As we travel around the system we are bound to see the deterioration. Soft edges, muddy waters, broken bridges, suspect structures..... In many places the waterway is narrowed by excessive vegetation reaching out to scratch the boat. Been like it for many years with no real sign of maintenance. Some of the old brick arched bridges are in a near state of collapse.
This year several canals have been closed and some undergone emergency repair during their summer use. Even some of the facilities for boaters are ‘on the edge’ of closing. At one place near Milton Keynes the water was off for a while and the waste disposal suspended due to fly tipping. Some Elsan drains have been left blocked for some time. Since the end of August we have noticed more bags of rubbish dumped in the hedgerows.
So it seems there is plenty to do to keep our valuable waterways open, clean and tidy. But does our government have the will to do so? Their own laws and regulations say they should. What must our foreign tourists think of our dirty untidy country side? Will they come again?
Perhaps we should be encouraging those groups of people who do have the will to look after our waterways and countryside. Like the various Trust organisations associated with the waterways and countryside.