The Canal & River Trust’s Annual Meeting took place in Birmingham on 27th September and showcased the work of the Trust through a series of interactive information stands. Guests were able to find out more about what CRT does, its priorities for the future in our different work areas, and to talk directly to staff and volunteers. This was the third meeting of the Council members and also signalled the signing of an historic agreement with the Inland Waterways Association. This recognises the mutual interests of the two charitable organisations and establish areas of co-operation as well as outlining specific commitments and responsibilities. Robin Evans commented: “We already work closely with IWA and this agreement both formalises and acts as a catalyst to that relationship. By working together and building on each other’s skills and experience we will make a greater impact on the waterways and peoples’ enjoyment of them than either of our organisations could do alone.”
On National Poetry Day (4th October) we announced that poet Jo Bell will be our first Canal Laureate. Jo, who is an archaeologist, boater and fan of the waterways, will engage new and existing audiences through community workshops, performances and blogs. She will also use the waterways as inspiration to write new poetry. You can follow Jo on twitter @canalpoetry for news of her journeys and projects as Canal Laureate.
We finally have a start date for our improvements to the stretch of the MB&BC between Radcliffe and Little Lever. Vegetation clearance works both on the towpath and in the channel will commence at the end of October, concentrating on the Radcliffe end of the canal. Towpath improvements will follow on at the end of November, starting in Radcliffe, and run through to the end of March.