200 schools for 200 years: pupils invited to celebrate Leeds and Liverpool Canal heritage

'Waterside...' Andy Rothwell, Flickr CC 2.0

'Waterside...' Andy Rothwell, Flickr CC 2.0 - Credit: Archant

Thousands of children attending primary schools close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are being invited to join the 2016 canal bicentenary celebrations.

The Canal and River Trust is hoping 200 schools close to the route of the country’s longest man-made waterway will mark the special anniversary by taking part in the trust’s exciting “Canal and River Explorers” programme.

The Trust wants one school for each year of the canal to take part and they will be contacting eligible schools and offering the invitation for children to receive a visit from trained education volunteers.

The volunteers work with the children on activities like building their own model canal, and exploring their own local stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on guided walks. The Trust volunteers are planning to cover the entire 127 mile stretch from their bases, in a programme of visits during 2016, starting after the February half term.

Katie Hutchinson, education co-ordinator with the Trust, said: “This is an exciting initiative to introduce children to the wonderful canal on their doorstep. Many youngsters probably have no idea their local waterway was dug out by hand 200 years ago.

“Now 200 years on, the canal is still important as a place for enjoyment and relaxation. It provides an oasis for wildlife and supports a thriving leisure industry.

“It’s a brilliant place to enjoy walking, cycling, fishing, boating and canoeing. We hope our Canal and River Explorers programme will inspire a new generation to discover and appreciate this fantastic waterway.”

Schools that wish to get involved with the Explorers programme should contact Katie Hutchinson