Calling all waterway users!

Do you go boating, fishing, cycling or just walking along the towpath? Or are you simply inspired by water or even passionate about local history ?

Whatever your interest, you certainly value your local canal. Maybe it holds memories of childhood, of fishing with Grandad, bathing with friends or romantic moonlight walks. If it’s not part of your childhood, then maybe you discovered it when you arrived and it won your heart immediately. You often choose the canal tow-path to walk with the family, to go jogging or cycling. It’s nice to have it to hand, as part of your environment. You are so used to it you barely notice it any more.

So what if one day it disappeared, if through neglect and lack of maintenance, it clogged up, shut down and died ? It could happen since neglect and indifference would kill this precious amenity.

As an artificial waterway, the canal is a complex system whose parts are interdependent and interacting. To stay alive, a canal needs regular dredging and regular maintenance of its locks, banks, sluices and weirs. Today the smaller canals which are not part of the « réseau magistral » or main commercial high-way, and which are used for pleasure boating, fishing, agriculture and tourism, are threatened with closure and death. The authorities consider them superfluous and the expense of their upkeep unjustified.

If you agree with us that canals are a valuable and irreplaceable heritage and amenity, then we ask you to voice your opinion, ask questions, talk about it to anyone who is interested and, above all, show the deciders that it’s important to keep canals going.

If you are interested in fighting to preserve canals, come and visit our web-site. Here you will find a data base and a forum for contributions, experience and discussion. We need as wide a range of contributions as possible to the site in order to demonstrate the general will to preserve this invaluable natural heritage.

This site is planned to be participatory, containing information and points submitted by any and all clubs concerned with this problem, as well as from individuals.
You can write to us at

Logo de la Dutch Barge Association