Our waterways and towpaths are rich in vegetation, which needs careful management to allow people to enjoy the canals and rivers and for wildlife to thrive in and alongside them.
In terms of what we spend, vegetation management is second only to our major engineering programme, with about £10 million allocated to it each year.
About 50 per cent of what we spend goes on towpath maintenance - cutting grass and making sure trees and hedges and reeds don't impede navigation. The other half of the vegetation budget is spent on things you won't necessarily notice. We need to clear vegetation from tunnels, culverts and bridges on a regular basis to extend their life and save us money on costly repairs.
We use a contractor to look after our vegetation management, whose schedule is decided by our local waterway offices.
Last date edited: 16 September 2015