New Staffordshire Waterways website invites canal and river collaboration

A new website has been launched which invites Staffordshire residents, communities and businesses to explore ways they can work together to look after and enhance the county’s waterways.
 
staffswaterways.org.uk has been developed by the Staffordshire Waterways Group (SWG) to provide a vision for the County’s waterways. It suggests an approach to how each canal could be improved to deliver a better place to live and to create economic growth, and looks at the value of waterways from many perspectives including community, business, tourism, health, transport and the environment.

 
Individuals, groups, councils and businesses are invited to contact the Group if they want to get involved, have an idea they are looking to develop or wish to support any part of Staffordshire’s waterways. Through the website and the SWG network the Group will provide contacts and make connections to help new projects get underway.
 
SWG is a partnership of volunteer canal societies working with Staffordshire County Council and the Canal & River Trust and has already helped attract considerable investment for towpath improvements, and delivered many great environmental and access projects.
 
Roger Savage, chairman of the Staffordshire Waterways Group, said: “Staffordshire is at the heart of the national inland waterways network; it has more miles of canal than any other shire county, along with rivers, lakes and reservoirs galore. We need to look after and to grow the use of our waterways; they are major assets which contribute substantially to our county’s health and well-being and to its economy, bringing visitors by boat, cycle and on foot. We all enjoy Staffordshire by water and the Group is passionate about helping others put their ideas into action.”
 
Gill Heath, Cabinet Support Member for Environment and Rural Affairs at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Staffordshire has a long and proud history of pioneering canal building and enterprising waterway restoration. We’ve been working closely with the volunteers from the Waterways Group on a number of exciting projects over the last few years including the multi-million pound Pedal Peak project to improve the towpath of the historic Caldon Canal. The new website is a wonderful tool to connect all our communities and their waterways, and help drive even more innovation around Staffordshire’s canals, rivers and reservoirs.”
 
Charlotte Atkins, Chair of the Canal & River Trust’s Central Shires Waterway Partnership, said: “Staffordshire, with all its canal and river connections, is a great place to enjoy whether it be on the water or on the towpath. By collaborating via the Staffordshire Waterways Group website, sharing ideas and identifying resources we look forward to working with our existing partners and new organisations to deliver the things that matter to residents, businesses and everyone who cares about their local waterways.”