nature

‘I Spy’ Along the Canal

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I’ve long been a fan of canals. While many write them off as trolley-filled, dark and ominous, there’s a lot of beauty to be found along the canals, whether you’re in Ladbroke Grove or Leicestershire. Here are a few things to do on a canal walk.

Feed the Birds

Don’t take bread with you as it can be dangerous to ducks and lead to duckling damage. Instead, use oats, seeds or specifically designed bird snacks. It’s relaxing, helps wildlife and you may get lucky and spot the first ducklings of the season.

Find Wildflowers

Every Sunday at 8pm, #wildflowerhour fills Twitter with wildflowers. The canal banks can be a great source of floral inspiration. From dandelions to mallow and dead nettles to daisies, I’ve seen hundreds of gorgeous flowers along the canal, even on christmas day. Just look closely.

Watch the Water

Sometimes, doing nothing more than looking at the water is all that’s required. Watching the ebb and flow is wonderfully relaxing – and I’m always fascinated by the amount of ripples that even a tiny duckling makes.

And of course, litter picking is always a good thing to help keep the canal banks looking beautiful. Just take rubber gloves and a bin bag with you when you go to feed the birds. I’ve come away with some great crafting materials as well as a mildly virtuous feeling.

Find out more about ways to enjoy the canals on the Canal and River Trust website – and maybe even sponsor or adopt a stretch of the canal too…

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