Study asks: why are canals and rivers a watery lifeline during pandemic?
- Credit: Mike Brooke
A study to see what attracts people to canals and rivers and why they’re no longer dumping grounds for shopping trolleys has been started by the charity that looks after our heritage waterways.
The research to understand what makes “the motorways of their day” tick includes east London’s Regent’s Canal, Limehouse Cut, Hertford Cut by Victoria Park and the Lea River.
“Many households don’t have their own garden,” the Canal and River Trust’s chief executive Richard Parry said.
“Canals have been their on-the-doorstep lifeline through the pandemic.”
Canals provide £1 billion savings to the NHS each year through health and wellbeing linked to active visits to waterways, studies have found.
The charity wants to understand what actually makes them attractive – the scenery of historic locks and bridges or the greenery of trees and wildlife – and why people respond to these 200-year-old industrial environments.
Author Dr Amir Khan said: “They are vital blue and green corridors for built-up and deprived urban communities, giving sunlight and cleaner air while being close to nature.”
The online study has images of canals and rivers to be rated by what people like most.