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East and North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership

 Message from Your Waterways Partnership Coordinator
August 2020

The past four months have seen so many changes which are inevitably influencing how we see the future and how our partnership will function going forward. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, the Executive Committee had begun a review of the Waterways Partnership. This happened at a time when the policy, funding and partnership context for waterways was going through significant change – and this continues to be the case. 

Policy Round-up

Following the launch of the Government’s environment plan, called 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment', in 2018, both the Environment Bill and Agricultural Bill have been going through Parliament. Although the pandemic has caused some delays, there has been movement in the past month with the Agriculture Bill’s progress in the House of Lords at committee stage resuming on 28 July. The programme of motion for the Environment Bill was also agreed in June and the Public Bill Committee is now set to report at the end of September.

During lock down, the public consultation on the new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMS) was paused, re-opened and then closed for comment on 31 July. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be publishing a summary of the responses received, along with their follow-up actions, by the autumn. The deadline for the Environment Agency’s ‘Challenges and Choices’ consultation on the river basin management plans was moved to 24 September 2020 so there is still time to comment if you have not been able to do so yet. For information about the consultation, please use the link below:

Challenges and Choices Consultation (external website)

Funding and Projects

The funding situation has been challenging with some key funders needing to divert their support to organisations and projects adversely affected by Covid-19. Funded projects have also been experiencing delays and are having to adapt delivery plans in response to the virus. 

This has been the case for projects in which the Waterways Partnership is involved, including the Sullied Sediments project, which is co-funded by the Interreg North Sea Region Programme. To find out how Sullied Sediments partners are responding to this challenge and catch up on other news, please read the latest newsletter here:

Sullied Sediments Summer 2020 Newsletter (pdf 860kb opens in a new window)

The Market Weighton Canal Trail management group experienced a set-back on funding for Covid-19 related reasons. On a positive note, an award was gratefully received from the Sancton Hill Wind Farm Community Fund for the installation of a “gateway”, or entry point, onto the trail in Market Weighton town centre. This grant will enable the group to install an information board and creative seating to entice walkers to explore the trail further and find out about other walks and amenities in the local area.

The creation of the Market Weighton Canal Trail as a branded heritage walking route has become all the more relevant in recent times in light of the  Government’s renewed commitment to walking and cycling as part of the response to Covid-19 and as part of the drive to promote better health and wellbeing.


The local and regional landscape remains complex with its mix of Defra-supported partnerships, area- and subject-based groups and independent partnerships such as our own. During lock down, we continued to work with the Hull and East Riding Catchment Partnership on the development of the ‘Chalkshire’ initiative. We are also engaging with the emerging Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership, which has just set up a working group to focus on water quality issues in coastal waters, and liaising with partners on issues and projects relating to Beverley Beck, the River Hull, Aire and Calder in Goole and Gypsey Race. 

Going Forward

Over the next few months, we will continue to monitor the national policy situation, prepare to take advantage of any funding opportunities that may arise and work in partnership to ensure that the potential and importance of our waterways are advocated during this time of immense change. The review of the partnership will take into account of these developments and seek to forge a reinvigorated approach to the management and development of our partnership.

About the Waterways Partnership

Sixteen inland waterways, including tidal rivers, rural canals, chalk streams and Yorkshire's largest natural lake, lie within the boundaries of the East and North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership.

These water bodies add greatly to attractiveness and prosperity of the local area and to the quality of life of our residents. Our waterways are important for many reasons, including navigation, biodiversity, heritage, flood risk management, freight, tourism, recreation and wellbeing.

This diversity of purpose and function makes managing and improving our waterways a real challenge. Many groups and users have a vested interest in our waterways and these interests must be balanced so we can work towards achieving wide-ranging benefits for local communities, the environment and the economy.

In 2011, the East and North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership was established with funding from the Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways LEADER programme. Through partnership working, public, private, community and voluntary organisations are encouraged to come together and develop our waterways so they contribute to local economic, environmental and social regeneration.

[ Zoom ]
A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment
A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment
[ Zoom ]
RiverDip Citizen Science Programme, part of the Sullied Sediments project, courtesy of the University of Hull
RiverDip Citizen Science Programme, part of the Sullied Sediments project, courtesy of the University of Hull
[ Zoom ]
Weighton Lock
Weighton Lock, Market Weighton Canal