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Fund Britain's Waterways - What our Supporters Say

Fund Britain’s Waterways enjoys wide support, including from well-known politicians, environmentalists, historians, heritage experts, actors, and many more.


Fund Britain's Waterways - Supporters

Our rivers and waterways are the essential lifeblood to Great Britain. If we abuse or neglect or poison, block or ignore, pollute, damage over-exploit, drain, choke or infect our natural water supplies, then the health of the entire nation is at risk. As a treasured public asset, the government must help to keep them running, clean and beautiful. The navigation authorities and the thousands of volunteers who help care for our waterways need more support from government to maintain this critical network.

Griff Rhys Jones, OBE – Patron of the River Stour Association and the Stour and Orwell Association

Funding Britain’s Waterways is one of the most important investments our nation can make. They are the arteries which link our country together in a magnificent fusion of industry, potential and pleasure. There is no other national asset so perfectly designed to enable citizens to enjoy Britain’s beautiful countryside and be inspired by past generations to help address today’s social and environmental challenges. For me, most importantly they provide access for millions of people to take in the clean air of the country, set in landscapes that still seduce the imagination with dreams of living within nature and being an active part of it.

Sir Tim Smit KBE – Founder of the Eden Project

The navigable waterways network is an unparalleled national heritage asset, dating from Georgian times onwards. It is not just for the boating community but the public at large: it is an interconnected leisure and wellbeing resource whose benefits are felt across society and across the country from dense urban to remote rural areas. What we enjoy today was saved and restored by waterways campaigners and volunteers from the 1940s to the present day, led by the IWA. Several canals are being restored right now. So to start scaling down maintenance and repair of the whole network, as is threatened by severe cuts to the funding of the Canal & River Trust, is short-sighted and terribly damaging: closures may result. It is a kick in the face for all those who have devoted their efforts and funding to rescue and maintain this priceless national asset, and it is an attack on the environment shared by all of us. Defend, fund, use and celebrate our waterways!

Hugh Pearman MBE – Chair of the Twentieth Century Society

Our canals and rivers and their associated towpaths and historic bridges, reservoirs, aqueducts and tunnels and other infrastructure all play an important part in the lives of millions of Britons. It is vital that we keep this 250 year old heritage alive and maintained for the benefit of future generations

Sir Michael Fabricant MP – Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways

The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators promotes a diverse and sustainable environment. Our rivers, streams and canals are a critical part of our environment. We depend on them for drinking water, recreation, navigation and wellbeing as well as part of flood prevention, supporting industry and agriculture. We must protect and enhance them for future generations

Professor Martin Bigg – Master of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators
Sir Robert Atkins steering a boat

I would urge all Parliamentarians and aspiring Parliamentarians to get behind this campaign. Unless we safeguard the future of our waterways we will reach a tipping point where a huge range of public benefits from jobs to environment, leisure and tourism, health and wellbeing will be lost, and it will be extremely expensive to reinstate them.

Rt Hon Sir Robert Atkins – former Minister for the Waterways

Moving freight on the UK’s rivers and wide canals can be cost effective, and deliver significant environmental and socioeconomic benefits, but developing this form of transport faces huge challenges which are rooted in government intransigence, disinterest, and chronic under funding.

John Spencer – CEO of GPS Marine Holdings Ltd

This campaign cruise illustrates the passion and concern people have for the future of our amazing network of inland waterways. It highlights the importance of safeguarding the network for future generations to enjoy whilst also helping bring economic prosperity to local communities such as those within my own constituency.

Wendy Morton MP

It’s astonishing how many members of the public are unaware of the funding issues and the significant threat to the future of our wonderful and precious waterways. It’s important that we spread the word in order to increase the awareness, and garner as much support as possible.

Neil Barnett – IWA Lichfield Branch Vice Chairman

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