News article created on 4 December 2017

We're celebrating waterways heritage lottery funding with a week of free activities

We're inviting visitors with a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard to experience free special heritage events across our waterways in December as part of a nationwide campaign to thank National Lottery players.

Historic boats at the National Waterways Museum Historic boats at the National Waterways Museum

The rich industrial heritage of the nation’s canals and rivers has been preserved, and in some cases rescued, by the contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). In just five years, we have been awarded approximately £13 million for 18 heritage projects across the network and, since the start of the National Lottery, the waterways of England and Wales have benefited from tens of millions of pounds towards vital heritage repairs and restoration works. 

Now some of the buildings and waterways that have been supported by HLF funding will be offering people the chance to experience waterways heritage first hand, with a variety of free offers and behind the scenes tours. These include:

Free offers

Behind the scenes

Come to the Montgomery Canal on Wednesday 13 December for a special behind the scenes tour of the construction of the £1.2m nature reserves at Aston Locks in Oswestry. Book on Eventbrite: Aston nature reserve guided tours 

Guided walks

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, from Brecon Basin to Watton Limekilns which were transformed with a £65,000 grant. Tuesday 12 December, 11am to 12 pm, meeting at Theatr Brycheiniog – Canal Wharf, Brecon Powys, LD3 7EW. Bookings can be made online at Brecon Lime Kilns tickets.

A 6.5-mile circular guided walk on the Pocklington Canal which has received almost £500,000 in HLF funding. Thursday 14 December, 10am to 1pm, meeting outside the Melbourne Arms pub, Main Street, Melbourne Village YO42 4QJ. Bookings can be made online at Pocklington Canal.

Memorable sights on our canals and rivers 

Our chief executive, Richard Parry said: "The waterways the Canal & River Trust takes care of lie at the heart of the nation’s heritage. They are the arteries that fuelled the Industrial Revolution and are fantastic examples of working heritage that is still in use today. The buildings, locks, bridges, wharves and aqueducts that we look after need constant care and attention to preserve and, where necessary, repair them. 

"The support we’ve received from players of the National Lottery has made a huge difference to some of the most memorable sights on our canals and rivers, as well as less-known but no less loved places. This December we’re saying thank you for the transformations this funding has helped us achieve. Come along and experience for free a taste of what makes our historic waterways so special."

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets"