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News article created on 9 October 2015

Living Waterways Awards

The winners of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards were announced at an awards ceremony held last night (8 October 2015) in London.

Launched by the Trust in January, and sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Fountains and Hyder Consulting, the Living Waterways Awards seek to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK. 

The winners were selected from dozens of entries by an independent panel of experts, led by Christopher Rodrigues CBE.

They are:

  • The vibrant new Helix parkland project and Kelpie sculptures at the eastern end of the Forth & Clyde Canal at Grangemouth
  • The environmentally sensitive flood defences developed at the medieval town of Sandwich in Kent,
  • The inspirational Row The Erne community project at Enniskillen,
  • The painstaking restoration of a historic short boat on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal now visiting schools at Bradford, Keighley and Wigan and other canalside towns along the way,
  • The Inland Waterway Association’s hugely successful campaign to tackle the spread of the highly invasive Himalayan Balsam plant,
  • The new Pinkston Watersports paddlesports centre in Glasgow,
  • The transformative restoration of the Cotswold Canals in Stroud.

Shining a spotlight

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards - celebrating and recognising the individuals, communities and organisations that have done the most to make a difference to the nation’s rivers, canals, lochs, lakes, reservoirs and docks. These really are incredible achievements.”

The winners and runners-up were determined after a series of visits and assessments, which saw the expert judges, drawn from the environmental, engineering, architecture and regeneration sectors, travel from Sandwich to Enniskillen and from Glasgow to Devon.

Christopher Rodrigues CBE, chair of the Awards Assessment Panel, adds: “These important Awards bring well deserved recognition for the amazing work which is taking place across the country to improve the waterways for the benefit of us all.  We’ve seen some truly wonderful projects across all award categories and I thank and congratulate all the finalists.”

From outstanding place-making sculptures and popular activity centres to sensitive restorations and powerful environmental initiatives, winners, runners-up and commended projects and people are recognised under eight award categories.

Art & Interpretation
Winner - The Helix, Falkirk/Grangemouth
Commended - Monkland Canal, Glasgow

Community & Volunteering
Winner - Row the Erne, Enniskillen
Commended - Greening the Regent’s Canal, London

Contribution to the Built Environment
Winner - Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme
Runner-up - Postle’s Bridge, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Education & Learning
Winner - The Kennet Project, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Runner-up - Canal College, Falkirk & Edinburgh
Commended – Dewsbury Waterlinked, Dewsbury Arm of the Calder & Hebble Navigation and Pewsham Locks Centenary Celebrations

Natural Environment
Winner - the Inland Waterways Association’s Himalayan Balsam Campaign
Runner-up - Wolvercote Lakes, Oxford
Commended - Duck Broads Reed Bed Restoration, Norfolk and River Tale Restoration, Ottery St Mary

Recreation & Tourism
Winner - Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow
Commended – Leeds Waterfront Festival

Restoration & Historic Environment
Winner - Cotswold Canals Restoration, Stroud
Commended - Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail and Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge, Cheshire

Outstanding Achievement Award
Harry Arnold, MBE