The response to the breach on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Dutton has been announced as the winner of our inaugural Waterways Alive Award.
The award, which recognises the very best of work from our employees and volunteers, was given in recognition of the way the team was able to respond to the challenge of a major canal breach, which resulted in the canal being re-opened live on BBC’s The One Show.
The winning project was chosen from a shortlist of six which themselves had been whittled down from over 40 initial entries by a judging panel of colleagues from across the Trust.
Richard Parry comments: “All the entries were inspirational, demonstrating how the Trust is realising our vision of living waterways that transform places and enrich lives. All the short-listed projects showed fantastic teamwork, innovation, commitment and a determination to work with and for our neighbours and customers.
"Each presented the Trust in a very positive light, showing what the Trust is capable of and how we can do things differently to seize the opportunities that we have. It was almost impossible to compare projects as diverse as our CanalView project with Google - that has created a global audience for our canals - with a fish rescue open day or a primary school’s towpath garden; all of these projects have set the standard for what we can aspire to achieve in the future.
“The response to the breach at Dutton was selected as the overall winner as it was the first time we saw the opportunity to re-define how we operate. This major repair project drew upon all our considerable technical skills, but more significantly fully engaged the public from the start, with regular communication updates, open days and finally the re-opening of the canal live on the BBC One Show. It set the path for all the other projects that we have recognised to follow.”
The six finalists chosen from 42 entries by a panel of peers were: