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Canals' success flows on

By Stroud Life  |  Posted: June 12, 2013

Members of the Canals Project Team and volunteers pictured at the Waterway Renaissance Award Ceremony with their four certificates.

Members of the Canals Project Team and volunteers pictured at the Waterway Renaissance Award Ceremony with their four certificates.

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TOP marks have gone to the Cotswold Canals Project which has just gained more Waterways Renaissance Awards than anywhere else in the country.

Altogether, four honours went from the Waterways Trust to the project at the ceremony.

The success confirmed the Cotswold Canals as the leading canal restoration scheme across Great Britain, its manager Ian Edwards said.

The highest accolade went to the new flood defence structures betweenWallbridge and Ebley which won the design and construction category.

Judges said it was "an impressive canal restoration and flood risk management project with a strong group of partners".

As well as benefiting new housing and business developments along the canal, the restoration had led to some important nature conservation work, they said.

Last year's Stroud on Water Festival earned runner-up in the leisure and tourism category; Tuesday and Thursday volunteers were runner-up for volunteering; and the Along the Cotswold Canals of 22 QR code points along the canal, was highly commended.

Stroud District Council's Mr Edwards said: "We were delighted to make such a clean sweep.

"No other project won as many awards as us and we were up against all sorts of projects from across Great Britain," he said.

"This confirms what everyone in Stroud has always known, that the Cotswold Canals is leading restoration project in the country.

"The awards are also deserved recognition for our engineers and our army of volunteers," he said.

The Wallbridge and Ebley flood defences tackled a series of challenges around allowing navigation while not exposing properties to higher flood risk.

It followed the 1950s diversion of the flow of three rivers into the canals. The work included the lock bypass channel at Dudbridge, flood gates at Ebley Mill and a control weir at Frome Gardens. The team also installed special passes to allow fish and eels to migrate upstream.

The annual Waterways Renaissance Awards from the Waterways Trust recognise exceptional projects that are helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.

Stroud District Council is leading the Cotswold Canals' restoration between Stonehouse and Brimscombe with funding ffom a number of partners including itself and, principally, the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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