Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership
A group of local stakeholders working towards  the establishment of a flourishing community which welcomes visitors to share its history, waterway and canal side setting.
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How many hands fit on a roll of wallpaper?
The Big Draw returns to Stoke Bruerne

What a difference our Adoption Group makes...

Not just for children, but adults too - this years Big Draw benefited from sunshine and relatively warm temperatures - and a big turnout of around 80 participants of all ages. Led by local artist Deborah Thompson, as well as adding personalised hand doodles to a giant roll of wallpaper, our budding artists produced a huge colourful collection of artworks which stretched along the canalside pegged out on a washing line between the trees.

Prizes for best artwork in four categories were won by:

Under 9s: Caleb, age 4
9-16s: Eleni, age 11
Adult: Lin, OAP
Family: The Harris's

Helping to celebrate The Canal & River Trust's 5th Birthday

The Canal Partnership’s Adoption Group are always busy sprucing up the Woodland Walk (see above), cutting back vegetation, litter picking, sweeping up leaves, clearing out gullies, maintaining our interpretation panels, trimming hedges and painting lock furniture. Not an easy task in sometimes quite cold and unpleasant weather but well worth it especially, as you can see yourselves, the Woodland Walk and canal corridor are quite transformed.
Thank you to all those who volunteer their time and effort to help make Stoke Bruerne look tidy and cared for. If you have a little time to spare and would like to join the team, our next Working Party day will be on Wednesday 8th November – just turn up at 9.30am in the Museum car park or email for more information. You will be made very welcome.

More information about the Adoption Group can be found here
9-16s prizewinner: Eleni
Family prizewinners: The Harris's
Members of our adoption group were on hand in July to help Canal and River Trust staff celebrate their 5th Birthday as a charity caring for England and Wales’ canals & rivers, with a very welcome cake.

History Mystery Challenge

Under 9s prizewinner: Caleb (artwork on left)

Share the Space and Drop your Pace

Activity packs  funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by the Inland Waterways Asociation's Northampton Branch and The Friends of the Canal Museum as part of our two year long Stoke Bruerne Interpretation Project will shortly be available from the Canal Museum. Consultants Carol Parr Associates and The Maltings Studio are putting the final touches to two versions of the heritage challenge packs for adults and families with children.
Adult Prizewinner:  Lin
The Canal Partnership would like to thank the following organisations and businesses for their generous sponsorship of the Big Draw Event.

The Boat Inn
The Canal Museum
The Canal & River Trust
The Inland Waterways Association
(Northampton Branch)
South Northamptonshire Council
The Stoke Bruerne Boat Company
At the end of July and September Partnership members teamed up with The Canal & River Trust over two days at Stoke Bruerne to help promote their campaign to get all of us to slow down, chill out, relax and enjoy our canals.

Bobby, a sleeping policeman on the towpath re-inforced the message that we all need to be mindful and considerate of others when using the towpath.

BBC Look East came out to film the event which was later broadcast on the 6 o'clock news.

Over and Under the Hill Walk & Boat

Scout Camp Activities

Quarry Field

August and September's Over and Under the Hill was a great success with over 30 people taking part in the first walk and about 12 on the second.  Further walks will be organised in 2018.

In early May, Scouts from the 1st Middleton Scout Group set up camp in the Quarry Field at Stoke Bruerne and as part of a weekend of planned activities participated in a 2 hour session sprucing up the canal corridor thus ensuring that it is a great place for local people to visit .

The Scouts, aged between 10 and 14, carried out washing and cleaning of signs, including the interpretation panels and
repainting of the cycling barriers at the bottom of the woodland walk as part of The Scout Association’s A Million Hands initiative.  The work was supervised by volunteers from The Stoke Bruerne Adoption Group and staff from The Canal and River Trust.

Walks volunteer and Adoption Group Leader Rob Westlake also accompanied the Scouts and leaders on NB Charlie in an Under and Over the Hill boat trip and led a walk back to base with a heritage commentary.
A part of what is known locally as the Quarry Field, lying adjacent to the towpath between the Museum Green and the start of the Woodland Walk, was made available for informal public open space by the Canal & River Trust. In Spring 2016 Adoption Group volunteers planted over 400 hedge whips which have taken well and in August 2016, Adoption Group volunteers helped installed two new gates crafted by Stoke Bruerne's blacksmith assisted by CRT staff along with graded access. The field came into use for the first time for The Friends of the Canal Museum's Village at War Weekend last September and will be a valuable asset in providing more space for events and activities, picnics, increasing public enjoyment of the canal environment.

This year, a Scout Camp and IWA Boat Gathering have already made good use of the space and the Village at War event used it for re-enactments in September.

The Partnership is working jointly with The Canal and River Trust, The Friends of The Canal Museum and the Northampton Branch of the Inland Waterway Association to investigate the possibility of running an electrical supply to the field to facilitate events.

Adoption Group assists with emergency bank repairs

When Stoke Bruerne lock flight was drained for maintenance this winter, serious erosion was discovered under the towpath between locks 16 and 17. 
The Canal & River Trust were fully committed on manpower so the Adoption Group were asked to help. 
IWA members also came from the Ashby to help (Dave and Ann-Marie Burdett). Neil Cave and Elliot Hampson made up sandbags in Museum car park and ferried them to site where they were put in place by the Adoption team.

Open Locks Weekend

The Partnership had a presence at the Canal and River Trust's free open weekend at Stoke Bruerne on 11-12th February when visitors had an opportunity to take a look inside one of the drained locks and walk along the bottom of the lock chamber, learnt about the works being done to repair the lock flight, could have a go at angling and take to the water in a canoe.
Visitors met members of the Partnership, to learn about what we do and find out what's involved in becoming a volunteer caring for the canal at Stoke Bruerne.

Owl Boxes

Roade Scouts are involved in a project to make and install owl boxes to replace those originally installed on the Woodland Walk and which are now time expired.
The installation is expected to be in late spring/early summer 2017