Monday, 1 October 2012
The Trust Appeals for Help
The Canal and River Trust (CRT) is appealing for cash to help repair the breach on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Preston Brook and the significant damage to the embankment near Middlewich caused by last week's storms, which have closed 12 miles of the canal.
Like most boaters I have so far resisted the Trust's membership drive, feeling that I already make my contribution to the waterways by paying for my boat licence, mooring and all the other costs of boat ownership. I recognise in doing so that there is a danger that boaters will form only a tiny percentage of the Trust's members, who will otherwise be drawn from the ranks of anglers, cyclists, towpath-walkers and others and that this may skew their priorities away from boating, but for the time being I've decided not to join.
But the breach appeal is different. I suppose I've thought about it because it directly affects me: Starcrross is stuck the wrong side of Croxton Flash to its mooring - and although I have permission from CRT to stay where I am, I'd prefer to have her "home". It's also made me think that perhaps the Trust is different to the old British Waterways. I would have felt very dubious about making a contribution to any appeal run by BW, feeling that the funds raised would merely be taken out of next year's government grant, but as an independent charity I'm satisfied that all money raised by the Trust will be additional funding.
Even if you are not directly affected by the closures you may wish to consider that the estimated cost of repair is £1.5M, which is one-third of the annual dredging budget or the cost of 30 sets of lock gates, which might have been coming to a canal near you!
On day one of the appeal £1,500 has been raised, which is 0.1% of the amount required. So if you think you can help follow this link. or just text BREACH to 70800, which will donate £5.