Turn and turn about
HOW MANY WINDING HOLES are there on the canal system? According to the Canal & River Trust, there are a remarkable 593 places where boats can turn around. At least that’s in theory – but CRT wants to find out how usable they actually are, and is asking boaters to help.
Check the CRT website and you’ll find them listed, from the 77 on the Leeds & Liverpool to the solitary one on the southern Stratford. But more important than the numbers is the state they’re in. Boaters are asked to report back when they’ve turned their boat around: Which winding hole was it? What state were the banks in? Was it silted up? Were there overhanging trees? Was it signposted? Did it look well-used? What maximum size of boat could get around?
There’s an online form for filling in the details and the Trust aims to use the information gathered to update its records and online map, and to prioritise which winding holes need dredging. To find the list and form, go to canalrivertrust.org.uk, follow the links to ‘Enjoy the waterway – boating’ then ‘the boating blog’ then ‘Mapping boating facilities and winding holes’.