news & events

Find out what's happening on the inland waterways. From interesting or relevant snippets of news, to all the organised events which take place throughout the year. Find out about festivals, boat rallies, historic boat gatherings, floating markets and Canal Open Days. A regularly updated guide.


canal and river trust closures


canal charity secures green light for £3.37M leeds inland port

Canal & River Trust has secured full planning permission from Leeds City Council, to bring the vision for Leeds Inland Port at Stourton Wharf in West Yorkshire one step closer. The waterway and wellbeing charity that looks after 2,000 miles of the nation’s canals, submitted its planning application to Leeds City Council in 2018 and is now speaking to West Yorkshire Combined Authority to secure the £3.37 million needed for the scheme.

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boat licence fees for 2020-2021

The Canal & River Trust is today announcing that headline private and business boat licence fees will rise by 2.5% from 1 April 2020. As previously announced, in March 2018, following the Trust’s national boat licence consultation, a number of changes will be made to licence fees over five years.

From 1 April 2020, a 2.5% ‘prompt payment’ discount (reduced from 5%) will apply for those who pay on time in full, and a new 2.5% discount will apply for those who manage their payments online including, for the first time, for boaters paying by direct debit.  This means that boaters who may not be able to afford to pay in one lump sum will also be able to benefit from a small discount on the full licence fee.

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CRT Boater Report 2019

CRT have published their Boater Report for 2019. This report, developed specifically for boaters, gives an overview of how much it costs to maintain our canals and rivers, including where our money comes from and where it gets spent, for example how much gets spent on dredging, maintenance, vegetation management, and customer service facilities. Hard copies are available for those who don’t use email.

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HMRC Announces Consultation on Demise of Red Diesel for Private Pleasure Craft

17 July 2019

IWA is appealing to boaters and boatyard operators to respond to an HMRC consultation following the announcement that private pleasure craft in the UK will be prohibited from using red diesel.

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RCR calls for boaters to stop polluting the waterways

River Canal Rescue (RCR) is urging boat owners to take action to stop accidentally spilling over 120,000* litres of fuel and oil into the inland waterway system every year, contaminating 120 billion** litres of water - the equivalent of the entire UK daily water supply or 48,000 Olympic size swimming pools.

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RHS Garden Bridgewater

This 156 acre garden on the site and grounds of Worsley New Hall, has been described as the biggest gardening project in Europe. Its border lies alongside the Bridgewater Canal between Boothstown and Worsley...

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water fern (azolla filculoides) on the southern stretches of lancaster canal

This invasive plant from North & Central America has almost entirely taken over the waters of the Lancaster canal between UCLAN sports arena and the locks at the top of Savick Brook. At this time of year the pant has died back, making it look as though the canal is filled with sand. C&RT are confident however that they can get the plant under control by introducing plant eating weevils during the spring and summer.

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official statement on bread by the queen's swan marker

The Swan Sanctuary have published a statement by the Queen's Swan Marker, David Barber MVO. In it Mr Barber states emphatically that the feeding of bread to swans, while probably not offering them the most nutritious diet, is beneficial especially in winter. This is contrary to everything we have been told in recent years, where the feeding of bread to water fowl has been decried.

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canal & river trust announces changes to short term licences

Following the national licensing consultation last year, the Canal & River Trust is announcing changes to the short-term licences the charity offers to visiting boaters.

The Trust will continue to offer short term licences for visitors and those who have boats off the water and will remove the daily licence. Provision will be made for discounts for legitimate cruising clubs who host events that require one day licences. The revised prices are available via the Trust’s Useful downloads, application forms and licence fees webpage.

bss press release - carbon monoxide alarms

co alarms mandatory from 1st april

From 1 April at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm became a requirement on nearly all private and non-private boats in scope of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Requirements. BSS Certifications will not be issued to boats without alarms..

The BSS has just published a new handout as an essential guide to all the new requirements and  background information.



Canal & River Events 2019


31 - 01      Shackerstone Family Festival : Ashby Canal, Leicestershire

01             Angel Canal Festival: City Road Basin, Regent's Canal, Islington

07             Stourport Land & River Carnival - Stourport, River Severn

07 - 08      Birmingham RCTA Floating Market - Birmingham Mainline

07 - 08      Aylesbury Waterside Festival (RCTA) - Grand Union Canal (Aylesbury Arm)

13 - 23      Southampton Boat Show

14 - 15      Leigh Canal Festival - Leigh Miners Welfare Institute (Bridgewater Canal)

20 - 22      Sheffield Waterfront Bi-Centenary Festival (tbc)

21 - 22      Huddlesford Heritage Gathering - Lichfield Cruising Club


TBC            Banbury Canal Day

06               Solent Boat Jumble : Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, Southampton, SO31 5DR

11 - 13        Marsden Jazz Festival : Yorkshire Pennines

13               Kent Boat Jumble : The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6PY


16 - 17       Stoke Bruerne RCTA Winter Floating Market - Grand Union Canal

19 - 21       METSTRADE : Amsterdam. (world's largest trade exhibition of marine equipment)

30 - 01       Berkhamsted RCTA Floating Market - Grand Union Canal


05 - 08       Birmingham RCTA Floating Market - Birmingham Main Line