CRT and Natural England agree to work together
NATURAL ENGLAND AND THE CANAL & RIVER TRUST have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to collaborate to protect the waterways and make them more accessible to the public.
The agreement follows a few examples where communication between the two bodies has been less than ideal, including the Montgomery restoration where a three-month wait for a newt licence to be processed was followed by a refusal; and the Ashby where a late intervention by nature interests almost caused the cancellation of the 2014 Shackerstone Festival.
It was signed by Chief Executives Richard Parry (CRT) and James Cross ( NE) on the banks of the Pocklington Canal, a location chosen in support of the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £460,000 for work including both canal restoration and nature conservation.
Mr Cross said that “Ultimately we share many of the same goals as the Trust” and that NE would simplify its licensing system to make it easier for CRT to carry out maintenance work, while Mr Parry agreed that the understanding would “make it quicker and easier for us to improve our waterways”. This would be done through NW granting CRT an ‘organisational licence’ which would recognise that CRT has the expertise to move protected species such as voles, bats and native crayfish without applying for an individual licence each time. CRT already has such a licence for floating water plantain.