Bring­ing fresh ‘Liv­ing’ to the wa­ter­ways

Canal Boat - - News -

THE WIN­NERS OF this year’s Liv­ing Wa­ter­ways Awards, which were in­tro­duced by the Canal & River Trust to recog­nise the most ex­cit­ing and in­spir­ing wa­ter­way-based im­prove­ment projects across the UK, have been an­nounced.

The awards, spon­sored by Kier, Ar­cadis, CPC Civils and Foun­tains, spanned in­spi­ra­tional vis­i­tor cen­tres, in­no­va­tive ed­u­ca­tion projects and pi­o­neer­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives and are di­vided into nine cat­e­gories.

Mikron Theatre’s an­nual wa­ter­ways tour by nar­row­boat Ty­se­ley won in the Art & In­ter­pre­ta­tion cat­e­gory with the Float­ing Cin­ema run­ner-up.

The Mac­cles­field Canal won in the Com­mu­nity & Vol­un­teer­ing cat­e­gory after it be­came the first canal ever to re­ceive a Keep Bri­tain Tidy cov­eted Green Flag Award which recog­nises the best green spa­ces around the coun­try. Run­ner-up was the Help­ing Hedgerows ini­tia­tive in which nu­mer­ous vol­un­teers helped bring hedges along the canals back to health.

Porter Brook Pocket Park, a project to cre­ate a thriv­ing new river­side park just five min­utes from Sh­effield’s cen­tral train sta­tion, got the award for Con­tri­bu­tion to the Built En­vi­ron­ment.

Mean­while, the Duke of Ed­in­burgh’s Award Gold Res­i­den­tial won the Ed­u­ca­tion & Learn­ing award. This is an ini­tia­tive by Coombe­wood Canal Trust which en­cour­ages young peo­ple to get in­volved in the canals (you can see them, above). The Water­works project that has been train­ing com­mu­nity vol­un­teers to re­store a 1.5 km dis­used sec­tion of the Mon­mouthshire & Bre­con Canal in Cwm­bran got run­ner-up in the same cat­e­gory.

The project to re­store the rare cal­care­ous grass­lands along the Ox­ford Canal at Fenny Comp­ton to en­cour­age the griz­zled skip­per but­ter­fly back to the area was the win­ner in the Nat­u­ral En­vi­ron­ment sec­tion. The Dud­ley Canal Trust topped the Recre­ation & Tourism cat­e­gory, with the Tall Ships at Glouces­ter as run­ner-up, and the Con­serve Nantwich Aqueduct scheme won in the Restora­tion & Historic En­vi­ron­ment class.

There was a spe­cial award called Vol­un­teers Flood In to recog­nise the large num­bers of vol­un­teers and staff who turned out to help make the Pen­nines wa­ter­ways safe after the Box­ing Day floods of 2015. And Di Sk­il­beck MBE, who has been in­volved in the cre­ation and de­vel­op­ment of the Na­tional Wa­ter­ways Mu­seum at Ellesmere Port for over 42 years, re­ceived an Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment Award.

At the cer­e­mony in Birm­ing­ham, the CRT also pre­sented the Vol­un­teer of the Year Award (in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust) to Peter Bru­ton. Peter has vol­un­teered on the wa­ter­ways in the West Midlands since 2004 and is a lead vol­un­teer on the Her­itage Work­ing Boats team and vol­un­teer boat skip­per.

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