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‘Santa Splash’ canoeists enjoy a festive paddle on the Leeds & Liverpool

PUBLISHED: 17:26 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:26 15 December 2016

Santa tests a new mode of transport for this year's deliveries

Santa tests a new mode of transport for this year's deliveries

Archant

Red suits, white beards, tinsel- and reindeer-decorated canoes – a splash of Santas isn’t the usual wildlife you’d expect to see on the canal network

Canoeists braved the cold waters of the Leeds & Liverpool to take part in two ‘Santa Splash’ events last weekend.

One group, with everyone dressed as jolly Saint Nick, paddled for two miles in Liverpool on Saturday, with another band of Kris Kringles, not to be out-done, completed two miles of their own on Sunday in Blackburn.

As well as getting into the Christmas spirit, the voyages helped raise awareness of a five-year project to create the Desmond Family Canoe Trail.

Santa Claus is coming...Santa Claus is coming...

Funded by a £1.3 million grant from the Desmond Foundation, the coast-to-coast trail will run for 160 miles from Liverpool to Goole, across the Pennines. It will follow the Leeds & Liverpool and link with the Aire & Calder Navigation.

“We were delighted to see so many people game for a paddle along the canal in December,” said Greg Brookes, project manager of the Desmond Family Canoe Trail.

“The sea of red suits raised a smile from everyone who watched from the bank as well as with all the participants.”

For more information on youth canoeing activities, check the Canal & River Trust website.

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