news & events

Find out what's happening on the inland waterways. From interesting or relevant snippets of news, to all the organised events which take place throughout the year. Find out about festivals, boat rallies, historic boat gatherings, floating markets and Canal Open Days. A regularly updated guide.


canal and river trust closures


HMRC Announces Consultation on Demise of Red Diesel for Private Pleasure Craft

17 July 2019

IWA is appealing to boaters and boatyard operators to respond to an HMRC consultation following the announcement that private pleasure craft in the UK will be prohibited from using red diesel. 

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RCR calls for boaters to stop polluting the waterways

River Canal Rescue (RCR) is urging boat owners to take action to stop accidentally spilling over 120,000* litres of fuel and oil into the inland waterway system every year, contaminating 120 billion** litres of water - the equivalent of the entire UK daily water supply or 48,000 Olympic size swimming pools.

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RHS Garden Bridgewater

This 156 acre garden on the site and grounds of Worsley New Hall, has been described as the biggest gardening project in Europe. Its border lies alongside the Bridgewater Canal between Boothstown and Worsley...

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water fern (azolla filculoides) on the southern stretches of lancaster canal

This invasive plant from North & Central America has almost entirely taken over the waters of the Lancaster canal between UCLAN sports arena and the locks at the top of Savick Brook. At this time of year the pant has died back, making it look as though the canal is filled with sand. C&RT are confident however that they can get the plant under control by introducing plant eating weevils during the spring and summer.

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official statement on bread by the queen's swan marker

The Swan Sanctuary have published a statement by the Queen's Swan Marker, David Barber MVO. In it Mr Barber states emphatically that the feeding of bread to swans, while probably not offering them the most nutritious diet, is beneficial especially in winter. This is contrary to everything we have been told in recent years, where the feeding of bread to water fowl has been decried.

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canal & river trust announces changes to short term licences

Following the national licensing consultation last year, the Canal & River Trust is announcing changes to the short-term licences the charity offers to visiting boaters.

The Trust will continue to offer short term licences for visitors and those who have boats off the water and will remove the daily licence. Provision will be made for discounts for legitimate cruising clubs who host events that require one day licences. The revised prices are available via the Trust’s Useful downloads, application forms and licence fees webpage.

bss press release - carbon monoxide alarms

co alarms mandatory from 1st april

From 1 April at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm became a requirement on nearly all private and non-private boats in scope of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Requirements. BSS Certifications will not be issued to boats without alarms..

The BSS has just published a new handout as an essential guide to all the new requirements and  background information.



Canal & River Events 2019


01 - 02      Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show 2018 : River Thames

01 - 02      Leicester Riverside Festival : Leicester

01 - 02      Etruria Canals Festival : Stoke-on-Trent, Trent & Mersey Canal

01 - 02      IWA Trailboat Festival - Lancaster Canal

13 - 16      Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival : Middlewich, Cheshire

15 - 16      Ellesmere Food & Drink Festival : Ellesmere

15 - 16      Foxton Locks Festival : Grand Union Canal

15 - 16      Leamington Peace Festival

20 - 30      Lymm Festival: Lymm

29 - 30      Braunston Historic Boat Rally: Braunston Marina


06               Bugsworth Basin Fun Day

06 - 07     Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival : River Avon

05 - 07     Ware Boat Festival : Ware

07               Titchfield Boat Jumble : Hound Hill Farm, Segensworth Road East, Titchfield, Hants

13 - 14     Cassiobury Park RCTA Floating Market - Grand Union Canal

19 - 21     Gnosall Canal Festival. Shropshire Union   
19 - 21     Western Boat Show : Bristol. (Bristol Harbour Festival)

20 - 21     Cosgrove Canal Festival & Craft fair   
28               Audlem Festival of Transport


08 - 10     Fairport Cropredy Convention

10 - 11    Ellesmere Canal Festival: Llangollen Canal, Shropshire Union

15 - 18     Green Man Festival : Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

18            Boat Jumble : Fort Purbrook, Portsdown Hill Rd. Cosham, Portsmouth. PO6 1BJ

23 - 26     Artemis Gathering: Kibbleston International Scout Campsite, Stone (£60 for weekend)

24 - 25     Burnley Canal Festival (TBC)

24 - 26     IWA Festival of Water 2019: Waltham Abbey

24 - 26     Milton Keynes RCTA Floating Market - Grand Union Canal

24 - 26     Merry Hill RCTA Floating Market - Dudley No 1 Canal

31 - 01     Shackerstone Family Festival : Ashby Canal, Leicestershire

31 - 01     Whitchurch Canal Festival: Whitchurch Arm on Llangollen Canal (Shropshire Union)


31 - 01      Shackerstone Family Festival : Ashby Canal, Leicestershire

01             Angel Canal Festival: City Road Basin, Regent's Canal, Islington

07             Stourport Land & River Carnival - Stourport, River Severn

07 - 08      Birmingham RCTA Floating Market - Birmingham Mainline

07 - 08      Aylesbury Waterside Festival (RCTA) - Grand Union Canal (Aylesbury Arm)

13 - 23      Southampton Boat Show

14 - 15      Leigh Canal Festival - Leigh Miners Welfare Institute (Bridgewater Canal)

20 - 22      Sheffield Waterfront Bi-Centenary Festival (tbc)

21 - 22      Huddlesford Heritage Gathering - Lichfield Cruising Club


TBC            Banbury Canal Day

06               Solent Boat Jumble : Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, Southampton, SO31 5DR

11 - 13        Marsden Jazz Festival : Yorkshire Pennines

13               Kent Boat Jumble : The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6PY


16 - 17       Stoke Bruerne RCTA Winter Floating Market - Grand Union Canal

19 - 21       METSTRADE : Amsterdam. (world's largest trade exhibition of marine equipment)

30 - 01       Berkhamsted RCTA Floating Market - Grand Union Canal


07 - 08       Birmingham RCTA Floating Market - Birmingham Main Line

14 - 15       Birmingham RCTA Floating Market (2nd Weekend) - Birmingham Main Line