The Canal and River Trust which has taken over responsibility for maintaining the inland waterways of England is encouraging people to become Friends of C&RT. To become a friend all is required is a regular donation of cash. The benefits of being a friend are not clear apart form the self satisfaction of helping to maintain our heritage.
Before you rush out and fill in the Direct Debit mandate just consider this:
Narrowboat World reports that C&RT has just spent £41,000 planting trees in a narrowboat which will cruise around the canals of Birmingham and Walsall for about six weeks.
How does this fit their mandate to maintain the canals which are falling apart through years of neglect by their previous incarnation - British Waterways?
The project, according to the artist responsible, took 40 people four months to construct and the Arts Council for England contributed £9000 bringing the total cost to £50k. I can understand the Arts Council involvement but I am at a total loss regarding the involvement of the body who cannot afford to dredge canals or repair faulty lock gates.
For the unititiated let me explain that the lock pictured above has its gates and paddles CLOSED in order to hold back the water.
Perhaps a boat full of trees would do the job better