Pennine Waterways News

Saturday 28 August 2010

Plug Those Leaks, Farmers tell BW

A Skipton newspaper is today reporting that farmers are taking British Waterways to task for failing to tackle leaks from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The Craven Herald tells how farmers at Bank Newton, East and West Marton and Greenberfield have reported leaks from the canal onto their land, with "knee-high bogs" which have trapped livestock. One farmer claims to have 20 leaks resulting in areas of land too soft for machinery to be used. The farmers say that land is becoming unproductive and dangerous.

The report claims the farmers say BW "refuses to act or acknowledge their liability" and that it is "beyond belief" that BW has shut 60 miles of the canal while water continues to seep out from the canal. They are also concerned about the loss of trade by small businesses in the area that depend on visiting boaters.

A British Waterways spokesman told the paper that leaks were being repaired as money became available. "There are always going to be some leaks in this canal because of its nature. It is a clay base and very old and we have to prioritise our works programme to ensure the safety of our customers, the integrity of this historic structure and protection of wildlife." The spokesman told the paper that they were trying to reopen the canal as soon as possible.

Read the full story here on the Craven Herald website.

Canal contouring round the side of the hill at Green Bank near East Marton


  1. Well said farmers. We went through Wigan locks earlier this year. The one by BW office had a gap in the top gates with water pouring through. When we phoned the office to report it giving the lock number the person I spoke to said "wheres that" When we came back 3 weeks later the locks had restricted passage and the gates had not been repaired. Anne

  2. Anyone using Facebook might be interested in the following site for reporting issues on the canals "Lengthsman" at!/group.php?gid=146502562038075
    Another good site is the "Save Our Canals & Waterways" facebook page.

  3. this ties in nicely with why the BW has had to close parts of the Leeds Liverpool and why the blue green algae have bloomed. Unfortunatly I fear this may well become the norm when the Government sells of BW. Make you wonder what we pay the license fees for!

  4. One of the major leaks is in the field behind our house about half a mile past the bottom lock at Greenberfield.BWs answer to fix it was to pay a contrator to dig a trench and pipe the leak into the nearest stream about 300 yards away.Geoff


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