Birdswood Canal Boat web design case study laptop mockup

Birdswood Canal Boat


Birdswood canal boat is owned and run by the Friends of the Cromford Canal (another website we created), a charity whose aim it is to see the restoration of the historic Cromford Canal for the benefit of the general public.

The boat was bought in 2013 to offer trips to the public. Owing to its success the charity expanded its operations, opened a shop to sell canal memorabilia, developed an events calendar, and a successful business for the charity. The next step was to create a website to take their operations to the next level. The website is the online presence for the boat, Birdswood.

How We Helped

Initial consultations focused on what the charity wanted to achieve and the functionality required. The final decision was to:

  • Offer bookable motor driven, horse-drawn and charted boat trips
  • Allow crew members to book their rotas on the boat
  • Create an e-commerce store with products from the shop
  • Make visitors aware of upcoming events
  • Act as a hub to promote volunteering at the canal
  • Generate awareness and interest in education programmes in an around the canal

This required the site to have an online store, take payments, be secured with an SSL certificate (online payment security), enable visitors to sign up to email newsletters, have an events calendar and various news/blog formats to enable each department to update their own sections. This is a WordPress web design using the Avada theme and WooCommerce – one of the most popular themes and ecommerce solutions on the market.

A new logo was also created to represent the new online presence.


A full-blown e-commerce website with SSL online security, boat trip booking system, event calendar, blog, news and information hub. The new website allows each department head to manage his/her own part of the website and includes a dedicated email facility.

Within days of going live the site was generating revenue through an easily navigable and easy-to-use design. To date it has generated many £1,000s for the charity through boat trip bookings and the sale of literature in particular.

With over 50 volunteer crew members the site allows the Boat Master and crew to book their rotas and manage their time online.

The site is fully mobile-friendly across devices.