IWA Parliamentarian of the Year Andrew Bridgen MP recently visited Sawley Lock to meet the local volunteers that work alongside the Canal & River Trust to help keep the area’s waterways moving.
During the visit, on Friday 17 May, the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire met with local volunteer lock keepers and Phil Mulligan, regional director of the Canal & River Trust – the national waterways and wellbeing charity.
The visit was an opportunity for Mr Bridgen, who was recently named as Parliamentarian of the Year by the Inland Waterways Association, to hear how local waterways are helping to support business as well as enabling people to lead happier and healthier lives.
Mr Bridgen met some of the volunteers that help boats pass through the large river locks at Sawley as well as help protect boaters and waterside businesses when the River Trent is in flood.
The visit ended with a look around the Lock Keeper’s Rest lockside micropub and cafe, which has been created within the restored lock cottage.
Andrew Bridgen MP said: ”I have visited Sawley on many occasions but it was a great insight to visit with the regional director of the Canal & River Trust. Philip, as well as the local volunteers, offered their day-to-day experiences of the lock and the people they meet. I would urge residents of North West Leicestershire and those further afield to visit their local waterway and benefit from the peace, beauty and activities they offer.”
Philip Mulligan, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Bridgen and demonstrate the great work our volunteers are doing to welcome visitors to the area.
“Sawley is a very busy lock, in the summer we can have over a hundred boats passing through over the course of a weekend, and our volunteers are instrumental in keeping them moving as well as pointing out the best local pubs, shops and places to stop off.
“It was also a good opportunity to highlight the important role that waterways can play in helping us all to lead healthier, more active lives as well as giving us a place to escape the pressures of daily life.”
To find out more about the work of the Canal & River Trust, including how you can support through volunteering or making a donation go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.