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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 12:34 GMT
Protesters angered by canal cuts
Protest banner on a barge
British Waterways said it would watch the protests "with interest"
Demonstrations were held at waterways in the West Country to protest against cuts to funding.

Boat users, ramblers and cyclists are angry that Defra has overspent its budget and is cutting the cash it gives to British Waterways.

Protesters, from the Save Our Waterways campaign, said the 7m cuts would affect canal maintenance and restoration.

Defra said investment in waterways had been "heavy" in recent years.

It said it was "confident" British Waterways would be able to carry on with its job.

In a statement British Waterways said: "We are overwhelmed with the widespread demonstration of public enthusiasm for defending local waterways against cut in maintenance budgets.

"We will be watching the planned protests with interest."


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