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Since it was set up, the group has been instrumental in assisting with the improvement of the towpath between Meaford Top Lock and Barlaston, where an extremely muddy surface has been replaced by a hard surface much appreciated by walkers and cyclists. A similar opportunity was identified to obtain funds from the Peak Park Authority to put a hard surface on the towpath of the Caldon Canal from the City boundary to Cheddleton and Leek, thereby creating on off-road route to improve access to the Peak District National Park for cyclists – the “Pedal Peak” scheme. Julie Arnold’s presence on the Destination Management Partnership has ensured that the canals have a higher profile in county tourism initiatives with increased engagement with canalside businesses. The Group also compiled a spreadsheet of restoration costs for the six restoration schemes within the county, to assist the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in its early stages. It also identified all the parishes within the county through which a canal passes, in order to help the Canal & River Trust to promote its objective of communities adopting their section of the waterway. And finally, it has produced this website which all interested parties are invited to endorse.

Case studies

Adoption of section of the Staffs and Worcs Canal by the Baswich Canal Group

[more to follow]

Staffordshire Waterways places to visit

Conversations on the CRT stand at the Caldon 40 event in September 2014

(L to R) Jane Dudson, Ian Dudson CBE CStJ HM Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Geoff Reynolds Canal & River Trust Central Shires Waterways Partnership and Julie Arnold, Staffordshire Waterways Group, discuss some of the wonderful ideas for “Readymade #waterwaydays” in the county.
FREE guides and maps can be downloaded here.