Bright Future For Basingstoke Canal
8 Nov 2012
Volunteers will play a crucial role in the future of Basingstoke Canal, helping to safeguard the future of one of Hampshire's most significant waterways.
Managed by Hampshire County Council and Surrey County Council, Basingstoke Canal is over 32 miles long and is an important and well-loved green space and waterway. It boosts local tourism in the area, offering recreational opportunities which include boating, canoeing, walking, cycling and angling.
Fiona Shipp has recently taken on the role of Canal Manager, and will now oversee the Canal, which runs from Greywell in Hampshire, through to Woking in Surrey, where it meets the River Wey.
As well as the day-to-day management of this important waterway, Fiona will also develop new opportunities for local groups to make use of it, and help to improve access. She will also work to protect the marvellous diversity of plant and animal life that enhances a visit to the canal.
In addition to developing projects to improve the quality of the canal experience for all its users, opportunities to volunteer will also be created, in order to support and monitor the canal to identify any potential issues, so they can be addressed at an early stage.
With over two decades of experience in her field, Fiona brings a wealth of experience to the existing role, with her background in environmental science. Her previous roles include managing a water sports recreation site in Cumbria, two years working for the National Parks Department in Thailand and also a position at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
"Partnership working and embracing new technology is key to protecting and maintaining countryside sites and I look forward to working alongside colleagues at Surrey County Council to safeguard the future of this wonderful resource running through our two counties.
Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman, said:
"Basingstoke Canal is one of Hampshire's most diverse waterways, and is a vital resource for local residents, attracting tourists from all over the county.
We are pleased to welcome Fiona in her new role and I am positive that she will prove a great asset to the canal authority."