Visitors to our Facebook page may be aware that the current Government are underfunding the waterways by tens of millions pounds over the next few years. Canal & River Trust (CRT) are asking for everybody to write to their MP about this. You can visit the CRT website to fill in a short form which will take you to a page with a preformatted letter (reprinted below) that you can then email. You can also copy and paste from the wording below and send a written letter to your own local MP. Please use this link to the CRT website to fill in your details.

I am emailing, as your constituent, to ask for your support to prevent the long-term closure of parts of our country’s canal network. You will be aware that Defra recently announced a new financial settlement for the Canal & River Trust, the charity tasked by government to care for and manage safely 2000 miles of inland waterways in England and Wales.
Whilst the long-term commitment is welcomed, this new government grant settlement represents almost a halving of real-terms public funding for canals in the ten years from 2027 compared with recent years – a total real terms funding cut of over £300 million. This comes as maintenance costs for ageing canal infrastructure – 250-year-old locks, aqueducts, reservoirs, embankments – is increasing due to climate change with more periods of drought and extreme storm events. This poses a significant risk to the care and maintenance of our canals and will ultimately lead to their decline and closures.
The UK’s canal network is among the finest industrial heritage in the world and is highly valued by communities everywhere. It offers vital access to nature and spaces to be active and healthy for ten million people, supports 80,000 jobs and contributes £1.5 billion annually to the economy. It provides an important home for wildlife, running through urban areas where green space is so limited. The Trust also acts as a navigation authority for leisure boats, paddle sports and for the thousands of boaters living on the water as well as anglers and towpath users. Our canals have never been more popular.
It is crucial that we do not allow one of our finest national assets and important national infrastructure to fall into disrepair.