This month's bulletin includes the latest on the London Mooring Strategy and how to let us know if you spot a heron.
We’ve been working hard over the last few months on gathering views and information to help us develop a comprehensive London Mooring Strategy to address the unique challenges and opportunities of boating in the capital.
In addition to gathering information from various groups, including our national Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations and other key stakeholders, we’ve launched a programme of workshops to engage customers and stakeholders on 24 May at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock. Over 85 people attended the event and got stuck into discussions about needs, priorities and opportunities on the waterways. We gave a presentation about the strategy’s aims and objectives, and have now produced a summary report and full workshop report of the discussions at the event. Further engagement is planned over the summer. If you'd like to join the stakeholder mailing list and get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hundreds of people thronged the streets and towpaths of Bishop’s Stortford to celebrate the town and the River Stort on Saturday 18 June. The Trust’s widebeam, Jena, was there and we invited over 100 people aboard to discuss the Trust’s work and take away some freebies. Jena will be at several events throughout the summer. Come aboard and say hi!
Come down to Limehouse this weekend for the latest in the series of market events. Joining global street food traders, arts and crafts stalls, antique traders and street dancers will be graffiti artists giving a live demonstration of their work. The fun starts at 11am at Limehouse Basin, 2 Minutes from Limehouse DLR, E14 7JZ.
The Lower Regent’s Coalition and Laburnum Boat Club are hosting their East End Canal Festival on Sunday 26 June at the Art Pavilion, Mile End Park. The event will celebrate and promote the canals as a community asset for the East End. A mooring suspension is in place to enable this community event to run.
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) are hosting the Ware Boat Festival on the River Lee from 1 to 3 July. It promises to be an amazing weekend around the river and the town. We’ll be there with Jena and you’ll be very welcome aboard. Please be aware that a mooring suspension will be in place.
Our vInspired Eco Talent programme launched with a floating litterpick on the Lower Lee and Limehouse Cut on 10 June.
Four cohorts of 15 young volunteers will be completing 3-4 days of practical conservation work, social action and team-building activities per week for six months. The first cohort will be in East London. Email Marlon.Gibbins@canalrivertrust.org.uk for more information.
The IWA's London Region has donated £4,750 towards the restoration work at Carpenters Road Lock on the waterways of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We're all very grateful for their support and getting excited for the 9 July cruise of the waterways. Please remember that a mooring suspension will be in place on the Lower Lee and Limehouse Cut from 7 July.
As part of the Great Nature Watch, we've launched an appeal for people to report sightings of herons – the ‘kings of the canals’ – on London’s waterways, in an effort to gauge the health of the ecosystems they rely on.
Dr Mark Robinson said: “Herons are one of the most majestic sights on our waterways, and they’re also a sign that all is well with the ecosystems they rely on. While we’re constantly monitoring our water quality, with people’s help we can get another insight into the health of wildlife around the waterways.
“As adult birds face no natural predators, they’re the kings of the canals, and take their pick of fish, amphibians and small mammals around the waterways, even gobbling up the odd duckling. Large numbers of herons usually mean healthy, thriving canals and rivers, as they’re natural barometers of water quality, fish stocks and much more – even down to the insect and invertebrate populations that feed their prey. Equally, if there are areas without many sightings, we can have a look into if there are any reasons they might be being put off.
“Whenever you spot a heron it’s a real stop and stare moment, and is one of the experiences that make spending time on our waterways so special. By reporting your sighting through the Great Nature Watch app, you can also help us make sure they’re drawn back to our canals and rivers for many years to come.”
Sightings can be submitted by downloading the Trust’s free mobile app: eNatureWatch (or search Canal & River Trust in the Apple App Store /Google Play Store). Anyone can take part and record as many sightings as they like between now and the end of September.
Samantha Morgan-Price is studying environment and climate change as part of her Masters at University College London. Her dissertation research is looking into how people live aboard houseboats and what can be learnt from them in terms of sustainable living (how people deal with restricted energy and water resources etc). She also hopes to understand if and how this is changing as more people are living aboard in recent years. Sam is conducting 40 minute interviews with people that currently live on boats in and around London and would love to hear from you if you are interested in taking part. Please contact her at: email@example.com.
We’ve recently installed temporary signs at some of our top destinations. As a charity, it’s important that all of our customers know who we are and these signs will help us build our brand, especially with casual visitors to the towpath. Get in touch to tell us what you think:
The police and boaters have been in touch about recent burglaries and attempted burglaries in the Kensal and Little Venice areas. They’re extremely keen that all incidents are reported to them. Call 101 (if it’s not an emergency), 999 in an emergency or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you want to give information anonymously. We encourage any incident to be reported to the police and please also report to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that the Puppet Barge is appealing for funds via a crowdfuning platform. They are seeking help for important maintenance work and individuals and organisations can pledge any amount from £2.
There's plenty of maintenance and repair work going on this month. Find out about the latest stoppages and notices in the region.
We also tweet our notices from @CRTLondon.
Sorwar Ahmed is Waterway Boating Manager for the Canal & River Trust in London. He’s engaging communities and developing social enterprises to improve the waterways for everyone! Every month he gives a round-up of news and views, essential reading for boaters and anyone with an interest in London’s canalsSee more blogs from this author