500 miles of UK inland waterways uncovered

New research from the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has revealed a total of 7,000 miles of waterways in Great Britain; 5,000 of the miles identified are navigable today, with the other 2,000 miles either derelict or under restoration.

An additional 500 miles have been uncovered which come, in the main, from including more significant branches of the Grand Union Canal in the London area and further research in Scotland. IWA’s Waterways Directory is a waterways resource that details all the inland waterways ever brought into navigation and has been updated with detailed research by IWA experts and local volunteers. The research informs the charity’s local campaigning and sprung out of the need to know who was responsible for what waterway. The directory lists every local authority responsible for the areas through which each waterway passes.

“The directory has been updated to give an authoritative record of the country’s waterways assets, the only place the information is available in one place in such an accessible form,” says John Pomfret, the IWA’s navigation expert.

“It highlights the complexity of protecting and restoring the waterways, with over 200 navigation bodies in Great Britain, and the scale of the invaluable heritage and habitats of our canals and rivers.”

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