14 February 2022

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Canal & River Trust looks after and brings to life 2,000 miles of waterways and believes life is better by water.

Research shows spending time by water, whether it be your lunchbreak, daily commute or just a weekend stroll, really can make us feel happier and healthier.

With ever increasing rates of obesity, stress and declining mental health in the UK, the Canal & River Trust is uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to improving the wellbeing of millions of people. The canals and rivers run through some of the most heavily populated communities in England and Wales, providing accessible blue and green space where it’s needed the most.

The Canal & River Trust works with volunteers and communities to transform canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better.

The work involves not only looking after the waterways but promoting them widely to the eight million plus people who have waterways on their doorstep so that many more people can benefit from this free, local and accessible resource.

This month Canal & River Trust has a focus on their plastic pollution initiative, #PlasticsChallenge Campaign. New research reveals that lack of equipment is a key barrier to families picking up litter so this February, Canal & River Trust is inviting adults and children to their local canal with an awareness campaign, backed up by the limited offer of handheld litter pickers.

Getting outdoors and taking action to help the environment can inspire a satisfying feel-good factor for adults and children alike. This activity helps to protect local wildlife and enhance the waterway environment, with the wider benefit of protecting nature impacted by plastic pollution downstream.

Players are supporting this project as part of the Postcode Climate Challenge initiative, which has provided 12 charities with an additional £24 million in funding for tackling climate change.

Canal & River Trust hopes that by supporting local families to become #PlasticsChallenge champions, it will help prevent some of the half a million pieces of plastic currently reaching the oceans every year along its canals and rivers.