Launched by the Canal & River Trust in January, the Living Waterways Awards seek to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK.
Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “The Living Waterways Awards celebrate 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, making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.
“After a series of visits and assessments, which saw the expert judges travel from Sandwich to Enniskillen and from Glasgow to Devon, we are thrilled to announce the shortlist of finalists.”
From exciting events and inspirational sculptures, to innovative education projects and pioneering environmental initiatives, finalists are listed under seven award categories:
1. Art & Interpretation: The Helix, Falkirk/Grangemouth; and Monkland Canal, Glasgow.
2. Contribution to the Built Environment: Postle's Bridge, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct; and Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme.
3. Community & Volunteering: Greening the Regent's Canal, London; and Row the Erne, Enniskillen.
4. Education & Learning: Canal College, Falkirk & Edinburgh; Dewsbury Waterlinked, Dewsbury Arm of the Calder & Hebble Navigation; Pewsham Locks Centenary Celebrations, Wilts & Berks Canal; and The Kennet Project, Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
5. Natural Environment: Duck Broads Reed Bed Restoration, Norfolk; Inland Waterways Association Himalayan Balsam Campaign; River Tale Restoration, Ottery St Mary; and Wolvercote Lakes, Oxford.
6. Recreation & Tourism: Leeds Waterfront Festival; and Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow.
7. Restoration & Historic Environment: Cotswold Canals Restoration, Stroud; Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail; and Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge, Cheshire.
The winners of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Fountains and Hyder Consulting, will be announced at a ceremony in October.