What do the waterways mean to you?

Published on: Monday, 24th October 2022
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Inland waterways are an integral part of British life and landscape, stretching for 5,000 miles across the urban and rural landscape and with the Erewash borough having its fair share of canals, rivers and other water courses.

Millions of us visit them every year to fish, boat, walk the towpaths, observe wildlife or simply soak up the views, yet these blue-green corridors are reported to be constantly under threat from a serious lack of funding and investment. 

In a bid to highlight the value and importance of the waterways network, the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), the only independent, national charity dedicated to supporting and regenerating all of Britain’s navigable rivers and canals, has produced a new report, Waterways for Today. 

The report demonstrates how inland waterways can contribute to the country’s economic recovery and outlines the 12 most significant ways that inland waterways can benefit the economy, environment, local communities and lives of individual people.

The organisation is using the campaign to create a time capsule, with the idea that, in the future, people will know just what an important role the waterways played in our lives. A USB drive is to be filled with comments about the waterways with contributions being gathered from members of the public.

Simply visit IWA’s website. You will be asked to type in your thoughts and feelings about the waterways, which will then be stored for posterity. 

Did you know?  

  • Boat-based tourism and leisure activities contribute £2.5bn to the economy each year. They also offer opportunities to mitigate flooding, transfer drinking water and provide habitat corridors for wildlife and biodiversity as well as contributing to improved health and wellbeing.  
  • Over three million people live within a mile of a derelict waterway that could be brought back to life. Once restored, each of these waterways will bring many benefits to the local communities they serve, but by restoring all of them, there is an opportunity to link up the wider network and bring benefits on a national scale.  

Our waterways enhance the lives of so many people. The IWA would love to hear what they mean to you. If you would like to get involved in protecting and restoring the waterways in your area, please visit the IWA website for information and ideas, or join and become an IWA member. Visit www.waterways.org.uk for more information. 

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