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The charity making life better by water

What do you think of our plans for the South East waterways?

We're urging community groups, councils, schools, and local businesses to play their part in ensuring a bright future for South East’s historic waterways as we launch a draft 10-year plan.

The plan has been produced by our South East Partnership, a group of volunteers which represents the people and businesses who use and enjoy the region's canal network.

The prospectus looks at how the waterways can contribute to all areas of day-to-day life throughout the South East, from attracting jobs and tourism, promoting healthy lifestyles, to improving accessibility and increasing education opportunities.

The Partnership now wants to hear what people, groups and businesses think about the future of their waterways and is encouraging everyone interested in their canals and rivers to attend a meeting on Wednesday 27 November 2013 at Kents Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes from 6pm. There will be a chance to discuss what could be included in a ten year plan for the waterways in the South East.

Proposals include:

  • Getting more people involved in enjoying and taking more active involvement in helping to maintain their local canal, for example through youth projects and adoption schemes
  • Working with councils and local businesses to maximise the contribution canals/rivers can make to local economies and tourism by improving the ‘day-out' offer in key locations
  • Promoting the canals as a ‘free gym' that can benefit people's health, by improving towpath routes and links between key destinations

John Best, chair of the Canal & River Trust's South East Partnership, said: “We have many wonderful miles of canals in the South East to explore, some of which pass alongside and through our most popular towns and cities. They offer so much. They are parks, wildlife reserves, business hubs and a 200-year old living museum of industrial heritage. In the next ten years we want them to be right at the heart of the communities they run through.

“We're really keen to listen to what local people think of our ideas and hear how they would like to see the region's canals and rivers improved. It's a great opportunity for people to make a difference and I encourage them to get in touch and attend our public meeting on the 27 November.”

The prospectus can be found by visiting

Please give your views on the plans by emailing [email protected] The closing date for views is the end of November.

Last Edited: 23 October 2013

photo of a location on the canals
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