Cotswold Canals to be featured on Countryfile

14 November, 2006

The project to restore the Cotswold Canals was featured on BBC’s flagship rural affairs programme, Countryfile on Sunday (19 November 2006).

The Countryfile team were in Stroud exploring environmental issues for the forthcoming edition of the programme. As part of this, Roger Hanbury, Chairman of the Cotswold Canals Partnership and Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, was interviewed for the segment on the Cotswold Canals by presenter, John Craven.

Roger said: “The restoration of the Cotswold Canals will bring huge benefits for the southern Cotswolds and especially for the Stroud valleys. As well as providing a better managed environment which will allow wildlife to thrive, the restoration will help to regenerate Stroud as a waterside town, attracting inward investment, tourists and developing new leisure and recreation opportunities.

“Waterside locations are attractive to both residents and visitors, meaning more people will want to live, work and relax in the area.

As we have seen from other waterway regeneration projects, an initial investment of public funds attracts significantly more in private investment bringing with it new employment and training opportunities.”

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals is a major first step in reconnecting England’s two greatest rivers; the Thames and the Severn. The restoration of the canals will provide opportunities for all by acting as a catalyst for continuing social, economic and environmental regeneration whilst safe-guarding their future for everyone to enjoy.

Benefits of the restoration include encouraging greater community cohesion, enhancement of the landscape and creation of wildlife habitats, attracting inward investment as well as providing a wide corridor for leisure and tourism.

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals is led by the Cotswold Canals Partnership.
The first phase of the project has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and South West Regional Development Agency. It is also supported by nearly 30,000 members of the public who signed a petition in favour of the restoration plans.