3rd Dec, 2016

Warwick canal restoration scoops national award

Leamington Editorial 20th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CANAL enthusiasts in Warwick have been recognised for their efforts.

The Saltisford Canal Trust’s restoration of the Saltisford Arm scooped the runner-up spot in the ‘Contribution to the Built Environment’ category of the Living Waterways Awards.

Launched by the Canal and River Trust earlier this year, the awards are designed to recognise the most exciting and inspiring waterway-based improvement projects across the country.

Officially opened in 1799, the Warwick and Birmingham Canal terminated at the town of Warwick serviced by Saltisford Wharf.

Until 34 years ago, the historic Saltisford Arm lay derelict and in danger of being filled in for development.

But in 1982 a group of volunteer canal enthusiasts took on the task of saving the Arm and promoting its use – forming the registered charity, The Saltisford Canal Trust.

The trust has since gone on to restore the arm, which connects to the Grand Union Canal at Warwick and the route is now well-used by boats while its moorings business is run by the trust’s subsidiary, Saltisford Canal Trading.

A new pedestrian gate, ramp and paths have been created in a bid to provide access for all at the site, which is a short walk from Warwick town centre and is home to seven permanent residents in their own narrow boats.

Staff, trustees and volunteers have also worked to create commemorative sculptures, oak benches, a sensory garden and a community orchard in the surrounding area.

Nowadays, the trust continues to promote the use and history of the canal through its visitor centre, waterside gardens, day boat Saltie II, an education hub and meeting space.

Alan Lorentzen, Chairman of Saltisford Canal Trading Ltd, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award.

“It recognises close to 35 years of hard work and dedication by volunteers and staff in bringing this canal back into use, and creating a much valued area of public open space in Warwick.

“This unique project is ongoing and continues to expand to allow the people of Warwickshire and visiting boaters to enjoy the delights of canal boating, waterway wildlife, our landscape gardens and on-site facilities.”