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News article created on 28 November 2013

Views needed on the future of Kennet & Avon Waterways

We're asking community groups, schools, and local businesses to play their part in ensuring a bright future for the historic Kennet & Avon Canal and Bridgewater & Taunton Canal.

The Kennet & Avon Waterways Partnership has produced a draft plan for improving the waterways over the next decade.

The prospectus looks at how the waterways can contribute to all areas of day-to-day life throughout Berkshire, Wiltshire and Somerset, including attracting jobs and tourism, promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing education opportunities for local schools.

The Partnership now wants to hear what you think about the future of the waterways and is holding an annual public meeting on Thursday, 5 December at Donnington Grove Country Club, Newbury (RG14 2LA). Partnership members, staff and the Trust’s chief executive, Richard Parry, and trustee Jane Cotton, will be attending.

Proposals include:

  • Getting more people to help maintain the waterways, for example through youth projects, volunteering and adoption schemes
  • Promoting the waterways as places that can benefit people’s health, by improving links between key destinations, as well as canoe and cycling trails
  • Supporting tourism by working with partners to unlock the heritage potential of key sites and ensuring the waterways play an active part in major community events
  • Support huge popularity of boating in this region by continued investment in maintenance, as well as supporting restoration of adjacent waterways such as the Wilts & Berks Canal

Tamsin Phipps, chair of the Trust’s Kennet & Avon Waterways Partnership, said; “The Bridgewater & Taunton Canal and Kennet & Avon Canal – including the River Avon in the west and River Kennet to the east – are among the most popular anywhere in the country, and home to some truly beautiful locations. They offer something for everyone, whether you are a boater, canoeist, wildlife lover, heritage enthusiast, a walker or cyclist.

“The waterways have huge potential to improve even more and in the future we want them to be right at the heart of the communities they run through. This means working together with local people and organisations wherever we can. Our prospectus sets out how we think we should do this and we now want to hear want people think of our ideas, so that together we can come up with a plan for how to develop the waterways over the next decade.”

Read the prospectus

Please give us your views by 20 December by emailing enquiries.kennetavon@canalrivertrust.org.uk