Canal & River Trust heritage report
The Canal & River Trust has published a report into the state of the waterways heritage, covering financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19.
The trust formally checks for changes in condition, defects or hazards along each stretch of canal at least once every two months. Chief executive, Richard Parry, believes the report showcases the valued work the trust undertakes to preserve the inland waterways.
“As the Trust enters its eighth year it is heartening to look back across the period 2017–19 and reflect upon our heritage activity," he said. "This has included well-attended open days, ongoing partnerships with other charities like the Transport Trust and the National Trust and the outstanding contribution our heritage volunteers make year-on-year.
"A vital part of the trust’s strategy is to connect people with the nature and heritage of the waterways on their doorstep, increase community involvement and inspire young people. In this report there is much to celebrate."
Number of boat accidents falls
These inspections show that incidents affecting waterways heritage stood at 626 in 2017/18 and 635 in 2018/19, down from 800 recorded incidents in 2016/17, with the most common cause of damage being vandalism. Less frequent are incidents of damage caused by impact from vehicles or boats. In 2017/18 40% of all such incidents were caused by boats, reducing to 19% in 2018/19.
The report also takes a closer look at the number of assets that are on the Heritage at Risk registers. In 2017-19 there were three sites on the Historic England register - Birmingham Roundhouse, Whaley Bridge Transhipment Warehouse and Hanwell Flight in London. The Engine Arm Aqueduct was removed from the register following repair work and work to restore the Roundhouse and the Transhipment Warehouse have continued over the period.
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