IWA West Country Branch

13 October 2022

The West Country Branch hosted a Waterways Forum for waterway groups in the South West peninsula on Saturday 8th October and, as previously, this took place in the Canal Room of the Globe Inn, Sampford Peverell, Devon, which is adjacent to the Grand Western Canal.

The Forum provided an opportunity for the local waterway groups to meet up, exchange information and ideas and to hear about current and proposed developments – of which there are many – on some of the local waterways.  The event was attended by over 30 waterway enthusiasts, representing the Bude Canal Trust, Bude Canal & Harbour Society, Rolle Canal Society, Stover Canal Trust, Friends of Exeter Ship Canal, Friends of Grand Western Canal, Somerset Navigators Boat Club, Cocklemoor Community Trust and IWA.  Special guests were Nicola Dyer of Greenwood Projects and Brian Smedley of Bridgwater Town Council.    

The waterways represented covered operational waterways, restored waterways, those undergoing restoration and others in need of regeneration.  The presentations made it clear that they all face issues and problems and that whilst good progress is being made in dealing with these, there is always more to do.  Our guest speaker, Nicola Dyer, spoke about her project at Underhill Yard in Bristol and was well received.   

Overall feedback was that the Forum went well.  It was particularly pleasing to see the local waterway groups networking with each other and having an opportunity to see the progress made by the groups that made presentations.

Photograph provided by Mike Slade