Caring for our heritage

We're very proud to be the custodians of one of the largest collection of industrial heritage. We’re prouder still that these relics of a bygone age are available for anyone to find by our canals and rivers and in our museums and archives; free to touch, discover and absorb.

Employee in hi-vis and white hard-hat repairing stonework on bridge Repairing Park Road Bridge, Devizes

Our heritage advisors are dedicated to caring for the locks, bridges, tunnels, aqueducts, mileposts and all other historic structures along our 2,000 mile network of canals and rivers. Their efforts will ensure that for generations to come, people will always be able to marvel at our soaring aqueducts, steep lock flights and charming humpback bridges. 

But waterways heritage is not always found on a grand scale. History is also brought to life by our humble mileposts, centuries-old rope marks in a stone bridge and iconic woden lock gates.

A Statement of Principles for the Waterways Heritage

To make sure that we continue to take the best possible care of our internationally important waterways heritage, we have enlisted the help of our Heritage Advisory Group to draw up a statement of six principles. These reflect our charitable objectives and our responsibilities to all of our heritage assets. 

  • Base our policies and practice on a sound understanding and recognition of the history and significance of the waterways heritage.
  • Apply the optimum conservation standards to maintain the integrity and authenticity of our heritage assets.
  • Accept a presumption in favour of conservation of these heritage assets, while recognising the wider aims, objectives and resources of the Trust.
  • Work with others to secure the conservation of the wider context and setting of our waterways.
  • Benchmark and report on our heritage conservation performance at regular intervals.
  • Maintain a Heritage Advisory Group to advise us on our policies and to monitor performance.

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Last date edited: 20 November 2020