Enjoy the Caledonian Canal

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Helping out by the Caledonian CanalStephen Wiseman, the Caledonian Canal Heritage Officer has lots of plans for sharing the pleasures of being beside the canal this summer.

There are two Go Wild on the Canal family days. The first is on -Saturday 17th May 2014 from 10am -4pm at Banavie Basin, by Fort William. The second will be at Muirtown Lock, Inverness on Saturday 23rd August. Both days have lots of adventurous activities for all the family. In Fort William there will be water walkers, a climbing wall, boat trips, birds of prey display, wildlife talks, minibus safaris, raft race, water demonstrations, traditional music, ‘come and try’ canoes and kayaks and lots more!

Go Wild
The Fort William event kicks off the Wild Lochaber Festival - look out for our 'Dawn Chorus' within the programme 

Stephen is also involved with the Inverness Men's Shed, which is busy helping him out by creating a 'Grow Wild' flower planting project around the Muirtown Basin and building benches to sit within the growing colour. They‘ll also be taking part in wildlife workshops to learn about our natural heritage and help to conserve it and are planning to build a dry stone wall at the Bona Lighthouse. To find out more take a look at the Men's Shed Facebook Page.

HUG Action for Mental health have been enjoying monthly canal side outings with Stephen, and the planned upgrade of the towpath from Tomnahurich to Dochgarroch should be a great bonus to them. Stephen is hoping to make even more areas accessible from the canal and is working in partnership with Dunain Community Woodland and Anum Cara to develop ideas together. A future aspiration is to create 'stop, rest and play' interpretive structures along the canal routes and perhaps up into the woodlands.  A research project is underway to scope these ideas.  

If all this has whetted your appetite you might like to get involved in the following workshops and outings:

  • Free Wildlife Workshops - learn more about the local birds, bees and plants and how to ID them.  This new knowledge can then be used to survey and help conserve.  Get in touch for more info.

  • Guided Cycles - Fancy a guided cycle with the heritage officer?  Local group or family fun.  Go further and learn more about the heritage while exercising in a relaxed way.  Bring your own bike or hire one from any of the starting locations.  Get in touch to book.
  • Volunteer practical projects - things such as the 'Grow Wild' project (a wildflower project along the canal and surrounding area) and helping out with a men's shed project in Inverness are on the go and will continue through the summer and beyond.  If you would like to volunteer with the project just get in touch with Stephen to find out more and see what may suit : tel  01463 725561  or email stephen@scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk


The photograph shows helpers near Fort William.

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