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Putting Nature First

Canal & River Trust protects waterways and encourages people to get back to nature

Canal & River Trust exists to protect over 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales. Canals put nature into the heart of urban communities. They are free, open spaces, a world away from the stresses of every day, for all to enjoy - and it's the job of the Trust to keep them that way.

200,000 million litres of water, thousands of species of wildlife, 1,200 conservation sites and 5 World Heritage sites mean that the Trust plays a vital role in protecting nature and connecting people to it.

UK wildlife is in serious trouble, with 60% of species in decline or endangered. As the UK becomes ever more built-up, 80% of communities now live in urban space, and have become separated from the natural world. Just 1 in 10 children now play outside, and public health is decreasing due to high levels of inactivity. A recent report has found that 41% of adults aged 40-60 achieve less than 10 minutes of continuous walking per month.

Green spaces benefit the health of everyone, yet the most deprived communities are 10 times less likely to live in the greenest areas. This is why the Trust's work is so important, and why player support is so vital for the future of nature. Since our waterways are the UK's largest linear nature corridor, the Trust can provide even more people with 2,000 miles of unique, natural green spaces - free to access and open to everyone.

Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, Canal & River Trust has been provided with over £1.3 Million to support a range of programmes in locations across the UK, including:

  • Community biodiversity volunteering in urban locations.
  • Community Roots, an environmental protection work project for sites of special scientific interest.
  • An additional £500,000 was awarded in the 2016 Dream Fund to support training for veterans in collaboration with Help for Heroes: the Heritage Heroes programme.

Through this support, 600 miles of hedgerows have been improved for wildlife. Eleven sites of special scientific interest have moved off the endangered list, and thousands of new volunteers have been recruited to support the Trust's work.

Julia Bradbury, TV presenter and outdoor champion, said, "Today, when out exploring and taking in the waterways, I've seen what a difference it makes when local communities come together and make their stretch come to life."

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Canal & River Trust make nature available to people who live in urban areas
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