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The charity making life better by water

Education programmes win prestigious award

We’re incredibly pleased to announce that Bingley Five Rise Locks, Foxton Locks and the National Waterways Museum have all won a prestigious Sandford Award for their excellent education programmes

Children by the canal in Bingley

The judges were all greatly impressed by the learning programmes on offer at each site and felt that they were worthy of commendation by the award scheme.

We entered three locations to give a sample of where we offer learning programmes. All three won an award. A common thread throughout the judging reports is the fantastic work of our education volunteers.

Non-stop activity

The Foxton judge said: “This was a fact-filled day; a day of non-stop activity but one of great enjoyment during which everyone (including the judge) participated in stimulating acquisition of knowledge and understanding passed out by volunteers who all have the enviable ability to inspire and stimulate.”

The award will help us to encourage more schools to visit our canals and rivers - as along with the recent award of the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, we are now able to demonstrate high quality learning and safety provision, which are the essential elements of any school visit.

Award ceremony

Trust staff and volunteers will attend the award ceremony on the 4th December at the London Transport Museum.

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles. More than 350 sites - including historic houses, museums, galleries, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and collections – have received an Award since the scheme began in 1978. They include Hampton Court Palace, Brunel's SS Great Britain in Bristol, Fota Wildlife Park in Eire, Edinburgh Castle, and Big Pit - the National Mining Museum of Wales.

Find out more about the awards at


Our Explorers education programme is on course to reach 50,000 children in schools and on the towpaths this year. Educating the next generation of waterway supporters is crucial to the future of our historic canals and rivers.

Last Edited: 03 December 2015

photo of a location on the canals
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