This page contains reports on some of the events held as part of the Save Our Waterways campaign. The campaign is protesting at the cuts in funding imposed on British Waterways and the Environment Agency by Defra.
See the Home Page for links to other recent news of this campaign.
Ashton under Lyne
March 6th 2007
A series of "Waterway Community Days" took place around the country over the weekend of 3rd and 4th March.
These events brought together a range of waterway users to protest at the cuts in funding by Defra to British Waterways and the Environment Agency.
In the north, events were held at Ashton, Garstang, Macclesfield, Northwich, Tarleton and Wheelton.
The Ashton event was attended by David Heyes, MP for Ashton under Lyne, who took the tiller of the horse-drawn boat Maria all the way from Guide Bridge to Portland Basin! Another member of the crew was IWA Chairman John Fletcher!
14 narrowboats and their crews braved the elements to make the journey to attend the event, which took place at Portland Basin at the junction of the Ashton and Peak Forest Canals.
They were greeted by other waterway users who had turned out to the gathering on a very wet and windy afternoon.
Above: Protesters at Portland Basin.
Far left: David Heyes MP steers Maria towards Portland basin.
Left: IWA Chairman John Fletcher with Ashton under Lyne MP David Heyes.
Photos of the events around the country can be seen here.
Twenty five boats and their crews attended the protest event held at Castlefield in Manchester on Saturday 25th November. They were supported during the day by a large number of other waterways users.
There was a "blockade" of the junction of the Bridgewater and Rochdale Canals at Castlefield.
Eccles MP Ian Stewart was at the event for much of the day and made a supportive speech to the gathering.
A camera crew from BBC News 24 was there throughout the day. Interviews and pictures of the event were broadcast on the channel every hour and some of the footage featured in the BBC1 national news in the evening.
A crew from Granada Television were there for a time during the afternoon and an item on the event was broadcast on the local ITV news.
Photo top - Some of the protesters at Castlefield, Manchester, earlier in the day, when it was still raining. Centre is Ian Stewart MP. Right is Graeme Bridge, local organiser.
Photo middle - Some of the 25 boats blockading the junction of the Bridgewater and Rochdale Canals at Castlefield, Manchester. An outside broadcast for BBC News 24 is taking place on the left. The satellite transmitter van can be seen in the background.
Photo below - Ian Stewart MP addresses the gathering and the camera of BBC News 24 at the protest at the junction of the Bridgewater and Rochdale Canals, Castlefield, Manchester.
Forty six boats assembled at Bugsworth Basin at the head of the Peak Forest Canal in Derbyshire.
Their crews were joined by supporters who arrived on foot and by car.
High Peak MP Tom Levitt and Whaley Bridge Council's David Lomax attended to show their support and addressed the crowd during the afternoon.
Photo right - High Peak MP Tom Levitt addresses the gathering.
Photo below - Left to right: David Lomax, Leader, Whaley Bridge Council; Roger Olver, local event organiser; Tom Levitt, MP for High Peak.
Photo below - protesters gathered at Bugsworth Basin. In the background: Sue Day, who brought two boathorses, Queenie and Bonny, who both said "Neigh" to Defra cuts!
A rally in support of the Save Our Waterways campaign was held in Skipton.
Twelve boats assembled at the junction of the Springs Branch.
Supporters talked to people walking along the towpath and got many to sign the petition.
Please take some time to visit www.saveourwaterways.org to find out more about the situation and how you can help.
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