Pupils invited to celebrate Leeds and Liverpool Canal heritage

Leeds & Liverpool Canal Barrowford Locks
Leeds & Liverpool Canal Barrowford Locks

Thousands of children who attend a primary school within two miles from Leeds and Liverpool Canal are being invited to join the 2016 canal bicentenary celebrations.

The Canal and River Trust, the charity which cares for the canal, 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 in Pendle there are lots of schools near the canal. 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 curriculum-linked activities such as building their own model canal, and exploring their own local stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on a guided walk. All these activities are provided free of charge.

The Trust volunteers are hoping to cover the entire 127 mile length from their bases, including Burnley, in a programme of visits during 2016, starting after 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.”

The Trust’s education programme offers a wealth of online teacher resources as well as fun activities for children. For more information visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/explorers

Schools wanting to get involved with the Explorers programme can contacting Katie Hutchinson by sending an email to Katie.hutchinson@canalrivertrust.org.uk

The “200 Schools for 200 Years” initiative is one of a number of exciting projects to mark the bicentenary.