Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
11:24 AM 31st October 2019

Discover Amazing Autumnal Canal Colours And Make A Difference To Yorkshire’s Waterways

Saltaire canal. Photo by Steve Garnett
Saltaire canal. Photo by Steve Garnett
The Canal & River Trust has urged people to join their 'plastic challenge' as research shows that more than half a million items of plastic reach the oceans from the charity’s canals and rivers every year.

The charity says that if every visitor picked up and recycled just one piece of plastic each time they visit, the canals and rivers could be plastic free in a year
Charity spends over £1 million a year to help keep its waterways free of plastics and other discarded waste.

Every autumn, Yorkshire’s canals are transformed into spectacular corridors of red and gold, as the turning leaves are reflected in the water. While they are great spots for a selfie, the Canal & River Trust is encouraging people in to pick up a piece of plastic as they pose for their perfect picture.

As the waterways and well-being charity that looks after 316 miles of canal in Yorkshire and the North East, the Trust knows how important water is to the nation’s physical and mental health. However, 80% of plastics in the oceans comes from inland, and the Trust’s research shows that 500,000 pieces of plastic end up in the sea from inland waterways every year.

If every person who visited their local canal picked up a piece of rubbish and took it away with them, the waterways could be plastic-free in a year, so this autumn the Trust wants people in the region to take on the Plastics Challenge, and help make a difference to the health of the waterways:

Pick up just one piece of plastic
Take a photo with it and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PlasticsChallenge
Take it home with and either bin it or recycle it correctly

Yorkshire and the North East are full of great spots to enjoy the changing season and take some great photos. While every stretch of waterway has its charms, these places offer some particularly spectacular scenery:

Leeds Liverpool Canal – Bingley Five Rise Locks, Saltaire, Farnhill
Huddersfield Broad – Standedge Tunnel
Pocklington Canal – Melbourne
Stainforth & Keadby Canal – Mauds Bridge
Chesterfield – Gringley on the Hill

Sean McGinley, Yorkshire and North East director from the Trust, said: “Autumn is one of the loveliest times to visit the canals, as the turning leaves transform them into glorious corridors of orange, brown, red and gold. But sometimes the rustle of fallen leaves is actually the sound of a discarded crisp packet or a piece of plastic.

“We want people in to join us in taking action on plastic pollution. Autumn is a great time to get involved – come along for a walk and, if you find any litter, pick it up and take it home to recycle. Or get creative and find a picturesque backdrop to showcase your action and share the results with us! Being by the water makes people healthier and happier so, whatever you choose to do, a trip to the waterways is the perfect way to enjoy an autumnal afternoon.”

You can find more about the Canal & River Trust here