The winners of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards were announced at an awards ceremony held last night (8 October 2015) in London.
Launched by the Canal & River Trust in January, and sponsored by Keir, CPC Civils, Fountains and Hyder Consulting, the Living Waterways Awards seek to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based improvement projects across the UK.
The winners, which were selected from dozens of entries by an independent panel of experts, led by Christopher Rodrigues CBE, include:
- the world’s largest equine sculpture and regenerated canal at the vibrant new Helix parkland project on the eastern end of the Forth & Clyde Canal at Grangemouth
- environmentally sensitive flood defences developed at the medieval town of Sandwich in Kent, minimising the scale of hard flood defences while providing a high level of protection
- the inspirational Row The Erne community project at Enniskillen in Northern Ireland which saw the construction of a 10-man a traditional Irish boat from the Bronze Age, and has led to over 300 local people rowing on Lough Erne
- the Kennet Project’s painstaking restoration of a historic short boat on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, now visiting schools at Bradford, Keighley and Wigan and other canal-side towns along the way
- the Inland Waterway Association’s hugely successful national campaign to tackle the spread of the highly invasive Himalayan Balsam plant
- the new Pinkston Watersports paddlesports centre on the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow – Scotland’s first and only competition-standard, purpose-built paddlesports venue which has transformed the site of a former power station in a disadvantaged area of the city
- the transformative restoration of 5km of the Cotswold Canals in Stroud which has meticulously uncovered and archived historical records, heavily involved the local community, attracted inward investment, enhanced the local natural and built environment and improved floodwater conveyance
The winners and runners-up were determined after a series of visits and assessments, which saw the expert judges, drawn from the environmental, engineering, architecture and regeneration sectors, travel from Sandwich to Enniskillen and from Glasgow to Devon.
Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair of the Awards Assessment Panel explains: “We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Living Waterways Awards – celebrating and recognising the individuals, communities and organisations that have done the most to make a difference to the nation’s rivers, canals, lochs, lakes, reservoirs and docks.
“These really are incredible achievements and by shining a spotlight on what has been delivered to make the UK’s historic waterways exciting places to live, learn and spend time, we hope these transformative projects will inspire others to embark on similar schemes across the network.”
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, adds: “These important Awards bring well deserved recognition for the amazing work which is taking place across the country to improve the waterways for the benefit of us all. There were some truly wonderful projects across all award categories and I congratulate all the finalists.”
From outstanding place-making sculptures and popular activity centres to sensitive restorations and powerful environmental initiatives, winners, runners-up and commended projects and people are recognised under eight award categories.
Further details of the winners, runners-up and commended projects can be found at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
The 2015 Living Waterways Awards were presented as follows:
1. Art & Interpretation:
- Winner – The Helix, Falkirk/Grangemouth
- Commended – Monkland Canal, Glasgow
2. Community & Volunteering:
- Winner – Row the Erne, Enniskillen
- Commended – Greening the Regent’s Canal, London
3. Contribution to the Built Environment:
- Winner – Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme.
- Runner-up – Postle’s Bridge, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
4. Education & Learning:
- Winner – The Kennet Project, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
- Runner-up – Canal College, Falkirk & Edinburgh
- Commended – Dewsbury Waterlinked, Dewsbury Arm of the Calder & Hebble Navigation and Pewsham Locks Centenary Celebrations
5. Natural Environment:
- Winner – the Inland Waterways Association’s Himalayan Balsam Campaign
- Runner-up – Wolvercote Lakes, Oxford
- Commended – Duck Broads Reed Bed Restoration, Norfolk and River Tale Restoration, Ottery St Mary
6. Recreation & Tourism:
- Winner – Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow
- Commended – Leeds Waterfront Festival
7. Restoration & Historic Environment:
Winner – Cotswold Canals Restoration, Stroud
Commended – Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail and Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge, Cheshire
8. Outstanding Achievement Award:
- Harry Arnold, MBE