Canal & River Trust
Waterfront spends the day with Faber New Poet Will Burns – who walks the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal daily to find inspiration and nourish his sense of wellbeing – and festival director Joanna Cherry, who uses England’s longest canal as her regular “runaway spot”.
Will Burns has lived within a stone’s throw of the Wendover Arm since he was 10 years old, and he has been ambling and birding along this stretch ever since. As we tread the towpath, Will shares stanzas inspired by his favourite inland waterway, reminisces about walks with his grandfather and explains why waterways – which talk to us of a slower way of moving through the land – resonate with so many people who live within reach of the water.
Meanwhile, a little further along the same stretch, Joanna Cherry is leisurely motoring in her narrowboat, musing on how her regular escapes to the canal help her to stay present, slow her pace and give her the opportunity to mingle with remarkably disparate groups of people – all crucial in her work as a festival director and producer.