The autumn boaters are out and respect is returning to the waterways. Quiet and peaceful with misty mornings and sunny days. It is a weekend and the smart painted boats are venturing out from the marinas. All bright and shiny. I wonder what the owners think when the paint can get scratched on the overhanging trees and bushes and when they run aground as they try to pass a boat.
We have travelled about many canals this year. Our overriding impression is that the canals are becoming restricted by nature. The canals have two sides, that is obvious, but British Waterways only own one side! The result is that nature is reaching out to restrict the width and the ground is falling in to reduce the depth. We have seen many large trees that are leaning over the canal ready to fall in. Just waiting for an excuse to close the navigation. It is surprising how much farm land is has been lost to the canal. When the canal is above the surrounding ground level it is increasingly in danger of breaching. This not only causes an instant closure of navigation but also floods the land and property. Causing discontent among the local community. There must also be discontent amongst the boaters.
The waterways don’t need discontent, they need public and government support to survive.