Annual waterways awards announced

October 2017 - The Canal & River Trust hit on the idea of awards to encourage volunteers, contractors and their own staff some years ago and the winners of the 2017 Living Waterways Awards were announced at a 'gala ceremony' in Birmingham, writes Peter Underwood

It has prevailed upon commercial contractors, Kier, Arcadis, CPC Civils, Land & Water, Vinci and Fountains to sponsor the awards that recognise the 'most exciting and inspiring waterway-based improvement projects across the UK'.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust, said: “These annual awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the tireless efforts of those who are helping to transform the nation’s rivers, canals, lochs, lakes, and reservoirs, making them exciting vibrant places where people want to be.”

Judges travelled across the country from Devon to Falkirk (these awards include Scotland) from London to Leeds before selecting the finalists. Awards went to a variety of organisations from major contractors to the IWA, small canal trusts to housing developers.

These are the winners:

Art and interpretation – Winner: Oxford Canal Murals Project, Oxford (Waterways Management Company, Oxford).

Community and volunteering – Winner: Eldonian Village Canal Festival, Liverpool (Inland Waterways Association); Runner-up: Taking it Tees’y, Stockton on Tees (Canal & River Trust); Commended: Compasses Bridge, Surrey (Wey & Arun Canal Trust).

Contribution to the built environment – Winner: Elland Road Bridge, Halifax (Arcadis); Runner-up: Marsworth Wharf, Aylesbury (Stride Treglown); Commended: Merchant’s Quay, Gloucester (Stride Treglown).

Education and learning – Winner: Hirst Lock Bicentenary, Shipley, West Yorkshire (Hirst Wood Regeneration Group); Runner-up: Canal Officer for Cultural Heritage, Scotland (Scottish Waterways Trust); Commended: Salendine Duke of Edinburgh Adoption, Huddersfield (Canal & River Trust).

Natural environment – Winner: Firs Farm Wetlands, Enfield (London Borough of Enfield); Runner-up: Green Park, Reading (Mapletree); Commended: Living Heritage of the River Don, South Yorkshire (Don Catchment Rivers Trust).

Recreation and tourism – Winner: Leeds & Liverpool Bicentenary, Yorkshire (Canal & River Trust); Runner-up: Audlem Lass Boat Service, Audlem, Shropshire.

Restoration and historic environment – Winner: – Window on the World, Ellesmere Port (National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port); Runner-up: Mon & Brec Lime Kilns Trail, Brecon to Goytre (Canal & River Trust); Commended: Historic Lake in Baylis Park, Slough (Amey Plc); Commended: Stover Canal Graving Dock Lock Restoration, Newton Abbott (Stover Canal Trust).

Outstanding achievement award – John Dodwell (Retiring C&RT Trustee)

Photos: (1st) Frenchay Bridge art, (2nd) Hirst Lock, (3rd) Leeds and Liverpool bicentenary.

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