Canal networks face being 'lost' due to cuts - including Worcestershire

TRANQUIL: The longest lock flight in the UK is the Tardebigge Flight on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal <i>(Image: SWNS)</i>
TRANQUIL: The longest lock flight in the UK is the Tardebigge Flight on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal (Image: SWNS)

Stunning aerial images provide a unique look at Britain's glorious canal network which is at risk of being 'lost' due to government funding cuts.

The photographs give a fascinating glimpse at the beautiful waterways which link the country together - including Tardebigge Flight in Worcestershire.

It is the longest lock flight in the UK on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

But there are fears the canals could become neglected or lost with the Canal and River Trust facing funding cuts of £300 million from 2027.

Worcester News: LOSS: Funding cuts mean canal networks such as Tardebigg Flight on the Worcester Birmingham canal could be lost
Worcester News: LOSS: Funding cuts mean canal networks such as Tardebigg Flight on the Worcester Birmingham canal could be lost

LOSS: Funding cuts mean canal networks such as Tardebigg Flight on the Worcester Birmingham canal could be lost (Image: SWNS)

The Trust said the cuts will impact its ability to maintain the nation’s historic and picturesque canal network - putting it at risk of closure.

Photos taken from across the UK, show some of the hidden gems which could be at threat in future.

The Canal and River Trust said there are more boats on the canal network than at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

As well as this the trust’s canals support 80,000 jobs and contribute £1.5 billion annually to the economy.

Richard Parry, chief executive at Canal and River Trust, said: “The canals were the nation’s first industrial transport network, connecting mining and mill towns with the great city docks of the age.

Worcester News: RELAXING: A canal boat on Tardebigge Flight in Worcestershire
Worcester News: RELAXING: A canal boat on Tardebigge Flight in Worcestershire

RELAXING: A canal boat on Tardebigge Flight in Worcestershire (Image: SWNS)

"At 250 years old they are still playing a critically important role in the nation’s infrastructure, in water supply and flood mitigation; they are on the doorstep for millions, ready-made to meet key government targets around access to nature and provide the wildlife corridors that are essential for biodiversity.

"They are used for leisure by more people than at any time in their history, supporting businesses and jobs across the country.

“But their future is under threat. The storms this winter caused damage totalling millions of pounds, with towpaths washed away and larger asset failures, land slips and burst culverts.

"We can expect more to come as climate change brings more extreme weather. We are at a juncture.

Worcester News: AT RISK: Gas Street Basin in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Stunning images provide a unique look at Britain's glorious canal network which is at risk of being 'lost' due to government funding cuts. The photographs give a fascinating glimpse at the beautiful waterways which link the country together - from Falkirk, in Scotland down to Working, in Surrey. But there are fears the canals could become neglected or lost with the Canal and River Trust facing funding cuts of £300 million from 2027. The Trust says the cuts will impact their ability to maintain the nation’s historic and picturesque canals network - putting it at risk of closure. Photos taken from across the UK, show some of the hidden gems which could be at threat in future.

AT RISK: Gas Street Basin in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Stunning images provide a unique look at Britain's glorious canal network which is at risk of being 'lost' due to government funding cuts. The photographs give a fascinating glimpse at the beautiful waterways which link the country together - from Falkirk, in Scotland down to Working, in Surrey. But there are fears the canals could become neglected or lost with the Canal and River Trust facing funding cuts of £300 million from 2027. The Trust says the cuts will impact their ability to maintain the nation’s historic and picturesque canals network - putting it at risk of closure. Photos taken from across the UK, show some of the hidden gems which could be at threat in future. (Image: SWNS)

"We can invest to make these historic waterways more resilient and contributing to national challenges such as water security; or we can see a slow decline, as characterised the canals of the mid-20th century.

"We believe the new government will need and want an active partnership to keep our network of canals safe and open, delivering benefits to communities up and down the country, and we will continue to make the case for the funding necessary to secure their future.”

Alex Patterson, campaigns manager for the Canal and River Trust, said previously the nation was living though "a second golden age of canals".

He added: "In the last four years, there's been a 30 per cent increase in people using canals - for leisure, for boating, angling, walking, cycling, running, paddle boating.

"It really is a constant task to maintain that network and is absolutely critical that we do."