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The charity making life better by water

Searching for projects that made the biggest splash

On 7 February we are launching the 2014 Living Waterways Awards, to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based projects across the UK.

Building on the success of the Waterways Renaissance Awards, the Trust wants to hear about those people and projects that have done the most to make a difference to the nation's historic canals and rivers, making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.

Tony Hales, Chairman of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “It is thanks to the tireless and often unsung efforts of individuals, communities and organisations that millions of people are able to take pleasure in the wonderful waterways that we have today. We want to shine a spotlight on the most engaging, innovative and inspirational projects, to recognise the amazing work being done across the country, to celebrate success and, most of all, to say thank you. That's why we are backing these prestigious awards which will highlight all the good work that goes on to bring life to our canals and rivers, transform the places they pass through and enrich the lives of all who use them.”

Led by an independent panel of experts drawn from the voluntary, environmental, heritage, engineering and architecture sectors, the Living Waterways Awards will celebrate the work done by individuals, communities and organisations to improve their canal and river.

The winners of the 2014 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Galliford Try and Hyder Consulting, will be announced at a ceremony in September 2014.

From inspirational story-telling to dedicated volunteer-led schemes; innovative design and construction projects to pioneering environmental initiatives, there are nine award categories up for grabs:

  • Interpreting our waterways – tell us how you are bringing the story of our waterways (the history or natural environment) to life in new and exciting ways. This could be through performance, arts, learning materials or engaging signage, etc., which raises awareness of our canals and rivers, their purpose and relevance today;
  • Natural environment – projects that have enhanced the natural environment of our waterways, helped to create new wildlife habitats, protected threatened species or improved the quality of the water;
  • Community & Volunteering – we want to recognise communities or volunteer groups who have made a real difference to the public's enjoyment and experience of our canals and rivers;
  • Education & Learning – to recognise projects (and people) that use our waterways in innovative ways to help people learn about our canals and rivers or develop new skills and interests through formal or informal learning opportunities;
  • Restoration & Historic Environment – this category will recognise excellent restoration or conservation projects, or work to preserve our historic waterside structures;
  • Contribution to the built environment – nominate the excellent waterside design & construction projects that are making our waterways inspiring places – this includes sculpture, public realm works, buildings, bridges etc;
  • Water management – we want to recognise best water management schemes that have integrated with and improved the environment as well as enhancing the use of and access to our waterways or reduced flood risk to people and property;
  • Recreation & Tourism – a project that has enhanced the use and enjoyment of our canals and rivers, attracted people to visit, discover and make use of them or a project that has enabled people to develop a healthier lifestyle;
  • Outstanding Achievement – we want to celebrate an individual, group or organisation who, through their passion, determination and imagination, has made a real difference to our waterways for the benefit of others. This can include anyone from individual volunteers to celebrity supporters who have worked to raise awareness of the waterway cause.

The closing date for entries is Thursday 3 April 2014.

Last Edited: 16 March 2016

photo of a location on the canals
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