Canals On Tour - Summer Roadshow
The charity which looks after 714 miles of waterways across in the North East and North West of England is taking 'canals on tour' this July with a new summer roadshow.
From Friday 21st to Monday 31st July, the Canal & River Trust will be visiting 11 popular hotspots along waterways including Forge Locks and Oddy Lock on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, just outside Leeds city centre.
The interactive pop-up roadshow is aimed at helping communities learn more about their local canals and rivers and how they can enjoy them safely over the summer.
Each roadshow will run from 10am until 2pm and offer a unique range of activities depending on the location - from fishing taster sessions, walking tours and canoe tasters, to children's activities and ideas for days out across the waterways.
To help visitors cool off by their local waterway, free ice-creams, deckchairs to chill out in and a paddling pool with a twist will be at each stop off on the 11-day tour.
As part of the charity's water safety campaign, the paddling pool will be filled with some of the unexpected hazards you could potentially find in a canal to encourage people not to use the waterway as a place to cool down.
Local fire and rescue services will attend several locations to also explain their role in water safety.
Tony Entwistle, development and engagement manager for the Canal & River Trust explains:
"Our summer roadshow is a great one-stop shop for people of all ages to come along and find out about their local canals and rivers and how they can help us look after them.
"Visiting your local waterway is a lovely way to spend a summer's day, but when the weather warms people, especially youngsters, are jumping into the water to cool down and putting their lives at risk.
"An important part of our roadshow is educating people about the dangers of taking a quick dip and showing people how they can keep cool near waterways in other ways."
"Inland waterways, like canals, rivers and docks, can look really inviting but you can't tell what is below the surface. The water is often murky and you won't be able to see the depth or any obstacles in the water.
"We're asking people to find another way to cool off this summer - have an ice cream, stay in the shade, go for a swim at your local pool. Please don't get in the water, it's just not worth it."
Summer is one of the most popular times for people to visit Britain's canals and rivers and in the last year there were more than 41 million visits made by boaters, cyclists, runners, walkers and canoeists to the waterways in the North West. Of the 400 people who drown in the UK every year, more than half the fatalities happen at inland waters such as canals, rivers, lakes, quarries and reservoirs.
Mel Goodship's 17-year-old son James drowned in June 2014 while swimming with friends in Foulridge Reservoir, Lancashire. Mel says:
"James used to mess around in the water with his friends; he was a strong swimmer so we just thought he'd be fine. We had never sat our children down and explained the dangers of the water, I didn't really know what they were myself.
"The shock of the cold water paralyzed his muscles, took his energy and took his life. If you're thinking about getting into any stretch of water which isn't supervised, please don't."
Sunday 23 July Lower House Lane, Burnley
Monday 24 July Blackburn Locks, Blackburn
Tuesday 25 July Ribble Link Lock, Preston
Weds 26 July Glasson Basin, Lancaster
Thursday 27 July Forge Locks, Leeds
Friday 28 July Oddy Locks, Leeds
Saturday 29 July Bootle
Sunday 30 July Wigan Flight, Wigan
Monday 31 July Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster
View the summer roadshow programme, including details of locations and activities by visiting https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/our-campaigns/safety-on-our-waterways/water-safety-summer-roadshows
To find out more about staying safe near our waterways, go to: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/our-campaigns/safety-on-our-waterways/summer-safety
Canals On Tour - Summer Roadshow, 22nd July 2017, 20:00 PM