barnsley Canal
    • Basingstoke - Itchen Canal (project)
      • Portsmouth, Southampton & London Junction Canal
    • Basingstoke Canal
    • Bath & Bristol Canal (project)
    • Beaulieu River
    • Bedford - Grand Junction Canal (project)
      • Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway
    • Beverley Beck
    • Billericay Canal (project)
    • Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)
    • Blyth Navigation
    • Bo'ness Canal
    • Bradford Canal
    • Braunton Canal and River Taw schemes
    • Bridgewater Canal
      • Hulme Lock Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
      • Preston Brook Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
      • Stretford and Leigh Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
    • Bridgwater and Taunton Canal
      • Bristol & Taunton Canal
      • River Tone
    • Bristol & Western Canal (project)
    • Bristol - Cirencester canal (project)
    • Bristol - Salisbury canal (project)
    • Bristol - Thames Head Canal (project)
    • Brown's Canal (Somerset from the River Brue)
    • Bude Canal
    • Burry and Loughor Rivers
    • Bury & Sladen Canal project
    • Caistor Canal
    • Calder and Hebble Navigation
    • Caldon Canal
    • Caledonian Canal
    • Campbeltown Canal
    • Cann Quarry Canal
    • Car Dyke
    • Carlisle Canal
      • Cumberland Canal (project)
    • Cassington Cut
    • Cemlyn Canal
    • Central Junction Canal project
    • Central Union Canal project
    • Chard Canal
    • Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
    • Chesterfield Canal
    • Chichester Canal
    • Cinderford Canal
    • Cod Beck
    • Commercial Canal (project)
    • Coombe Hill Canal
    • Cottingham & Hull Canal (project)
    • Coventry Canal
      • Coventry Canal (Detached Section)
    • Crinan Canal
    • Cromford Canal
    • Croydon Canal
    • Cyfarthfa Canal
    • Dartford & Crayford Navigation
    • Dearne and Dove Canal
    • Derby Canal
    • Dick Brook
    • Dingwall Canal
    • Doctor's Canal
    • Donnington Wood Canal
    • Dorset & Somerset Canal
    • Douglas Navigation
    • Driffield Navigation
    • Droitwich Canals
      • Droitwich Junction Canal
    • (The) Duke's Cut - see Bridgewater Canal
    • Durham Canal (project)
    • Eardington Forges Canal
    • Earl of Ashburnham's Canal
    • Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal
    • Emmet's Canal
    • English & Bristol Channel canal schemes
      • English & Bristol Channels Junction Canal (project)
      • English & Bristol Channels Ship Canal
    • Exeter & Crediton Navigation
    • Exeter Ship Canal
    • Fletcher's Canal
    • Flint Coal Canal
    • Forth & Cart Canal
    • Forth & Clyde Canal
      • Forth & Clyde Canal - Glasgow Branch
    • Fossdyke (Fossdyke and Witham )Canal
    • Galton's Canal
    • General Warde's (Dafen) Canal
    • General Warde's (Yspitty) Canal
    • Glamorganshire Canal
    • Glasgow, Paisley & Johnstone Canal
    • Glastonbury Canal
    • Glenkens Canal
    • Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal
    • Grand Surrey Canal
      • Grand Surrey Dock, Canal & Junction Railway (project)
    • Grand Union Canal
    • Grand Western Canal
    • Grantham Canal
    • Greasbrough (Park Gate) Canal
    • Grosvenor Canal
    • Gwauncaegurwen Canal
    • Hackney Canal
    • Hants & Berks Junction Canal project
    • Haslingden Canal
    • Hatherton Canal (project)
    • Helston Canal (project)
    • Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal
    • High Peak Junction Canal (project)
    • Hopkin's Canal
    • Horncastle Canal
    • Huddersfield Broad Canal
    • Huddersfield Narrow Canal
    • Invararnan Canal
    • Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation
    • Isle of Dogs Canal
    • Kennet and Avon Canal
    • Kensington Canal
    • Kent & Sussex Junction Canal (project)
    • Ketley Canal
    • Keyingham Navigable Drains (project)
    • Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal
    • Kilbagie Canal
    • Kilgetty Canal
    • Knaresborough Canal Schemes
    • Kyme Eau - Sleaford Canal
    • Kymer's Canal
    • Lancaster - Morecambe Ship Canal (project)
    • Lancaster Canal
      • Lancaster Canal - Glasson Dock Branch
    • Lechlade - Abingdon Canal (project)
    • The Leeds & Liverpool Canal - An overview
    • Leominster Canal
    • Leven Canal
    • Liskeard & Looe Union Canal
    • Little Punchard Gill Boat Level
    • Liverpool Canal (project)
    • Llandeilo & Llandovery Canal (project)
    • Llansamlet (Smith's) Canal
    • Llechryd Canal
    • London & Birmingham Junction Canal (project)
    • London & Cambridge Junction Canal
    • London & Southampton Ports Junction Canal (project)
    • London & Western Canal (project)
    • London - Portsmouth Canal (project)
    • London Canal (project)
    • London to Portsmouth Ship Canal schemes
    • Louth Navigation
    • Lydney Canal
    • Macclesfield Canal
    • Mackworth's Canal
    • Manchester & Dee Ship Canal (project)
    • Manchester & Salford Junction Canal
    • Manchester Ship Canal
      • Manchester Ship Canal - River Irwell Upper Reach
      • Manchester Ship Canal - Walton Lock Branch
    • Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal
    • Mardyke Canal
    • Market Weighton Canal
    • Melton Mowbray Navigation
    • Mersey & Irwell Navigation
    • Middle Level Navigation
    • Middlesbrough - Redcar Ship Canal Project
    • Millwall Canal
    • Monkey Island - Isleworth canal project
    • Monkland Canal
    • Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
      • Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal
    • Monmouthshire Canal
    • Montgomery Canal - Montgomery Canal 2007
    • Muirkirk Canal
    • Mundon or White House Farm Canal
    • Neath and Tennant Canals
      • Neath Canal
      • Tennant Canal
        • Glan-Y-Wern Canal
        • Red Jacket Canal
    • Nent Force Level
    • Newcastle & Hexham Canal (project)
    • Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes
    • Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal
    • Newcastle-under-Lyme Junction Canal
    • Newdigate Canals
    • Newport Pagnell Canal
    • Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
      • Candle Dyke to Hickling Broad
      • Haddiscoe (or New) Cut - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads
      • Hardley Dyke (River Yare)
      • Langley Dyke (River Yare)
      • Martham Broad to West Somerton
      • Meadow Dyke to Waxham Bridge
      • Oulton Broad and Dyke
      • River Ant
      • River Bure
      • River Chet
      • River Thurne
      • River Waveney
      • River Yare
      • Rockland Dyke and Rockland Broad
      • Stalham Dyke (River Ant)
      • Thorpe Village Loop (River Yare)
      • Trowse Mills Branch (River Yare)
    • North Eastern Junction Canal project
    • North Walsham and Dilham Canal
    • Nottingham Canal
    • Nutbrook Canal
    • Oakham Canal
    • Oxford Canal
      • Oxford Canal (Northern Section)
      • Oxford Canal (Southern Section)
    • Padstow - Lostwithiel Scheme
    • Par Canal
    • Parnall's Canal
    • Parrott's Canal
    • Peak Forest Canal
    • Pembrey Canal
    • Pen-clawdd Canal
    • Pen-y-fan Canal
    • Penrhiwtyn Canal
    • Pensnett Canal
    • Perth Canal (project)
    • Pidcock's Canal
    • Pillrow Cut
    • Plas Kynaston Canal
    • Pocklington Canal
    • Polbrock Canal
    • Portsmouth & Arundel Canal
    • Preston Ship Canal Schemes
    • Public Devonshire Canal (project)
    • Reading - Monkey Island Canal (project)
    • Regent's Canal
    • Retyn and East Wheal Rose scheme
    • Ribble Link
    • Ripon Canal
    • River Adur
      • Baybridge Canal
    • River Alde
    • River Ancholme
    • River Arun
      • River Rother (Western)
      • Petworth Canal
    • River Avon ( Bristol)
    • River Avon (Hampshire)
    • River Avon ( Warwick)
      • Higher Avon Navigation
      • Lower Avon Navigation
      • Upper Avon
    • River Blyth Navigation
    • River Brede
    • River Cam
      • Burwell Lode
      • Reach Lode
      • Swaffham Lode
      • Wicken Lode
    • River Cart
    • River Colne
    • River Crouch
      • River Roach
    • River Dart
    • River Deben
    • River Dee
    • River Derwent (Yorkshire)
    • River Derwent (Derbyshire)
    • River Don
      • River Don (Upper Section)
    • River Foss
    • River Fowey
    • River Frome
    • River Gipping
    • River Glen
    • River Great Ouse
      • Counter Wash Drain (Great Ouse)
      • Great Ouse Relief Channel
      • Lakenheath Lode (Great Ouse)
      • Little Ouse or Brandon River
      • Old Bedford River
      • Old West River (Great Ouse)
      • River Lark (Great Ouse)
        • Lark - Orwell Canal project
      • River Wissey
    • River Hamble
    • River Hull
    • River Humber
    • River Idle
    • River Itchen
    • River Ivel
    • River Lee
      • Old River Lee
      • River Lee - Bow Creek
      • River Stort Navigations
    • River Lug
    • River Medina (IOW)
    • River Medway
    • River Mersey
    • River Nar
    • River Nene
      • River Nene Stanground Branch
    • River Orwell
    • River Ouse ( Sussex)
    • River Ouse ( Yorkshire)
      • River Parrett
      • Ivelchester & Langport Navigation
      • River Brue
      • River Isle and Westport Canal
      • River Yeo
    • River Ribble
    • River Roding
    • River Rother (Eastern)
      • River Brede
    • River Salwarpe
    • River Severn
    • River Stort
    • River Stour ( Kent)
    • River Stour ( Suffolk)
    • River Stour (Worcestershire)
    • River Swale
    • River Tamar
    • River Tees
    • River Tern
    • River Thames
    • River Trent
    • River Tyne
    • River Ure
    • River Wansbeck
    • River Wear
    • River Weaver
      • River Weaver - Old Navigation Line
    • River Welland
    • River Wey
    • River Wharfe
    • River Witham Navigation
    • River Wye
    • Rochdale Canal
    • Rolle Canal
    • Romford Canal
    • Royal Military Canal
    • Salford - Wigan Canal project
    • Salisbury & Southampton Canal
    • Sankey Brook Navigation
    • Scarborough and Whitby Canal schemes
    • Scarsdale & High Peak Canal project
    • Selby Canal
    • Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation
      • Sheffield Canal
      • Stainforth & Keadby Canal
    • Sheffield and South Yorkshire New Junction Canal
    • Shropshire Canal
    • Shropshire Union Canal
    • Sir John Glynne's Canal
    • Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal
    • Sleaford Navigation
    • Somerset Coal Canal
    • Speedwell Level
    • St Nicholas Bay Harbour & Caterbury Canal
    • St. Columb Canal
    • Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
    • Stevenston Canal
    • Stockton & Darlington Canal Project
    • Stort - Cam Canal projects
    • Stourbridge Canal
      • Stourbridge Canal - Stourbridge Branch
      • Stourbridge Canal - The Fens on Pensnett Chase Branch
      • Stourbridge, Wolverhampton & Birmingham Junc'n Canal
    • Stourbridge Extension Canal
    • Stover Canal
    • Stratford upon Avon Canal
      • Stratford upon Avon Canal - Kingswood Branch
    • Stroudwater Canal
    • Swansea Canal
      • Trewyddfa Canal
      • Morris's Canal
    • Tamar Manure Navigation
    • Taunton - Uphill Canal project
    • Tavistock Canal
    • Tees Canal schemes
    • Thames & Medway Canal
    • Thames and Severn Canal
    • Torrington Canal
    • Tremadoc Canal
    • Trent and Mersey Canal
    • Ulverston Canal
    • Vauxhall Canal
    • Wandsworth - Croydon Canal project
    • Weald of Kent Canal (project)
    • Went Canal (project)
    • Wern Canal
    • Western Union Canal (project)
    • Wey and Arun Junction Canal
    • Whitby Canal
    • Wilts and Berks Canal
      • Aylesbury - Abingdon Canal (project)
      • Bristol Junction Canal project
      • North Wilts Canal
    • Wimbledon & Wandsworth Canal (project)
    • Wisbech Canal
    • Witham Navigable Drains
      • Bell Water Drain
      • Castle Dyke
      • Cowbridge Drain
      • East Fen Catchwater Drain
      • Frith Bank Drain
      • Hobhole Drain
      • Howbridge Drain
      • Junction Drain
      • Lush's Drain
      • Maud Foster Drain
      • Medlam Drain
      • New Bolingbroke Drain
      • Newham Drain
      • Stonebridge Drain
      • West Fen Catchwater Drain
      • West Fen Drain
    • Woodeaves Canal
    • Worcester & Gloucester Union Canal (project)
    • Worcester and Birmingham Canal
    • Worsley Brook Navigation (project)



Stag Beetle

We found a dead Stag Beetle - Species: Lucanus cervus floating in the Grand Union Canal in June 2008.

Stag Beetle - Lucanus cervus


We were surprised to find the Stag Beetle is a native species to southern and eastern England in the class: Insecta, Order: Coleoptera, Family: Lucanidae, Subfamily: Lucaninae, Genus: Lucanus


This creature looks like it belongs in ancient Egypt not within a stones throw of Uxbridge! First named the Stag Beetle by Linnaeus in 1758. 'Stag' is the specific name in English for an adult male Red Deer - Species: Cervus elaphus and coincidentally our Stag Beetle did have a reddish-chestnut hue over the mandibles.


The Stag Beetle lives in holes in old trees and dead trunks, in the forest. We are told these beetles are good flyers and make a really high pitched buzzing noise.


It takes about 3 years to become adult and then they only live for a few months feeding on nectar, soft or damaged fruit and tree sap. Male Stag Beetles range between 35 and 92mm, Females between 35 and 45mm ant the same species is found across West, Central and East Europe.


If you have any unusual pictures of British wildlife around our waterways then please let us share them with our readers.



Satellite Television On Narrowboats

Satellite TV Equipment For Narrowboats

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For Narrowboats

Jean and Graham Bevan write:

We have had 'freesat' satellite television on our narrowboat since August 2010. As continuous cruisers moving every two, three or so days we have only found ourselves in a position during the first 12 months where we were unable to get a 'freesat' satellite signal on just three occasions!

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For NarrowboatsFreesat has over 150 free TV and radio channels, and they're adding more all the time.

Satellite TV on narrowboats seemed a complicated subject when we first looked at it but we find it remarkably simple! There are a number of individuals that perpetuate the myth that it is a 'complex subject', who will install and set up your narrowboat's satellite TV but really you shouldn't need to pay them for their services!

We bought all we needed from Maplin Electronics for under £150! That included the "Satellite Suitcase", satellite finder, extra cable & fixings.

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For Narrowboats

Our Maplin's Satellite Suitcase- just over £100 - Quote - A60GY - on the website Product Search

Complete suitcase system including 39cm dish and receiver - all in one portable compact case - Receive up to 250 channels -
Includes low noise LNB, satellite cable and SCART cable - 10m cable with connectors and various mounts - 12/230V satellite receiver - Full fitting and installation instructions - DiSEqC 1.0, 1.2, USALS - 4:3 standard screen or 16:9 widescreen - 8 programmable favourite lists - EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) - Base equipped with suction mounts for mounting on a smooth surface - Steel bracket for vertical mounting support - Dimensions: 150 x 405 x 500 mm - Weight (boxed): 6.1kg


You can't rely on the British weather! Receive digital satellite programmes without depending on a fixed mounted satellite aerial. The mobile aerial allows you to receive signals at different places such as in a marina or along the towpath! You can also connect the receiver to a fixed installed satellite aerial. The most common broadcasting stations are pre-programmed to the ASTRA, Hotbird, Sirius, Hispasat and Hellasat satellites.

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For Narrowboats

For a simple and effective set up, all you need to receive satellite TV on a narrowboat is:

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For Narrowboats
A satellite dish - Which in effect is your aerial that gathers the signal and reflects it onto the mushroom shaped low noise block (LNB) which is facing the center of the dish. The dish should be of a manageable size as you will need to set it up every time you moor in a new spot.

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For NarrowboatsA satellite receiver - The 'black box' that decodes the signal. This can be one of any number of makes and models on the market. So choose a satellite receiver that suits your viewing needs! We are quite happy with the freesat service but sports or movie fans might want to subscribe to 'Sky' or other systems.

A television - Any modern digital television will do! Any size or type can be connected via the TV's scart socket, aerial socket or even the phono sockets. But if you want to receive HD TV you will need an HD Ready TV set!

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For NarrowboatsThe connecting cables - Coaxial cable from the satellite receiver to the satellite dish. Scart / coaxial / HD cable / phono cables between the satellite receiver and TV (depending upon setup).


Useful accessories for satellite TV Equipment for narrowboats include:

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For NarrowboatsA Satellite Finder - A device with either an audible or visual indicator (or both), that is temporarily placed between the satellite dish and the satellite receiver to help you to position the dish precisely on the sweet spot! Once you are experienced in satellite sweet spotting you may never need it again! If you have a smart phone you can download an app to show you where the TV satellites are. This particular app is not free.

A small spanner - To tighten / loosen the cables for the satellite finder.

Satellite Television - TV Equipment For NarrowboatsA Compass - A useful tool to help you get into the ball park area of the chosen satellite! Again if you have a smart phone, you can get a free compass app which will work better than a standard compass as it is not magnetic and therefore not affected by the boat structure.

We originally bought a freesat travel kit, all contained within a 'briefcase' from the Maplin Electronics Store in Bath.

We fitted the satellite dish to the top of our existing digital tv aerial, as shown above, following the cables through the bulkhead.

The 'black box' fitted under the tv's foot. All was well!

A few months later we added an extension to the system for the digital TV in the bedroom, by feeding a cable through the boat to the bedroom and moving the original 'black box' to the foot of the bed. We replaced the original 'black box' in the saloon with a new HD satellite receiver (remoting the extended bedroom cable through the in/out sockets on the back of the HD box).


Barbridge Junction - Shropshire Union Part 1

Part of the Four Counties Ring

This is the journey on the Shropshire Union Canal from Barbridge Junction, Wardle, in Cheshire just off the A51 trunk road about 2 miles north of Nantwich to Audley Junction, Wolverhampton, West Midlands to Hack Green.

Barbridge Junction

Picture of Barbridge Junction

Heading south from Barbridge Junction you will pass the high banks of the reservoir just north of Hurleston Junction where the Llangollen Canal joins the Shropshire Union. A mile or so further south there is the Marina of the NBCSC (Nantwich and Border Counties Sailing Club) at the branch for Nantwich Basin branch.

Reservoir

Staying on the Shropshire Union, with Nantwich on the horizon and tea time looming you might wish to search out a fish and chip shop. If you moor at the first British Waterways approved visitor moorings you are north of an aqueduct over the A534 in towards Nantwich centre. The fish and chip shop is about 400 meters towards town, after the school, on the left. After your tea you could cruise for another hour or so and mooring can be found just south of Hack Green Locks. Here you will notice that British Waterways and the Shropshire Union Canal Society have provided picnic tables one of which has disabled access! Good news. Well done the Shropshire Union Canal Society!

Hack Green Locks



One bridge down from the locks there is foot access to a ‘Secret Bunker’ (Nuclear Bunker) about 600 meters east towards Hack Green. With hopefully the promise of a fine sunset you can settle down for the evening.

Sunset at Hack Green

Picture of sunset at Hack Green

 


Pochard - Aythya ferina

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.
In the UK, Pochards breed in eastern England and lowland Scotland, and in small numbers in Northern Ireland, with numbers increasing gradually. Large numbers overwinter in Great Britain, after retreating from Russia and Scandinavia.

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.The adult male has a long dark bill with a grey band, a brownish red head and neck, a black breast and tail feathers, red eyes and a light grey back, and in flight show a pale grey wing-stripe. The triangular head shape is quite distinctive. Pochards are superficially similar to the closely related North American Redhead and Canvasback.

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.The adult female has a brown head and body and a narrower grey bill band and blotchy cheeks.

Their breeding habitat is marshes, lakes and canals with a metre or more water depth. Pochards breed in much of temperate and northern Europe into Asia. They are migratory, and winter in the southern and west of Europe.

These are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as Tufted Duck, which they are known to hybridise with. We saw the ones pictured here in Brentford Basin, GUC in May 2010.

The Pochard or Common Pochard (Latin name: Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized but stocky diving duck smaller than a mallard in the same family as swans, ducks and geese.
These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and will upend for food like mallards as well as their more characteristic diving method.

In the UK, Pochards breed mainly in eastern England and lowland Scotland, and in small numbers in Northern Ireland, with numbers increasing, perhaps helped by the creation of more gravel pits and reservoirs. Breeding birds are susceptible to disturbance and pollution though. British breeding birds disperse in winter, some to Europe, and many birds move here in winter from northern and eastern Europe.

Good places to look in summer are open lakes, gravel pits and wide canals in lowland eastern and southern England and Scotland. Found all year round more widely in a mild winter, often on larger lakes and even on estuaries.

They eat water plants, seeds, snails, small fish and insects.

There are an estimated number of around 85,500 individual Pochards so there is a good chance of seeing them on the canal system.


Mandarin Duck - Aix galericulata

The male Mandarin duck is an unusual, pretty multicoloured waterbird

Mandarin Duck - Aix galericulata - The male Mandarin duck is an unusual, pretty multicoloured waterbird
The male Mandarin duck is an unusual, pretty multicoloured waterbirdThe male Mandarin Ducks we have seen have the most distinctive, elaborate and ornate plumage with distinctive long orange facial feathers at the side of their faces. The females are dull by comparison with a grey head and white downward curving stripe behind the eye and brown back with mottled flanks. They were, as the name might suggest, introduced to Europe and UK from China, becoming established by way of escapees from captive stock.

The main population of Mandarin Ducks - Aix galericulatais is in southern, central and eastern England, with occasional sightings in Wales, Northern England and Scotland.

They are non-migratory residents seen all year round, living on insects, vegetation and seeds.

The RSPB estimates there to be around 7,000 adult Mandarin Ducks in the UK.


Little Grebe (or Dabchick) - Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Grebe (or Dabchick) - Tachybaptus ruficollis in winter plumage
In over 5 years of extensive canal and river cruising in England and North Wales we have personally only had just two positive sightings of the Little Grebe or Dabckick, Tachybaptus ruficollis.

This small water bird reaches a size between 23 to 29 cm in length. A member of the grebe family of water birds.

We saw one single bird, a couple of years ago, on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Liverpool and a single bird (Jan 2010) on the Shropshire Union Canal at Adderley Locks.

According to the RSPB there are a maximum of 36,000 individual Dabchicks in the UK and may be as few as 18,000 - so maybe that's why we don't see many of them then!

The adult Little Grebe / Dabchick summer plumage is predominantly dark above with its rich, rust brown (rufous) colour neck, cheeks and flanks, and bright yellow gape. The rufous is replaced by a dirty brownish grey in non-breeding and juvenile birds.

Juvenile birds have a yellow bill with a small black tip, and black and white streaks on the cheeks and sides of the neck. This yellow bill darkens as the juveniles age, eventually turning black once in adulthood.

In winter, its size, buff plumage, with a darker back and cap, and “powder puff” rear end (see top photo) enables easy identification of the Little Grebe / Dabchick.


Grizzled Skipper Butterfly - Pyrgus-malvae

Grizzled Skipper butterfly - Pyrgus-malvae
British Waterways, working in partnership with the Butterfly Conservation Society, has created a new habitat on the banks of the Oxford Canal to support the rare Grizzled Skipper butterfly.

Today British Waterways’ ecologists and volunteers from the Butterfly Conservation Society will be putting the final touches to the new habitat by planting Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) at the site. Kidney vetch is the perfect plant for butterflies, attracting them to its usually yellow flowers, and hopefully helping to boost the number of the rare Grizzled Skipper butterfly along the Oxford Canal.

The rare Grizzled Skipper Butterfly (Pyrgus malvae) is a small low flying butterfly that can be found throughout England and Wales but is becoming increasingly rare. It’s extremely difficult to follow when in flight, but once settled, the black and white pattern on the wings, from which this species gets its name, is unmistakable. The butterfly occurs in small colonies of less than 100 adults and prefers warm sunny sites where it can bask in the sun.

According to a recent survey by the European Red List assessment of species one in ten species of butterfly face extinction in Europe and over a third have declining populations. This is mainly due to loss of habitats from farming and the change in traditional farming methods.

To help boost the population of this rare butterfly BW ecologists and volunteers from the Butterfly Conservation Society worked with BW contractors to clear an area of scrubland four metres wide and 580 metres long along the Oxford Canal (MAP) at Fenny Compton. As well as clearing the area of overgrown plants and weeds, four large butterfly banks were created. These banks will be planted with Kidney vetch and seeded with Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Once grown, these plants will provide perfect living and breeding conditions for the butterflies.

Penny Foster British Waterways’ ecologist said: “This is a great project to work on, as we have created a lovely new habitat for these protected butterflies. The rich lime grassland areas at Fenny Compton are the perfect breeding ground for the Grizzled Skipper. Once the Kidney vetch has started to grow it will hopefully attract other butterfly species such as the Small Blue Butterfly and the Dingy Skipper to the area, and really boost the population of these rare insects.”

Kidney vetch is a pretty yellow flowering plant that prefers lime rich soil and is widely sown on open land. The flowers provide the adult butterflies with nectar, as well as them using the plants for laying eggs; the caterpillars will also use the plants for food.

Mike Slater Butterfly Conservations’ Project Manager for this area said ”It’s been fantastic working with British Waterways to conserve the endangered Grizzled Skipper. This is a core area for this species and I am confident that the work will not only preserve the colony but increase its size.”

Each year British Waterways launches its annual wildlife survey and with spring firmly here, the annual survey is a perfect family activity and will continue throughout the year until the autumn. This year’s survey will focus on the splendid regent of the waterways – the kingfisher, whose numbers are expected to be affected by the recent harsh winter. British Waterways wants nature novices and seasoned spotters to record sightings of all wildlife they see on their local waterways at www.waterscape.com/wildlifesurvey.


'Ratty' The Water Vole (AKA Water Rat) On Britain's Canal System

The annual British Waterways' survey supported by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust reveals the diversity of water-loving wildlife

European Water Vole - Arvicola amphibius
The water vole (European Water Vole - Arvicola amphibius), the UK's fastest declining mammal, seems to be making good use of canals, with twice as many sightings recorded across the country in British Waterways’ latest waterways wildlife survey. The water vole, immortalised as ‘Ratty’ in The Wind in the Willows, joins nearly 300 different species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and other mammals that have been spotted making their homes on Britain’s inland waterways this year. Water Voles are expert swimmers and divers.

European Water Vole - Arvicola amphibiusEuropean water voles do not usually live in large groups. Adult water voles each have their own territories, which they mark with faecal latrines located either near the nest, burrow and favoured water's edge platforms where voles leave or enter the water.

The most water-loving bugs and beasties were sighted along the Kennet & Avon CanalThe actual 2009 Wildlife - Bumblebee Conservation Trust Survey top 20 results were:
1. Mallard 7,037 - 2. Canada goose 2,550 - 3. Swan 2,482 - 4. Moorhen 2,019 - 5. Starling 1,693 - 6. Bumblebee 1,664 - 7. Rabbit 1,403 - 8. House sparrow 1,329 - 9. Coot 1,312 - 10. Stickleback 780 - 11. Roach 750 - 12. Frog 696 - 13. Perch 674 - 14. Damselfly 573 - 15. Robin 540 - 16. Heron 495 - 17. Grey squirrel 390 - 18. Cormorant 326 - 19. Dragonfly 324 - 20. Pondskater 286


Rare butterflies, otters, a porpoise and even an alligator snapping turtle were among the less common of the 42,500 sightings recorded, while mallards, Canada geese and swans were the most commonly seen.

Kids encompassing the Bumblebee Conservation Trust message
It was a good year for sightings of the survey’s focus species, the bumblebee, as a warm start to summer meant that a healthy number were spotted taking advantage of waterside wild flowers. There were also numerous sightings of kingfishers – an indicator of good water quality and a healthy ecosystem.

Dr Mark Robinson, British Waterways’ national ecology manager, says: “Canals and rivers are ideal wildlife corridors that support a vast array of wildlife, including bats, newts and otters. Whether you are in the middle of a city, or somewhere more remote, you are almost guaranteed to see some exciting wildlife on the waterway. If you look a little harder you might even see something rare or unusual.

“It is particularly encouraging to note the number of water voles spotted this year. Each record helps conservationists to monitor, protect and preserve the amazing biodiversity found on our waterways. With 50 per cent of the UK’s population living within five miles of a freely accessible canal or river, there’s never been a better time to get closer to nature.”

British Waterways’ 2009 wildlife survey reveals:

Although rare, 89 water voles were spotted (twice the number than in 2008), with the most being seen on the Kennet & Avon Canal

127 different species of bird were sighted, including woodpeckers, reed warblers, little owls and almost 200 kingfishers

27 different species of butterflies were seen, including brimstones, small blues and speckled woods

The number of frogs seen leapt three times from 2008, with three-quarters of them seen in Scotland
The most unusual of the 42,500 sightings was a porpoise, a close relation of the dolphin, seen in the River Ouse near Selby and a large alligator snapping turtle, a non-native species from north America, at Earlswood Reservoir, Solihull


The most water-loving bugs and beasties were sighted along the Kennet & Avon Canal, which stretches between Reading and Bristol; the Forth & Clyde Canal in Scotland, and the canals in and around Birmingham

For more information on this years survey sightings or to find out the best places to spot bugs and beasties near you, visit www.waterscape.com/wildlifesurvey


Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal

Stafford - Radford Meadows Nature Reserve
- Black Poplar Tree

The site is also one of the few locations for the native Black Poplar tree, a relc of floodplane woodland that was once common in lowland England. Radford Meadows Nature Reserve forms part of the floodplain of the River Penk just south of Stafford adjacent to the Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Floodplains are geographical features caused where excess water spreads out over low lying land beyond the usual banks of a river, the land acting like a sponge to store this water, slowly released back into the river system. Most flood plains have been drained to aid urban development or increase agricultural productivity.

The River Penk's Radford Meadows Nature Reserve is essential to a variety of birds especially waders and wildfowl during their breeding season and overwintering as well as other wildlife.

The site is also one of the few locations for the native Black Poplar tree, a relic of floodplain woodland that was once common in lowland England.

Stafford - Radford Meadows Nature Reserve

Controlled by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust


The American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculus - The New Crayfish UK!

Whilst cruising the Kennet and Avon Canal we were told by an angler that there was a major problem for anglers with an introduced American Crayfish on the canal.

American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculus - The New Crayfish UK
From our travels to the USA we know that American Signal Crayfish, freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters - to which they are related, are indigenous to the southern and western United States. Members of this species are known to grow up to around 6inches / 15cm in length.

Crayfish trap with American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculus - The New Crayfish UKAmerican Signal Crayfish are bluish-brown to reddish-brown in colour with robust large smooth claws that can give a nasty nip! They have a white to pale blue-green patch near the claw hinge and red undersides to the claws. Like all crayfish, they are solitary animals and are omnivorous, although their diet is mainly vegetarian they will eat anything from decaying roots and leaves to meat, including crayfish smaller than themselves.

Crayfish trap with American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculus - The New Crayfish UKThe American Signal Crayfish has been carelessly introduced into various countries without considering the fact that while it is resistant to the crayfish plague it can still act as a carrier. Thus, its proliferation expedites the eventual extinction of native crayfish. The concern is that this has been the case in the UK. Due to the crayfish plague native crayfish stocks have almost been exterminated. Crayfish plague is not indigenous to Europe, rather it was introduced by the introduction of the new species of American Signal Crayfish to the UK.

Cooked 6 inch American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculusWe brought a crayfish trap back from the USA a few years ago when a pool we used to fish in Shropshire had an American Signal Crayfish problem. We had many a tasty treat out of that pool!

American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculusAnyway we placed the crayfish trap close to the canal bank about seven pm and by eight there was one critter in the trap!

By eight the following morning there were fourteen American Signal Crayfish staring back at us!

Send us your Crayfish recipes for the American Signal Crayfish - Pacifastacus leniusculusOnce cooked off and de-shelled the resulting delicately flavoured tail and claw meat weighed in at around 4oz / 100g

Send us your Crayfish recipes!


Llangollen, Denbighshire, Canal Walk - Wales - Llangollen Canal Walk

Welsh Canal Walk - Chirk to Llangollen – 9 miles

Chirk aqueduct and railway viaduct
This walk was designed and supplied by: www.meanderholidays.co.uk

Additional information: A torch is recommended

This Llangollen Canal route takes in the stunning canal architecture of the Chirk aqueduct and the world heritage site of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct the highest and longest aqueduct in the UK and into the attractive tourist town of Llangollen.

There is a large free car park in the centre of Chirk. - MAP Alternatively park in Llangollen and take a bus to Chirk.

From the car park cross the main road bear left and then turn right onto the B4500. After 500m you will reach the canal. Walk down the path to your left and this will take you directly onto the Chirk aqueduct, pictured above.

The Chirk aqueduct carries you 70 feet (21m) above the River Dee Valley on 10 stone arches, a total length of 700 feet (220m). The towpath is broad and has railing on the towpath side. To your right you will see (you can’t really miss it!) the later railway viaduct which is approximately 40 feet (13m) higher, but with arches which stylishly mirror those of the aqueduct.

Re-trace your steps along the aqueduct.

After the aqueduct the canal enters the Chirk tunnel. This is 420m long and as with the other tunnels on the Llangollen canal has a towpath and a railing between the canal and towpath. The tunnel is straight but a torch is recommended. If you prefer not to travel through the tunnel take the path to your right. Follow the signs for the railway station and turn left outside the station to rejoin the canal. The canal then follows a cutting for 1 mile before entering the shorter Whitehouses tunnel. This is circa 170m long and also has a towpath with railings.

Unfortunately there is no easy route to avoid the Whitehouses tunnel.

After Whitehouses tunnel the railway crosses the Dee Valley to the right while the canal begins to cling to the Dee Valley side. As you advance along the route you will also begin to glimpse the Pontcysyllte aqueduct crossing the valley to your right.

Bridge 28 is a footbridge over the canal giving access to the village of Froncysyllte which has a pub and shop, takeaway and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct toilets should you wish to seek fortification before crossing the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. To access Froncysyllte cross bridge 28 and take the road rising to your left (not the track that follows the canal) at the main road turn right for the Aqueduct Inn. Turn left for the general store (NB: it looks closed but it’s probably open!). A little further on to your left is a lay-by with toilets and take-away Fish and Chips.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct To cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct remain on the right hand towpath and as the canal bends to the right you will see it extending in front of. Please be aware that any winds will be stronger on the aqueduct itself.

Those of you preferring not to cross the aqueduct should leave the canal at Bridge 28 although we suggest you walk to the start of the aqueduct to admire the view and this feat of engineering. If you do not wish to cross the aqueduct cross Bridge 28 and turn right and exit the car park. Turn right and follow the road downhill. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct This gives excellent views of the aqueduct to your right. Cross the river bridge which gives further great views of the aqueduct and river. At the end of the bridge turn right and follow the road uphill. You will then cross the Llangollen arm of the canal, which you can join to continue your walk, or continue straight on to explore the basin at Trevor.

Every eight years the aqueduct is drained – each end is blocked and a plug removed from the middle which sends the water cascading into the Dee.

On the other side of the aqueduct is Trevor. The canal splits with a tight left turn into a narrow arm leading to Llangollen. The right arm was originally intended to be the main route to Chester via Ruabon. It now terminates at Trevor and serves as a basin. Trevor is a useful place to take a break. There are toilets in the car park to the right, a shop in the marina complex serving teas and coffees and the Telford Inn

The Llangollen arm was originally intended to only be used as a feeder carrying water from the Dee at Llantisilio, but was upgraded to be navigable to Llangollen, although it’s narrow in places.

To continue your journey cross the footbridge over the Ruabon arm in the basin and walk through the car park. out of the gates and across the road to rejoin the towpath which shortly crosses the canal and then continues along the valley side high above the Dee affording fantastic views across the valley and ahead to the mountains. At bridge 38 the Bryn Howel hotel provides a pleasant stop for a late lunch or afternoon tea.

After this the canal is crossed by the disused railway which once linked Llangollen to Ruabon, before you approach the attractive town of Llangollen. To reach the town leave the canal at Bridge 45 and walk down the hill

Horsedrawn trip boat at LlangollenLlangollen is a pleasant tourist town on the upper reaches of the River Dee. It grew with the development of the canal, railway and A5 Trunk road passing through it and is now probably best known as the home of the annual Eisteddfod which attracts 120,000 visitors to the town each July.

There are lots of independent shops to browse and lots of places to eat. You could also visit Plas Newydd house and gardens, ride the steam train along the Dee Valley. The more energetic could walk up to Horseshoe Fallsthe castle or rejoin the canal and follow the path to the Horseshoe Falls where the river feeds the canal with water, or to the ruined Valle Crucis Abbey.

If you have parked in Chirk you will need to take a bus from the Llangollen town centre.

Food and Drink

Aqueduct Inn – Bridge 28 - 4.5 miles

Take Away – Bridge 28 4.5 miles

Telford Inn – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Bryn Howel Hotel – Bridge 38 – 7 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles

Shops

Froncysyllte – Bridge 28 – 4.5 miles

Trevor Basin – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles

Toilets

Froncysyllte – Bridge 28 – 4.5 miles

Trevor Basin – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles

This walk was designed and supplied by: www.meanderholidays.co.uk


Wiltshire, England, Canal Walk - Kennet and Avon Canal Walk - Bradford-on-Avon to Bath – 10 Miles

The canal route between Bradford on Avon and Bath clings to the side of the Avon valley sharing it with both the river and railway.

This walk was designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk

There is an extensive car park in Bradford on Avon adjacent to the railway station. To reach the canal walk out of the car park and turn right and follow the road for 500m. When you reach the canal turn right on to the footpath (the canal should be on your left!)

Originally owned by Shaftsbury Abbey it’s now owned by English Heritage and open daily between 10.00 and 16.00, free entryThe canal is raised above the railway which has limited local traffic – so there is little to disturb your peace. As you leave Bradford on your right you will find the towns 14th Century Tithe Barn. Originally owned by Shaftsbury Abbey it’s now owned by English Heritage and open daily between 10.00 and 16.00, free entry. The large building is split into 14 bays and has an impressive wooden roof requiring substantial buttresses to support it.

The Kennet and Avon Canal is lock free until it reaches Bath and it achieves this by sticking to the valley side. In order to order to maintain this it crosses the river Avon and railway twice via two impressive aqueducts designed by John Rennie. The first is the Avoncliff (after 2 miles). Here you will find both the Cross Guns pub and the Mad Hatter Tea Rooms. The pub is on your right as you approach the aqueduct.

Before you cross the aqueduct you will need to transfer to the other side of the canal. This done by following the broad path beneath the aqueduct. This will lead you to the Mad Hatter which has a large garden, is licensed and renowned for its cakes.

The canal was designed with broad locks and wide bridges to accommodate boats that could also travel along the Thames and Avon. As you approach you will see a wide variety of different sized and weird and wonderful craft moored to the bank.

The route then follows the wooded towpath to the East of the valley before re-crossing the river via the Dundas aqueduct (after 4.5 miles). The aqueduct was built of Bath limestone and is considered to be the finest example of architecture on the route (despite being smaller than the Avoncliff). As you reach the aqueduct there are steps down to the left, which afford you an excellent view of Rennie’s architecture. The far side of the aqueduct marks the junction of the Kennet and Avon and the former Somerset Coal canal. Immediately after the Dundas aqueduct the towpath crosses the junction on a small swing bridge. Today the first half mile has been restored and is used as moorings. As the name implies it was built by Somerset coal mine owners to transport coal to Bath and Bristol as they feared that the new navigation would make supply from other parts of the country cheaper. The canal was opened in 1805 and was initially successful, carrying over 100,000 tons of coal a year in the 1820’s but railway competition saw it decline, and close in 1898.

If you take the path to the left between the aqueduct and Somerset canal it leads you to the Brassknocker Visitor Centre and Café at the end of the restored Somerset canal section.

Retrace your steps, cross the opening to the Somerset canal and skirt around the remains of the Dundas wharf and cross the canal on the footbridge (Bridge 177) to continue your journey North.

At Bridge 179 you can see Claverton Pumping Station and visit it if today is a Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday or bank Holiday. The pumping station was built to transfer up to 98,000 gallons of water from the Avon up to the canal and address the problem of water loss into the Avon as the canal drops through its locks to join the river in Bath.

Claverton is also the home of the only American museum outside of the US. To visit cross bridge 179 and turn left on the main road. Cross over to take the first right turn and you will find the museum on your right housed in Claverton manor. You can visit the museum or buy a ticket to visit the grounds only. There is also a café.

The canal continues north and then turns east to approach Bath. At Bridge 183 (7.5 miles) the canal reaches Bathampton and the George Inn which together with being a pub serving food also provides takeaway ice cream.

From Bathampton the path affords an unrivalled view over the city of Bath before descending into the city. Between Bridges 185 (actually a short tunnel) and 188 the canal passes through the attractive Sydney Gardens. As you pass through the gardens look ahead and see Cleveland house above another short tunnel. This was the original Headquarters of the Kennet and Avon canal. The tunnels were constructed to partially hide the canal in a fashionable part of the town. The towpath crosses the canal after Cleveland House and again at bridge 188 where you also have to cross a main road so take care. The canal now drops down to meet the river through a series of locks including the appropriately named Bath Deep Lock which with a rise/fall of 18 feet and 8 inches is one of the deepest in Britain.

When you reach the canal’s junction with the River Avon you will see Bath Railway station on the other side of the river. Join the road and follow the road downstream, pass under the railway viaduct and cross the river.

Food and Drink

Avoncliff (2 miles)
Cross Guns - Tel: 01225 862335 www.crossguns.net
Mad Hatter Tea Room – Tel: 01225 868123 www.TheMadHatterCafe.net


Dundas Aqueduct – Bridge 176 (4.5 miles)
Brassknocker Cafe - Tel: 01225 722292


Bathampton – Bridge 183 (7.5 miles)
George Inn - Tel: 01225 460505


Toilets

In the above pubs and cafes.

Other Information

Claverton – Bridge 179 (5.5 miles)
American Museum - Tel: 01225 460503
www.AmericanMuseum.org


The Kennet and Avon canal links the River Avon in the West with the River Kennet and its confluence with the River Thames at Reading.

The Kennet and Avon rivers were both made navigable by 1727. The connecting 57 miles of canal was commenced in 1794 but not completed until 1810. The time taken to construct being a reflection of money shortages, water supply difficulties and the grand architectural style employed by its builder John Rennie. The canal was designed to allow boats to travel from London to Bristol and was therefore constructed with broad locks and high bridges. Unfortunately, the canal never competed successfully with rival coastal route. It was beset with water supply problems created by its comparatively short summit section and high number of locks, and its late commencement and completion meant that by 1852 it had been sold to the Great Western Railway and the canal declined over the next century until closure. It closed in the early 1950’s but within 10 years restoration had commenced with the whole route being restored by 1992.

This walk was designed and supplied by: www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk


Lancaster, Lancashire - Canal Walk - Lancaster Canal - Lancaster to Glasson and back to Lancaster

Lancaster, Lancashire - Canal Walk - Lancaster Canal - Lancaster to Glasson and back to Lancaster
This walk was designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk This is a circular taking you along the Lune estuary to Glasson where the canal is linked to the sea. Then back to Lancaster via the Glasson arm and the main canal

There are a number of car parks in Lancaster. Ideally park in Thurnham Street car park (close to the Police Station) or Nelson Street (close to the Town Hall and Cathedral), as these are adjacent to the canal. When you reach the canal turn right and this will take you South.

For a while canal runs next to the Aldcliffe Road. Where the road and canal separate follow the road into Aldcliffe. In Aldcliffe turn right down Aldcliffe Hall Road and continue along the lane. This will lead you to the Lancashire coast path which is based on a former rail line. Turn left and follow the track but please be aware that this is also a cycle track.

The path affords great views over the estuary to the Cumbrian hills beyond. At Conder Green (3 miles) the path crosses the River Condor. Here you will find toilets and café (open from 10am). To reach the Stork pub follow the road to your left before the path crosses the River.

If you wish you can take a short cut which misses Glasson and reduces the walk by circa 2 miles by continuing past the Stork to the main road and turning right. Follow the main road until you reach the canal and take the towpath to the left.

To continue to Glasson follow the track to the right over the river. This shortly brings you to Glasson. The Glasson arm and dock were constructed to give the Lancaster canal direct link to the sea. The arm is 2.5 miles long with 6 broad locks to allow the sea going vessels. It was constructed in 1826 and worked successfully until superseded by Preston as a port.

At Glasson (4 miles) the canal terminates in a basin used by both narrow boats and yachts which links to the docks via a lock. On the other side of the lock you will find a café, newsagent and The Dalton Arms. Boats passing through the lock require the road swing bridge to be opened but you are still able to cross using the lower lock gates. The toilets at Glasson are between the coastal path and main road.

To continue your route walk along the coastal side of the marina and pick up the canal towpath. You are now on the Glasson arm and after Bridge 6 (5 miles) you will reach The Mill pub next to the first lock. This pub was, not surprisingly, originally a mill. The canal company purchased it in order to gain access to water from the River Conder and water from the canal then powered the mill before being returned to the canal.

The canal continues its route towards the main canal and Bowland Hills beyond rising through five further locks. Its junction with the main canal has a fine turnover Bridge. - Bridge No 1 (7 miles). Here you should pass under the bridge and turn left.

Shortly you will reach Galgate. Bridge 86 (7.5 miles) gives access to a café and pub. Leave the towpath before the bridge and cross the bridge. The café to your left has a garden overlooking the canal. Please note the café is closed on Mondays. If you turn left when you reach the main road you come to the Plough Inn. Beyond The Plough under the railway bridge you will also find a Spar store.

After Galgate the canal travels north back to Lancaster. The first mile of this journey is open countryside before the canal enters Burrows Heights Cutting. The cutting was dug through ancient glacial deposits to maintain the canal level and avoid a long diversion. The cutting has the feel of a wooded valley and consequently can be muddy during wet conditions. As you exit the cutting you return to the start of your route. Look out for views of the castle to your left. Follow the canal and retrace your steps to the car park.

Food and drink

Conder Green – 3 miles.

Café de Lune. Tel: 01524 752048

The Stork. Tel: 01524 751234

Glasson – 4 miles

Dalton Arms. Tel: 01524 751213 www.daltonarms.co.uk

After Bridge 6 – 5 miles. The Mill Tel: 01524 752852.
www.millinn-condergreen.co.uk


Galgate – 7.5 miles

The Plough Inn. Tel: 01524 751337. www.the-plough.co.uk

Shops

Glasson – 4 miles. Village Store

Galgate – 7.5 miles. Spar

Toilets

Conder Green – 3 miles
Glasson – 4 miles
In the above pubs/cafes


Additional Information

By the mid 18th century Lancaster was a prosperous port but the estuary of River Lune could not accommodate the larger ships being built and Liverpool grew in importance. Consequently a way of linking Liverpool to Lancaster was required and a canal from Kendal south via Lancaster and Preston was proposed.

Construction started in 1792 and by 1800 the section from Preston to Tewitfield north of Carnforth was complete as was a section to Wigan south of the Ribble. In 1803 a temporary trestle bridge tramway linked the southern section to Preston and in 1819 the canal was extended to Kendal. In 1825 a short branch to Glasson near Lancaster was built giving the canal direct access to the sea but the link to the main network was not completed until in the modern era of canal re-development in 2002.

Despite this ‘missing link’ the canal flourished carrying both freight and passengers. The canal was lock free with the exception of 8 locks at Tewitfield and this meant that Packet Boats could travel from Preston to Kendal in 7 hours. The boats were pulled by two horses changed every 4 miles and passengers transferred boats at Tewitfield to avoid the delays of the locks. The advent of the railways saw the canal slowly decline with the Northern section closing in 1944 and the last commercial boat travelling between Preston and Lancaster in 1962.

Today the section from Preston to the locks at Tewitfield has been restored. Beyond Tewitfield the canal is in water but road development has seen it severed in several places. The final 5 miles to Kendal are no longer in water but the route can still be followed.

This walk was designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk

Towpath Cycling

Cycling around the Inland Waterways of the UK – Bike Trails and the Waterways cycle permission.

In recent years the rules have changed and a Cycle Permit is no longer required.

Towpath Cyclists

There are literally hundreds of miles of riverside and canal towpaths, lake side tracks and riverside walkways that are available for use by the cyclist.

The surfaces will vary considerably, from concrete and tarmac or asphalt to bare soil, grass or stony path surface, and you're likely to find a mixture of these on any waterway bike trail. It is recommended that cyclists use ‘mountain bike’ type tyres on towpaths in rural areas as these are not suitable for thin racing bike tyres.

Before cycling on any towpaths owned by Canal & River Trust, you will need to read the rules.

You can read water ways cycle advice here. By accepting the Canal & River Trust rules, you are agreeing to follow the Waterways Code, and to cycle only on those stretches of towpath classified as open to cyclists.

The Waterways Code aims to protect everyone’s safety on and around the inland waterways of the UK, to safeguard the ecology and environment, and to avoid disturbing the enjoyment of other users of the waterway and towpath.

There is no public right of way for cyclists on canal towpaths, and Canal & River Trust reserves the right to disallow users who disregard the rules.

Want to know where you can cycle on the towpath?

Canal & River Trust ~ Waterscape.com has a selection of popular recommended cycle routes. These take in waterside towpaths. You can also plan your own journey along the towpaths of Britain. Not all towpaths are open for cycling, either because of the width or surface, or because cycles would cause a real danger to other users.




Boat Equipment

Whether your boat is new, second hand, borrowed or hired, a GRP cruiser or a steel narrowboat, before you venture out of the marina on to the rivers or canal; Captain – check your equipment.

Listed alphabetically below is the ancillary equipment either required by law or needed to enable the safe handling and general progress of your boat. We have included items that we believe are generally accepted as essential by boaters:

Anchor – Required in an emergency and legal requirement on rivers.

Barge Pole – Required to fend your boat off obstructions or assist in re-floating a stranded boat.

Boat Hook – To retrieve items from the water and pulling the boat in towards the bank.

Bucket – For mopping down the deck etc.

Centre Line or Handling Rope – To hold the boat at locks or when mooring.

Club hammer – For driving mooring stakes into the ground.

Engine Oil – To keep the engine oil to required levels.

Fenders – To prevent damage to or by the boat.

Fire Blanket(s) – The Boat Safety Scheme states the minimum requirements for the size and type of craft.

Fire Extinguisher(s) – Again the Boat Safety Scheme states the minimum requirements for the size and type of craft.

First Aid Kit – Containing a full range of first aid equipment and instructions on how to use them.

Floating Key Ring – Every boat should have them on all keys.

Fuel Container + Funnel – Stowed properly. Containing emergency spare fuel. Enough for a few hours cruising.

Gang Plank – To assist boarding where required.

Grease – For prop-shaft water seal.

Horn – A regulatory requirement for most boats.

Insurance – Evidence of at least third party insurance is required for British Waterways licensing.

 




Slipways – Dry-docks – Cranes

UK Inland Waterway Slipways, Dry-docks and Cranes

Periodically every boat should be taken out of the water for the hull to be inspected, cleaned and the bottom treated. The inspection can also include the propeller, shaft, retaining nut and split-pin, bearing gland and rudder. The rudder should be treated with the hull. The prop should be inspected for bends or cracks in the blades and replaced if necessary. The rough edges may be filed smooth.

The rule of thumb and common advice is that this inspection should take place every two years. If left much longer the minor problems likely to occur below the water line in that period may develop into something more serious and costly!

With a steel hulled vessel the inspection would include the sacrificial anodes, if there is over 50% loss of volume then they should be replaced. Whilst the boat is out of the water we would recommend pressure washing the hull and removing any rust flakes, repair any seriously damaged or worn areas of the hull. When dry the hull should then be painted with at least two coats of anti-fouling paint or ‘blacking’.

With GRP hull - you should look for signs of osmosis and damage to the hull. Small bubbles on the hull should be broken, dried out and epoxy filler applied to the crater. The gel coat should be inspected and re applied.

There are three main ways of removing a boat from the water:

Slipways are where your boat is drawn out of the water on a trailer, cradle or similar.

Dry Dock where the water is removed from an enclosure at canal level by hydraulics - The traditional method of carrying out the above work is in a dry dock but they are few and far between.

Craneage; at a boat yard where there is a resident crane, the boat is lifted on to ‘sleepers’ for the inspection and work to be carried out. Generally the most expensive option if the crane has to be brought in to where the boat is. The cost can be shared if a number of boats are coming out (and going back in) on the same day(s)




Cruising The Huddersfield Broad Canal

Cruising The Huddersfield Broad Canal

Winding through the wild countryside of West Yorkshire is the beautiful Huddersfield Broad Canal.

Cruising The Huddersfield Broad CanalPart of the waterways of mainland Britain it runs for 3 miles and 4 furlongs through 9 locks from Cooper Bridge. This Broad was an essential mode of travel for textiles in the 1700s.

For many boating enthusiasts this is the gateway to the Pennines and is very popular for cycling, walking and angling. An entire day can easily be spent cruising through the wide waterways that cut into the rugged and fertile countryside of Yorkshire.

Cruising The Huddersfield Broad CanalThe canal facilities have recently been upgraded and the restoration makes this a sought-after route which is perfect for a cruise along the Yorkshires waterways.

Huddersfield itself is a charming market town scattered with Victorian architecture and many Grade 1 listed buildings; in fact, the town has the third highest amount of listed buildings in Britain.

After a day of river exploration, moor up, and enjoy a hearty meal at either The Yorkshire Rose or The Royal and Ancient pub, both serving quintessential pub grub.

If you decide to stay for a weekend, apart from boating, there is a plethora of outdoor activities in and around Huddersfield.

A glorious little walk through the film set of Where The Heart Is provides scenic verdant landscapes and is refreshingly quiet.  You will begin in Slaithwaite and end in Marsden at The Riverhead brewery Tap where piping hot traditional British grub is prepared.

To escape into stretching moorland dotted with sharp peaks and a chilled Yorkshire wind visit Marsden Moor Estate, part of the National Trust. Or for a peaceful afternoon of fishing try the Butterfly Reservoir, a loch nestled in-between sweeping valleys and abundant with all sorts of fish including carp.

Cruising The Huddersfield Broad Canal
Cruising the Huddersfield Broad Canal is an equable way to spend a day or for a longer stay combining this cruise with a tour of the surrounding countryside and expansive valleys is both edifying and restorative.

By Natalie Laurence

Natalie Laurence, writer for Insure and Away, a freelance journalist and writer based in Brighton with a love for travelling.




Cruises

Whether you are a boat owner or are hiring a boat or whether it is a narrowboat or cabin cruiser, there is no better place to be than on the water anywhere in the UK from April to October for the majority of us, or all year round for some of us. There are over two thousand miles of navigable water in the UK alone most of which is connected together as part of a system.

Some of the more popular named cruises are the Cheshire Ring and the Four Counties Ring, along with full length cruises of individual canals like the Llangollen Canal and Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

As an example, there is a link below to a cruise on the Four County Ring taken during May 2005. The cruise was taken in an anti-clockwise direction starting and ending at Penkridge in Staffordshire. This cruise also includes two cut and paste linear routes one clockwise; one anti-clockwise, that you can print off and use on your own cruise.

Article - Four Counties Ring
Article - Huddersfield Broad Canal


UK Canal Walks - UK River Walks

Walking the towpaths of Britain's canals
and navigable rivers.

Canal Walks are a great form of exercise. Take a look at the health benefits of a waterside stroll.

Our canals provide fantastic routes through some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside with the opportunity to stop in interesting towns and pretty villages. Along the way there’s lots to see – boats, locks, wharfs, aqueducts, castles, industrial heritage and plenty of wildlife. Plus they have the added benefit of being flat and even, and it’s not easy to get lost! But because they travel in one direction it’s not always easy to construct circular walking routes. Fortunately the routes of many canals are followed by rail and road, making it easy to walk in one direction and travel back by train or bus. Some of our canal walks are designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk

Whether you walk on your own, with your friends and family, with your dog or as part of a group of hikers or ramblers; with over half the UK population living within about five miles of a canal or navigable river, it couldn't be easier to take to the towpaths and enjoy the health benefits of a canal walk.
Canal Walks particularly are a popular way of discovering the natural, cultural and industrial heritage of the UK. Besides all that taking a canal walk is easy exercise as most canals are level for many miles making them suitable for people of all ages and walking abilities. There are over 1,500 miles of canal and river walking routes around the country with links to thousands of miles of footpaths. Why not choose a different canal walk each month as part of your exercise routine to work off an extra few calories!
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that simply being near to water makes people feel more relaxed - so what better place is there to exercise and spend your leisure time than alongside a canal or river? The towpaths of navigable rivers and canals provide peaceful havens in towns and cities across the UK. The inland waterways network provides many excellent walking routes for leisurely strolls or even long-distance hikes.
If you live in London why not look at planning a walking holiday along the only waterside National Trail, the Thames Path, which takes you from London to the Cotswolds and back again. Reduce your carbon footprint to zero on your next holiday! We have joined with Meander Holidays to bring you some canalside walks of varying length.

Tips for Canal and Riverside Walks:

Tips for Canal and Riverside Walks

Plan your navigable river or canal walk. Have some idea where you are going to turn around along the way. Don't wait until you're tired before you turn back if you intend to walk back.

Wear lightweight layered clothes, sturdy shoes and a hat. Carry at least 500ml of drinking water per person, no matter what the weather.

Keep an eye and ear out for cyclists. They don't have right of way but many seem to think they have!

Take binoculars and a camera with you if you have them - you never know what will pop up! Oh! Sunglasses too.

Keep children close at hand and don't allow them to run along the waterside or play near locks or weirs.

Please don't disturb wildlife or damage habitat.

Keep dogs under control and don't forget, please, pick up the poop. There is only one thing worse than a dog poo on the towpath and that's another dog poo on the towpath!

Some typical canal walks:

Canal Walks Lancashire

Canal Walks Wiltshire

Kennet-and-Avon-Canal-Walk

Lancaster Canal Walks

Llangollen Canal Walks



British Canal System, Rivers, Broads, Fens, Drains and other navigable and previously navigable inland waterways.

As we develop information about each entry we will link to the information from this list.

    • Aberdeenshire Canal
    • Aike Beck or Lockington Navigation
    • Aire & Dun Canal (project)
    • Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire
      • Aire & Calder Dewsbury Old Cut Section
      • Aire & Calder Main Line
      • Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby Section
      • Aire & Calder Navigation : Wakefield Section
      • River Aire
    • Alford Canal (project)
    • Ancholme - Witham Canal (project)
    • Andover Canal
    • Andover Canal to Basingstoke Canal (project)
    • Annandale Canal (project)
    • Arbroath - Forfar Canal (project)
    • Ashburton Canal (project)
    • Ashby Canal - Ashby de la Zouch Canal
    • Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals
      • Ashton Canal
      • Macclesfield Canal
      • Peak Forest Canal
        • Whalley Bridge Branch
    • Aylsham Navigation
    • Barnsley Canal
    • Basingstoke - Itchen Canal (project)
      • Portsmouth, Southampton & London Junction Canal
    • Basingstoke Canal
    • Bath & Bristol Canal (project)
    • Beaulieu River
    • Bedford - Grand Junction Canal (project)
      • Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway
    • Beverley Beck
    • Billericay Canal (project)
    • Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)
    • Blyth Navigation
    • Bo'ness Canal
    • Bradford Canal
    • Braunton Canal and River Taw schemes
    • Bridgewater Canal
      • Hulme Lock Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
      • Preston Brook Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
      • Stretford and Leigh Branch ( Bridgewater Canal)
    • Bridgwater and Taunton Canal
      • Bristol & Taunton Canal
      • River Tone
    • Bristol & Western Canal (project)
    • Bristol - Cirencester canal (project)
    • Bristol - Salisbury canal (project)
    • Bristol - Thames Head Canal (project)
    • Brown's Canal (Somerset from the River Brue)
    • Bude Canal
    • Burry and Loughor Rivers
    • Bury & Sladen Canal project
    • Caistor Canal
    • Calder and Hebble Navigation
    • Caldon Canal
    • Caledonian Canal
    • Campbeltown Canal
    • Cann Quarry Canal
    • Car Dyke
    • Carlisle Canal
      • Cumberland Canal (project)
    • Cassington Cut
    • Cemlyn Canal
    • Central Junction Canal project
    • Central Union Canal project
    • Chard Canal
    • Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
    • Chesterfield Canal
    • Chichester Canal
    • Cinderford Canal
    • Cod Beck
    • Commercial Canal (project)
    • Coombe Hill Canal
    • Cottingham & Hull Canal (project)
    • Coventry Canal
      • Coventry Canal (Detached Section)
    • Crinan Canal
    • Cromford Canal
    • Croydon Canal
    • Cyfarthfa Canal
    • Dartford & Crayford Navigation
    • Dearne and Dove Canal
    • Derby Canal
    • Dick Brook
    • Dingwall Canal
    • Doctor's Canal
    • Donnington Wood Canal
    • Dorset & Somerset Canal
    • Douglas Navigation
    • Driffield Navigation
    • Droitwich Canals
      • Droitwich Junction Canal
    • (The) Duke's Cut - see Bridgewater Canal
    • Durham Canal (project)
    • Eardington Forges Canal
    • Earl of Ashburnham's Canal
    • Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal
    • Emmet's Canal
    • English & Bristol Channel canal schemes
      • English & Bristol Channels Junction Canal (project)
      • English & Bristol Channels Ship Canal
    • Exeter & Crediton Navigation
    • Exeter Ship Canal
    • Fletcher's Canal
    • Flint Coal Canal
    • Forth & Cart Canal
    • Forth & Clyde Canal
      • Forth & Clyde Canal - Glasgow Branch
    • Fossdyke (Fossdyke and Witham )Canal
    • Galton's Canal
    • General Warde's (Dafen) Canal
    • General Warde's (Yspitty) Canal
    • Glamorganshire Canal
    • Glasgow, Paisley & Johnstone Canal
    • Glastonbury Canal
    • Glenkens Canal
    • Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal
    • Grand Surrey Canal
      • Grand Surrey Dock, Canal & Junction Railway (project)
    • Grand Union Canal
    • Grand Western Canal
    • Grantham Canal
    • Greasbrough (Park Gate) Canal
    • Grosvenor Canal
    • Gwauncaegurwen Canal
    • Hackney Canal
    • Hants & Berks Junction Canal project
    • Haslingden Canal
    • Hatherton Canal (project)
    • Helston Canal (project)
    • Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal
    • High Peak Junction Canal (project)
    • Hopkin's Canal
    • Horncastle Canal
    • Huddersfield Broad Canal
    • Huddersfield Narrow Canal
    • Invararnan Canal
    • Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation
    • Isle of Dogs Canal
    • Kennet and Avon Canal
    • Kensington Canal
    • Kent & Sussex Junction Canal (project)
    • Ketley Canal
    • Keyingham Navigable Drains (project)
    • Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal
    • Kilbagie Canal
    • Kilgetty Canal
    • Knaresborough Canal Schemes
    • Kyme Eau - Sleaford Canal
    • Kymer's Canal
    • Lancaster - Morecambe Ship Canal (project)
    • Lancaster Canal
      • Lancaster Canal - Glasson Dock Branch
    • Lechlade - Abingdon Canal (project)
    • The Leeds & Liverpool Canal - An overview
    • Leominster Canal
    • Leven Canal
    • Liskeard & Looe Union Canal
    • Little Punchard Gill Boat Level
    • Liverpool Canal (project)
    • Llandeilo & Llandovery Canal (project)
    • Llansamlet (Smith's) Canal
    • Llechryd Canal
    • London & Birmingham Junction Canal (project)
    • London & Cambridge Junction Canal
    • London & Southampton Ports Junction Canal (project)
    • London & Western Canal (project)
    • London - Portsmouth Canal (project)
    • London Canal (project)
    • London to Portsmouth Ship Canal schemes
    • Louth Navigation
    • Lydney Canal
    • Macclesfield Canal
    • Mackworth's Canal
    • Manchester & Dee Ship Canal (project)
    • Manchester & Salford Junction Canal
    • Manchester Ship Canal
      • Manchester Ship Canal - River Irwell Upper Reach
      • Manchester Ship Canal - Walton Lock Branch
    • Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal
    • Mardyke Canal
    • Market Weighton Canal
    • Melton Mowbray Navigation
    • Mersey & Irwell Navigation
    • Middle Level Navigation
    • Middlesbrough - Redcar Ship Canal Project
    • Millwall Canal
    • Monkey Island - Isleworth canal project
    • Monkland Canal
    • Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
      • Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal
    • Monmouthshire Canal
    • Montgomery Canal - Montgomery Canal 2007
    • Muirkirk Canal
    • Mundon or White House Farm Canal
    • Neath and Tennant Canals
      • Neath Canal
      • Tennant Canal
        • Glan-Y-Wern Canal
        • Red Jacket Canal
    • Nent Force Level
    • Newcastle & Hexham Canal (project)
    • Newcastle - Carlisle - Maryport Canal schemes
    • Newcastle-under-Lyme Canal
    • Newcastle-under-Lyme Junction Canal
    • Newdigate Canals
    • Newport Pagnell Canal
    • Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
      • Candle Dyke to Hickling Broad
      • Haddiscoe (or New) Cut - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads
      • Hardley Dyke (River Yare)
      • Langley Dyke (River Yare)
      • Martham Broad to West Somerton
      • Meadow Dyke to Waxham Bridge
      • Oulton Broad and Dyke
      • River Ant
      • River Bure
      • River Chet
      • River Thurne
      • River Waveney
      • River Yare
      • Rockland Dyke and Rockland Broad
      • Stalham Dyke (River Ant)
      • Thorpe Village Loop (River Yare)
      • Trowse Mills Branch (River Yare)
    • North Eastern Junction Canal project
    • North Walsham and Dilham Canal
    • Nottingham Canal
    • Nutbrook Canal
    • Oakham Canal
    • Oxford Canal
      • Oxford Canal (Northern Section)
      • Oxford Canal (Southern Section)
    • Padstow - Lostwithiel Scheme
    • Par Canal
    • Parnall's Canal
    • Parrott's Canal
    • Peak Forest Canal
    • Pembrey Canal
    • Pen-clawdd Canal
    • Pen-y-fan Canal
    • Penrhiwtyn Canal
    • Pensnett Canal
    • Perth Canal (project)
    • Pidcock's Canal
    • Pillrow Cut
    • Plas Kynaston Canal
    • Pocklington Canal
    • Polbrock Canal
    • Portsmouth & Arundel Canal
    • Preston Ship Canal Schemes
    • Public Devonshire Canal (project)
    • Reading - Monkey Island Canal (project)
    • Regent's Canal
    • Retyn and East Wheal Rose scheme
    • Ribble Link
    • Ripon Canal
    • River Adur
      • Baybridge Canal
    • River Alde
    • River Ancholme
    • River Arun
      • River Rother (Western)
      • Petworth Canal
    • River Avon ( Bristol)
    • River Avon (Hampshire)
    • River Avon ( Warwick)
      • Higher Avon Navigation
      • Lower Avon Navigation
      • Upper Avon
    • River Blyth Navigation
    • River Brede
    • River Cam
      • Burwell Lode
      • Reach Lode
      • Swaffham Lode
      • Wicken Lode
    • River Cart
    • River Colne
    • River Crouch
      • River Roach
    • River Dart
    • River Deben
    • River Dee
    • River Derwent (Yorkshire)
    • River Derwent (Derbyshire)
    • River Don
      • River Don (Upper Section)
    • River Foss
    • River Fowey
    • River Frome
    • River Gipping
    • River Glen
    • River Great Ouse
      • Counter Wash Drain (Great Ouse)
      • Great Ouse Relief Channel
      • Lakenheath Lode (Great Ouse)
      • Little Ouse or Brandon River
      • Old Bedford River
      • Old West River (Great Ouse)
      • River Lark (Great Ouse)
        • Lark - Orwell Canal project
      • River Wissey
    • River Hamble
    • River Hull
    • River Humber
    • River Idle
    • River Itchen
    • River Ivel
    • River Lee
      • Old River Lee
      • River Lee - Bow Creek
      • River Stort Navigations
    • River Lug
    • River Medina (IOW)
    • River Medway
    • River Mersey
    • River Nar
    • River Nene
      • River Nene Stanground Branch
    • River Orwell
    • River Ouse ( Sussex)
    • River Ouse ( Yorkshire)
      • River Parrett
      • Ivelchester & Langport Navigation
      • River Brue
      • River Isle and Westport Canal
      • River Yeo
    • River Ribble
    • River Roding
    • River Rother (Eastern)
      • River Brede
    • River Salwarpe
    • River Severn
    • River Stort
    • River Stour ( Kent)
    • River Stour ( Suffolk)
    • River Stour (Worcestershire)
    • River Swale
    • River Tamar
    • River Tees
    • River Tern
    • River Thames
    • River Trent
    • River Tyne
    • River Ure
    • River Wansbeck
    • River Wear
    • River Weaver
      • River Weaver - Old Navigation Line
    • River Welland
    • River Wey
    • River Wharfe
    • River Witham Navigation
    • River Wye
    • Rochdale Canal
    • Rolle Canal
    • Romford Canal
    • Royal Military Canal
    • Salford - Wigan Canal project
    • Salisbury & Southampton Canal
    • Sankey Brook Navigation
    • Scarborough and Whitby Canal schemes
    • Scarsdale & High Peak Canal project
    • Selby Canal
    • Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation
      • Sheffield Canal
      • Stainforth & Keadby Canal
    • Sheffield and South Yorkshire New Junction Canal
    • Shropshire Canal
    • Shropshire Union Canal
    • Sir John Glynne's Canal
    • Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal
    • Sleaford Navigation
    • Somerset Coal Canal
    • Speedwell Level
    • St Nicholas Bay Harbour & Caterbury Canal
    • St. Columb Canal
    • Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
    • Stevenston Canal
    • Stockton & Darlington Canal Project
    • Stort - Cam Canal projects
    • Stourbridge Canal
      • Stourbridge Canal - Stourbridge Branch
      • Stourbridge Canal - The Fens on Pensnett Chase Branch
      • Stourbridge, Wolverhampton & Birmingham Junc'n Canal
    • Stourbridge Extension Canal
    • Stover Canal
    • Stratford upon Avon Canal
      • Stratford upon Avon Canal - Kingswood Branch
    • Stroudwater Canal
    • Swansea Canal
      • Trewyddfa Canal
      • Morris's Canal
    • Tamar Manure Navigation
    • Taunton - Uphill Canal project
    • Tavistock Canal
    • Tees Canal schemes
    • Thames & Medway Canal
    • Thames and Severn Canal
    • Torrington Canal
    • Tremadoc Canal
    • Trent and Mersey Canal
    • Ulverston Canal
    • Vauxhall Canal
    • Wandsworth - Croydon Canal project
    • Weald of Kent Canal (project)
    • Went Canal (project)
    • Wern Canal
    • Western Union Canal (project)
    • Wey and Arun Junction Canal
    • Whitby Canal
    • Wilts and Berks Canal
      • Aylesbury - Abingdon Canal (project)
      • Bristol Junction Canal project
      • North Wilts Canal
    • Wimbledon & Wandsworth Canal (project)
    • Wisbech Canal
    • Witham Navigable Drains
      • Bell Water Drain
      • Castle Dyke
      • Cowbridge Drain
      • East Fen Catchwater Drain
      • Frith Bank Drain
      • Hobhole Drain
      • Howbridge Drain
      • Junction Drain
      • Lush's Drain
      • Maud Foster Drain
      • Medlam Drain
      • New Bolingbroke Drain
      • Newham Drain
      • Stonebridge Drain
      • West Fen Catchwater Drain
      • West Fen Drain
    • Woodeaves Canal
    • Worcester & Gloucester Union Canal (project)
    • Worcester and Birmingham Canal
    • Worsley Brook Navigation (project)




Towpath Talking Points

Towpath Cycling - Cycling around the Inland Waterways of the UK – Bike Trails and the Waterways cycle permission.

There are literally hundreds of miles of riverside and canal towpaths, lake side tracks and riverside walkways that are available for use by the cyclist.

The surfaces will vary considerably, from concrete and tarmac or asphalt to bare soil, grass or stony path surface, and you're likely to find a mixture of these on any waterway bike trail. It is recommended that cyclists use ‘mountain bike’ type tyres on towpaths in rural areas as these are not suitable for thin racing bike tyres.

Before cycling on any towpaths owned by Canal & River Trust, you will need to read the rules.

You can read water ways cycle rules here. By accepting the Canal & River Trust rules, you are agreeing to follow the Waterways Code, and to cycle only on those stretches of towpath classified as open to cyclists.

The Waterways Code aims to protect everyone’s safety on and around the inland waterways of the UK, to safeguard the ecology and environment, and to avoid disturbing the enjoyment of other users of the waterway and towpath.

There is no public right of way for cyclists on canal towpaths, and Canal & River Trust reserves the right to disallow users who disregard the rules.

Want to know where you can cycle on the towpath?

Canal & River Trust ~ Waterscape.com has a selection of popular recommended cycle routes. These take in waterside towpaths. You can also plan your own journey along the towpaths of Britain. Not all towpaths are open for cycling, either because of the width or surface, or because cycles would cause a real danger to other users.




Waterways code for boaters

Always look after your waterways – you know it makes sense. Here is an abridged version of the waterways code for boaters.

When cruising avoid creating a breaking wash and don’t run your propeller while your craft is moored this can damage the bank and canal or river bed.

Consideration for other towpath users particularly take care to position of your mooring pins and ropes so they are not a danger to other towpath users - if possible, make them conspicuous with a marker or cover.

Never obstruct locks, bridges, water points or turning points and always slow down when passing moored or unpowered boats.

When passing anglers, unless they politely request otherwise, keep to the centre of the channel, reduce your wash by slowing down if necessary but maintain a steady pace past them. Please pay attention to local signs concerning fishing matches and follow the instructions if safe to do so.

Take care – always be on the lookout for danger and watch out for other boats and wildlife - you and your crew must understand how to operate your boat and navigate locks, bridges and tunnels. Any children and non swimmers on board should wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid on or near the water.



See the Waterways Code site for full details.




Gongoozling - Gongoozlers - Gongoozies or Gongoozers

Gongoozling is a canal users word used to describe people who hang around locks, bridges or other canal features, much like train or bus spotters, watching the activity and boats of the British canal system.

Although it was almost definitely used as a derisive term by boaters, BW and canal company employees in the past there is only very mild derision attached to the term lately, and it is regularly used, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, by some Gongoozlers themselves to themselves and their canalside activities.

The first documented use we have come across is in LTC Holt's 'Narrow Boat', published in 1944 and is supposed to find its true roots in northern dialects, particularly Lancastrian - both 'gawn' and 'gooze' meaning gawp or gaze.

We know that you will find Gongoozlers at canal heritage sites like Foxton Locks, the Anderton Boat Lift, Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum and similar locations. We like Gongoozies who come equipped with their own windlasses, AKA lock Key, or offer help to negotiate locks and are we happy to answer their questions and wish we had a pound for every photo taken of our boat.

Gongoozlers or Gongoozies sitting in their cars at Teddesley Lock on the Staffs and Worcs Canal

We have seen Gongoozlers of just about every age. Many more mature Gongoozers just sit in their cars facing the canal wherever there is suitable parking.

A spin-off for some Gongoozling is the creation of canal related art and photography.

Some Gongoozies have been known to heckle us or even harass the boat's crew - this is usually near canalside pubs or in sink council estates!

Whilst trainspotting is commonly associated with identifying locomotive engine makes and rolling stock, we have rarely seen Gongoozlers recording boat details. However many Gongoozies have an interest in the history of a particular canal or section of canal.

The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland is a modern, huge and spectacular feat of engineering, which attracts large numbers of Gongoozlers that can take a trip on the canal here and enjoy a safe canal experience.

www.gongoozler.org is the the online presence of the Canal Card Collectors Circle, a serious organization affiliated to the Inland Waterways Association.




Towpath Talking Points

There are quite a few groups who use the towpath. Towpath talking points by or about the following are discussed in this section:

Boaters - Boaters handling their boats, accessing or exiting their boats, locks and amenities, towpath talking or just taking a canal walk. If it wasn't for licensed boaters then there wouldn't be the maintenance carried out making the towpath useable for many other parties.

Anglers - People fishing, accessing and exiting the canal towpath. For the pleasure or match angler. Requires a National Rod Licence and probably a club membership or day ticket on most waters. Information about free fishing in many areas is available at dofreefishing.com or dofreefishing.co.uk

Dog Walkers - People and dogs taking a canal walk, exercise and toileting. Responsible dog owners using the towpath walk keep their dogs under control and scoop the poop.

Cyclists - Cyclists generally using the towpath as a cycle route. There is no longer a requirement to obtain a British Waterways Towpath Cyclists Permit.

Hikers on the Staffs & Worcester towpath at Acton Trussel

Picture of hikers on the towpath at Acton Trussel

Walkers, Hikers and Ramblers - The canal walk is popular with individuals, families or groups of people enjoying the open air. As canals navigate through town and country - the towpath walk is a well trodden and generally well maintained, reasonable level path.

Bird Watchers - Some of the best bird watching is close to water. With many birds nesting in the canal environment.

Naturalists - Many of Britain's wild animals live around the canal system and become used to the presence of humans making them easier to observe.

Boat Watchers - 'Gongoozie' is the affectionate name for a boat watcher - Many people find pleasure in just watching the boats go by! Many locations are accessible by car avoiding a canal walk if necessary - especially the canal side restaurants or pubs!

Gongoozies waiting for the next boat

gongoozies

For more information you can always visit the Canal & River Trust Website.




General Information

In this section we will be holding information for you on:

Boat Equipment is the equipment needed to progress your boat. They include such items as an anchor which is a legal requirement on rivers, windlasses for the locks, ropes for holding and tying off, fenders and other boat equipment to be found at the boat equipment link above. Boat equipment can also be classified as those additional add ons such as solar panels, bow thrusters and wind generators. Click the links to find out more about them. Legal essentials – These are things like your licence, insurance and boat safety certification. Handy to knows – Boat maintenance can be very difficult in the water at your moorings. Why not check out the directories listed below and take the pain out of your maintenance. Other not so essential things like: Canalia Pages not linked will be coming soon. If you can’t find what you need now, please call back.



Free Canal Wallpaper For Your Computer

CanalCuttings.co.uk are pleased to be able to offer you the following free canal themed wallpaper for your computer / laptop desktop screen. Just click on the picture you have chosen, it will open in a new window. Right click on the enlarged image and select "set as background".


"Sunrise at Gailey Wharf" is the copyright of Graham Beven who has given permission to use the image as a computer desktop wallpaper only. Copying / printing of the image for any other purpose is not allowed without the copyright owner's permission.

"Sunrise at Gailey Wharf" - Copyright Graham Beven permission granted to use as a computer desktop wallpaper only.

The above photo was taken opposite Gailey Wharf MAP on the Staffs & Worcs Canal on 06 Nov 2009 at 06.15hrs by Graham Beven using a Nikon 'Coolpix' 7900 digital camera.


"Autumn at Gnosall" is the copyright of Graham Beven who has given permission to use the image as a computer desktop wallpaper only. Copying / printing of the image for any other purpose is not allowed without the copyright owner's permission.

The above photo was taken opposite Gnosall BW Water Point MAP on the Shropshire Union Canal on 18 Nov 2009 around 12.00hrs by Graham Beven using a Nikon 'Coolpix' 7900 digital camera.




Canal Mania is no longer stocked, but there is a thriving secondhand market in this game.



Canal Mania

The new board game Canal Mania is designed around the golden age of English canal building! You can now get involved in the history of English canals.

Canal Mania - The Golden Age of English Canal Building

Real Canal Mania started in 1776 when a short canal was completed between the Duke of Bridgewater's coalmines in Worsley and the growing industrial town of Manchester. So began a transportation revolution that saw Britain crisscrossed by over two thousand miles of canals. The work of a vast army of navvy labourers and an elite group of brilliant engineers.

About Canal Mania

In Canal Mania each player employs one of those engineers and attempts to construct part of the canal network. Players are rewarded for building locks, aqueducts and tunnels, and for completing those canals that Parliament has given permission to construct. Further gains are made when transporting goods.

Canal Mania is a game that delivers an epic theme with plenty of decision making, player interaction and good humour.




Canal Societies

These are Action Groups, Boating Organisations, Museums, Restoration Groups, Religious Groups, Societies, and Projects.

National Restoration Groups, Societies, Action Groups

About The IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG)

Restoration Groups, Societies, Action Groups by canal

Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals - The Trust covering the above canals is working in partnership to reinstate the two canals which form the missing Yorkshire Waterways Link between the Aire & Calder Navigation and the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation

Basingstoke Canal - information coming soon

Birmingham Canal Navigation Society

Buckingham Canal - The Buckingham Canal Society (BCS) is affiliated to the Inland Waterways Association and has a membership of around 150 people all over the UK. The Society would like to see the Buckingham Canal re-opened, using the original line.

Buckinghamshire Canal Society are involved in restoration work on this stretch of canal.

Chelmer Canal Trust - Chelmer Canal Trust, formerly the Friends of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, is a voluntary group whose main aims are to preserve the waterway from Chelmsford to the sea and to enhance the quality of its public enjoyment and appreciation.

Thorpe Low Treble Locks on the Chesterfield Canal

The Chesterfield Canal Trust
- The Chesterfield Canal Trust is working with the Chesterfield Canal Partnership to restore the disused sections of the canal all the way from Worksop to Chesterfield. Five miles and five locks have been completed at the Chesterfield end; six miles and thirty locks have been completed between Worksop and the east portal of the Norwood Tunnel. Work is currently in progress or in the planning stages to complete the connecting nine miles. A new Canal Basin in Chesterfield - the centrepiece of a £100m investment - is currently being built.
Renishaw Foundry Bridge in position on the Chesterfield Canal

The long term plan is to canalise the River Rother from Killamarsh to Rotherham thereby linking with the South Yorkshire Navigation and creating the only cruising ring east of the Pennines.

Cotswolds Canal Society - The Cotswold Canals Trust is restoring the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal for the benefit of the public.

Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society - The Trust and Society seek to restore the former Derby Canal as a navigable through waterway, from the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Swarkestone via central Derby, as close as possible to the original route.

Dorset & Somerset Canal Society - Information coming soon

Driffield Navigation Amenities Association - Dedicated to ensuring a wider knowledge of the important part played by the Driffield Navigation and Canal in the history of Driffield and of the surrounding area - to promote the Canal's restoration, use, future potential and local amenities.

Droitwich Canal Society - There are two canals serving the town of Droitwich , the Droitwich Barge Canal and the Droitwich Junction Canal . The Barge Canal pre-dating the Junction by over 80 years.

Foxton Inclined Plane Trust - Trust volunteers are tackling the dereliction of the Incline site itself and improving public access. 
It is the Trust's policy to highlight the many interesting features of the Incline and bring related exhibits to the site. 

Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust - To develop significant showpiece lengths of the canal in each county, working towards the full restoration. Some of the original 22 locks were extremely deep so the restoration will include a few extra locks to make them all a practical depth.

Kennet & Avon Canal Trust - The Trust was formed more than thirty years ago to restore the then closed Kennet & Avon Canal from Reading to Bristol as a "through" navigation and as a public amenity.

Lancaster Canal Trust

Lapal Canal Trust

Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society

Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust - The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust was formed in 1988 and is a registered charity. Campaigning for the restoration of the Lichfield Canal and also the Hatherton Canal through Cannock. Also promoting the restoration as public amenities for boating, angling, walking, cycling etc. and raises funds to carry out physical restoration work.

Linlithgow Union Canal Society - Linlithgow Union Canal Society (LUCS) administers the Canal Centre and operates boat trips from Manse Road Basin every weekend from Easter until the first week in October.

Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society - Since the end of 2000 the MB&BC society has been working in true partnership with British Waterways and the three local authorities ( BOLTON, BURY and SALFORD ) to restore the canal. This partnership is working well.

Melton and Oakham Waterways Society - They campaign and actively work for the preservation of the Melton Navigation and the Oakham Canal . The Navigation used the River Wreake for the whole of its course from the junction with the main canal system. The Oakham canal extended the route into Rutland , another 15 miles.

Montgomery Canal - The Friends of the Montgomery Canal - Is the membership arm of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust.
They organise lots of events along the canal and aim to get the Montgomery Canal fully restored taking into account all interests.

Old Union Canals Society

Pocklington Canal Society

Railway & Canal Historical Society - Founded in 1954 to bring together all those interested in the history of transport, with particular reference to railways and waterways, its main objectives are to promote historical research and to raise the standard of published history. Since then the quantity and quality of published studies in this field have got much better

Ribble Link Trust

River Weaver Navigation Society - The society was founded in 1997 and is dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving the River Weaver, from Winsford to its confluence with the Manchester Ship Canal .

The Saltisford Canal Trust - The Grand Union Canal Saltisford Arm is all that remains of the Warwick terminus of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal. Restored from dereliction between 1982 and 1988 by the Saltisford Canal trust. The Arm is managed by Saltisford Canal trading Ltd on behalf of the Trust, a registered charity.

Sankey Canal Restoration Society The Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) was formed in 1985. The principal aim is to achieve the full restoration of the Canal: the Society actively publicises and promotes the cause of the Canal, particularly in the three Boroughs through which it runs - Widnes (Halton), Warrington, and St Helens.

Severn Trust

Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust - The Trust has been formed in the belief that it is not too late to save the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals.  Very little of the line of the canals has been built on and no insuperable engineering problems lie in the way of restoration.

Shropshire Union Canal Society - The Society was formed in 1968 to promote interest in the past, present and future of 158 miles of canal. This embraces the Main Line of the Shropshire Union, from Ellesmere Port to Autherley Junction, the Llangollen Canal , the Middlewich Arm, the Montgomery Canal and the line and remnants of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal.

Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society - Now well over 100 years old, nb Saturn has been fully restored to its former glory not only for posterity but to educate present and future generations about our waterways, narrowboats and horseboating.

The Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society are a voluntary charity set up to restore and preserve the only remaining Shropshire Union Fly-boat in the world. The restored narrowboat carried a runner bearing the Olympic Torch over the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales on the morning of Wednesday 30 May 2012. - As leading insurers for Narrowboats, Canal Cruisers, Barges and Houseboats, GJW Direct (www.gjwdirect.co.uk) are proud to be official supporters and backers of Saturn.

Somersetshire Coal Canal society

http://www.coalcanal.org/

Somersetshire Coal Canal society The Somersetshire Coal Canal was built to carry coal from the Paulton and Radstock coal fields to the Kennet and Avon Canal. The canal closed shortly after 1900 and most of it was drained for reasons of safety, however, there is still plenty to be seen if you know what to look for.

Southampton Canal Society - Established in June 1967, the Southampton Canal Society does not support a single waterway, as there is no ‘Southampton Canal’, although in the past there were several navigable waterways in southern Hampshire. Instead their aims are to foster interest in canals and inland waterways, to assist in their preservation, restoration and development, and to give practical help on waterway projects.

Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club - SoT IWA Programme 2008/ 2009 - Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club 50th Anniversary - Golden Jubilee Rally - The members of the Club would like to thank everyone who contributed to the event and all who attended. Everyone said how much they enjoyed themselves. ‘The best rally I’ve ever attended’ was the comment of one visiting boater.

Stratford Canal Society - The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society was formed in 1956 with the main aim of securing the future of the southern section of the canal from Lapworth to Stratford . Their present objectives include promoting the fullest use, maintenance and improvement of all Inland Waterways of Great Britain , and in particular the Stratford upon Avon Canal .

Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society

Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society Now known as The Basingstoke Canal Society.

Swansea Canal Society - Their aim is to restore the derelict Swansea Canal to a navigable standard and to improve the environment of the canal for the benefit of its flora and fauna.

Formed in 1981 and currently with over 130 members, the Swansea Canal Society is run by a group of volunteers and became a registered charity on 25th August 2004.

Tideway Adventurers Narrowboat Project, Uxbridge - Tideway Adventurers Narrow boat project are looking to buy an ex-hire/community boat (70foot) at approximately £30-£35,000 in price as soon as possible.

Trent & Mersey Canal SocietyWe are dedicated and committed to the Trent and Mersey Canal - one of Britain's oldest and best loved canals. Throughout its 93 miles, this superb waterway runs past some of the region's most breath-taking scenery, with historic waterway architecture and it has some magnificent engineering features – chief amongst them the impressive Anderton Boat Lift and Harecastle Tunnels.

(The) Waterways Trust In July 2012 in England and Wales this was merged with the newly established Canal & River Trust. The remaining operations in Scotland were renamed the Scottish Waterways Trust.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust - After the canal was abandoned in the late 1800s, it fell into dereliction until a group of enthusiasts formed a Canal Society in 1970, and then the present Wey & Arun Canal Trust in 1973, with the object of restoring the canal for navigation.

Wilts & Berks Canal Society

Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society - The Worcester Birmingham Canal Society was formed in 1969 to promote the restoration, conservation and improvement of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and adjacent waterways for the use and benefit of the public. It was renamed following the opening of the Droitwich Canals.

Boating Organisations

Community Boats Association

The National Community Boats Association aims to encourage and support community boating organisations within the UK to use the history, arts and environment of the waterways, as resources for learning and regeneration.


Museums / Museum Societies

 Merseyside Maritime Museum


The Boat Museum Society, Ellesmere Port

The principal aim of the Boat Museum Society is the preservation of the historic boats, skills, knowledge and way of life of the waterways. The Society founded the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port which is now The National Waterways Museum, and home to the national collection of historic boats. Society members give practical support to the Museum in voluntary work such as restoration and care of the collection, demonstrations of traditional waterways crafts, assisting in the Archives, guiding parties of visitors to the Museum, and much more.


Friends of The Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum

Events are organised by the Friends of the Canal Museum in partnership with the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne and the local community to raise awareness of the Museum and all that the canalside village has to offer.


Projects

Duchess Countess Packet-boat Project

Friends of President - To preserve and promote the use of the steam narrow boat 'President' and butty 'Kildare' in conjunction with its owners. To use 'President' and 'Kildare' for the promotion of the Inland Waterways and in particular the Black Country Living Museum and to raise monies for the said organisation. Our article ~ Steam Narrowboat President visits "Shackerstone In Steam"

Steam Tug Kerne

Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society - The Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society was formed in 1988 to focus on regenerating the traditional horse drawn Shropshire Union Fly-boats and activities on the waterway along the Shropshire Union Canal. In spring 2000, the last surviving example of a floating Shropshire Union Fly boat, Saturn, was purchased from private ownership and saved from certain decay and disuse. The boat is now based at Ellesmere Port Boat Museum but frequently seen between there and Audlem Locks, Shropshire.

South West Herts Narrowboat Project - The South West Herts Narrowboat Project exists to provide a narrowboat facility for community and youth groups for the advancement of education and social welfare. Formed in 1987 as an independent UK charity, it serves a wide variety of user groups.

Wooden Canal Boat Society - The Wooden Canal Boat Society is a charity dedicated to saving, restoring and using on community projects some of the real old wooden working boats of Britain 's canal network. We are based on the Ashton canal in Manchester. These craft are a vital but hitherto largely neglected part of the canal heritage. Less than 200 wooden working boats now survive on over 2000 miles of inland waterways. The W.C.B.S. is saving as many as it can, when restored they function not as dead museum pieces but as living working boats serving today's community.

Religious Groups

Boaters Christian Fellowship - The fellowship, better known as the BCF, has a group of members who support their aims and who love the inland waterways. BCF was formed in 1995 and now has more than 600 members, although owning a boat is not a condition of membership. They have members who hire, some who live near a canal, some who crew on other members’ boats, and some who even live abroad. Fellows are from all denominations and they only ask that members are believing, mainstream Christians.

Graffiti or Art? Send us your views.


Boat Ownership

Cost: Boat ownership is a great responsibility. Generally boats of all descriptions have licensing, regulations and insurance obligations as well as the other costs of fuel, maintenance and moorings. These fall into fixed and variable costs:

Fixed costs- these include annual Navigation Authority licence, insurance, boat recovery policy, mooring permit (CRT) or fees (private) and boat safety certificate.

Variable costs - these include, hull and engine maintenance and fuel for cruising, diesel or gas for cooking, heating, generating electricity, toilet pump-out costs and shoreline electricity.

Waterways (Government) regulations are becoming more stringent of late and the cost of fuel for cruising is expected to rise through taxation. This will hopefully be supplemented by tighter control of boat licensing.

Sole ownership is probably the most expensive way of boating but this does give the owner flexibility and choice where and when they use the boat as the owner is wholly responsible for everything.

Shared ownership is an option for those who want to share the costs in exchange for a restricted use policy and spreading the general running and fixed costs of ownership between the owners.

Shared Ownership

Like people, no two boats are the same. Owners use their boats in different ways. Some people just want somewhere to go and 'chill out' and rarely leave their marina or moorings. Others will want to be at the opposite extreme and live aboard as residential boaters continuously cruising!

The size, style and fit out of the boat will depend greatly on the use the boat will be expected to be put to.

We own 'Maid of the Mist' a 60 foot, narrowboat

In 2009 we cruised just 180 days. For us the 2009 estimated costs are:

    • Licence discounted by 10% for prompt payment to £676

    • Insurance - Annual £264.00p

    • Moorings @ £0.75p per foot per week £2,340.00p + VAT (£409.50p) = £2749.50p

    • Hull maintenance£420.00p

    • General maintenance (estimated) £800.00p

    • Pump-outs x 4 @ £15 each = £60.00p

    • Cruising / Generation / Heating fuel (estimated) £1200.00p

    • Total £3457.66p

    • That works out to £34.57 per days usage!

We planned on eventually using the boat as a live aboard six months of the year. The total cost of using the boat as a live aboard from 2nd week in April to last week in September won't be much more making the daily cost much lower at around £19 per day. That's about £580 a month





Narrowboat Shared Ownership Schemes

Owning the narrowboating experience but sharing the cost is how many of the narrowboat shared ownership schemes can help you realise your dream of getting afloat.

Narrowboat shared ownership schemes have become very popular over the last few years. This is where a group of like-minded co-owners buy into a narrowboat shared ownership, each of whom owns a share of the narrowboat, with each co-owner's entitlement to use the boat being determined by the proportion of it that they own - i.e. if you own a 1/12 share you get 1/12 (4 weeks) of the year to use it solely as your own.

There are many advantages of shared-ownership, but the principal ones are: You pay only an equal proportion of the narrowboat's annual running costs. This would typically reduce the running cost per month's ownership to around £800 to £1000, making it a lot cheaper than narrow boat hire. That you're only purchasing a proportion of the boat, rather than the whole, so it's likely you'll be able to afford a higher quality and superior specification narrowboat. Your pride and joy is not left to deteriorate at expensive moorings for much of the year, but is used, aired, regularly cleaned and professionally serviced. Many people want to use their boat during the busy summer months of June, July and August, whilst some others prefer to cruise when it's a bit quieter, April, May, September and October. Some narrowboat share schemes allow co-owners to choose if they want to cruise in the busy summer period, or the quieter months and then you will generally continue with this choice throughout your ownership of the boat unless you exchange with another co-owner.




Thomas Telford's Junction House
Lock Cottage Stoke Pound, Worcestershire - Sleeps 4


This cottage on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal is a rare survivor of its type built between 1790 and 1815. Until the 1950s many such handsome unpretentious buildings served and graced our canal system. It has been suggested that sitting here with a cup of tea watching the boats slip by, may be preferable to jumping on and off a boat watching the cottages go by

Link to Lock Cottage, Stoke Pound, Worcestershire
Get more Joomla!® Templates and Joomla!® Forms From Crosstec