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Fund Britain's Waterways - Future Events

Fund Britain’s Waterways (FBW) is planning these future events:

4th to 6th May 2024 –  May Day Bank Holiday weekend of action

8th May 2024 – Campaign Cruise past the Houses of Parliament

Various dates – Opportunities to quiz navigation authorities


Fund Britain's Waterways - Future Events

May Day Bank Holiday Weekend of Action – 4th to 6th May 2024

Our plans for 2024 include an important weekend of action over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (4th to 6th May 2024) to highlight the impact of insufficient funding for Britain’s 5,000 miles of inland waterways.

The weekend of action is planned to take place across the country on waterways managed by different inland navigation authorities. It will coincide with IWA’s annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice in London, which this year will be themed on Fund Britain’s Waterways.

Boaters attending Cavalcade are invited to join a Campaign Cruise past the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 8 May, as the culmination of the weekend of action. Parliamentarians will be encouraged to view the event and express their support for the continued maintenance of the waterways to enable them to keep on delivering economic, health, environmental and well-being benefits.

We hope that activities taking place across the country over the weekend will attract local and national media attention, building up to the Westminster Cruise on 8th May for which we will be aiming for national coverage.   Other Events planned so far include:

3rd to 4th May Ripon Motor Boat Club – Campaign Cruise to Ripon

3rd to 4th May, Electrika at Brinklow Marina

4th May, Gazebo and stall besides Johnsons Hillock locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

4th May, Swarkestone Boat Club cruise to Shobnall Fields, Burton upon Trent.

4th to 6th May, IWA Canalway Cavalcade

4th to 6th May, Norbury Canal Festival

4th or 6th May, Fradley Junction, outside the Laughing Duck café (IWA Lichfield Branch to have an FBW stall, date dependent on weather)

5th May, Anglo-Welsh Open Day at Great Haywood (IWA Lichfield Branch to have a Branch/FBW stall)

5th May, Broads Society rally at Acle Bridge, to support sustainable funding for the Broads, since Defra’s core grant provides nothing for the navigation function.

We are looking for more local groups to organise events during the weekend of action to spread the word that waterways need to be properly funded to stop them from falling into decline. Events can be as simple as a few boats gathered together at a “public” location where flyers can be handed out and people be encouraged to sign our petition or get more involved.

If you or your organisation could organise an event over the weekend, please contact Hazel Owen [email protected] and 07929 204811.  There is a guide for event organisers available here.

Please also contact Hazel if you can help promote the FBW cause at any events you are involved in at any time throughout the year.


Events with a Fund Britain’s Waterways presence

Plans are being progressed for a Fund Britain’s Waterways presence at the following events (and lots more under discussion):

Until 19th April – Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust Public Exhibition

18th May – Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association stand at Sawley Marina Open Day

18th to 19th May, IWA National Trailboat Festival. Moira (Ashby Canal)

25th to 26th May, BCNS 24-hour challenge

25th to 27th May, Crick Boat Show

25th to 27th May, Tall Ships Festival, Gloucester

8th June,  Reading Water Festival, Kennet & Avon Canal Trust to have an FBW stall

22nd June, Brentford Canal Festival, Grand Union Canal

6th July, Canalside Garden Barbeque supporting Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association and Long Eaton Boat Club

20 to 21st July, Cosgrove Festival, Grand Union Canal

27th July, Linslade Festival, Grand Union Canal

3rd August,  AWCC 60th Gathering, Grand Union Canal

7th to 8th September, Shardlow Festival

21st to 22nd September Tipton Canal Festival

Fund Britain’s Waterways to provide members the opportunity to quiz Navigation Authorities – various dates

FBW’s activities to date have focused on raising awareness of the challenges facing our canals and rivers and the message that increased and sustainable funding is needed.

At the same time as campaigning for increased funding for navigation authorities, FBW recognises the importance of those navigation authorities being able to explain how they are making the best possible use of funds for the waterways. FBW will therefore be holding sessions with major navigation authorities, which started with the Canal & River Trust on 10th April 2024 (notes to follow shortly).

The sessions will be chaired by FBW and live streamed to FBW members, with a recording and written notes of the meeting to be made publicly available at a later date. FBW members are invited to submit detailed written questions, which will be collated and submitted to each navigation authority two weeks in advance of its meeting. FBW will then ask the questions in the meeting and the navigation authority will provide detailed answers, both in person in the meeting and also in writing.

By arranging these sessions, FBW is enabling its members to ask questions on any area including those where reservations are publicly expressed. These will be positive and constructive sessions which we hope will benefit both the navigation authority and FBW.

Questions submitted in advance to Canal & River Trust for the 10th April session are available here.

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