Stay SAFE this summer!

With the good weather fast approaching, we would like to remind everyone to stay SAFE (Stay Away From the Edge) when they visit the waterways this summer.

Scotland’s canals are enjoyed by everyone from walkers and kayakers to boaters and cyclists, attracting more than 22 million visits throughout the year, and summer is a particularly beautiful time on the nation’s waterways.

But, while the still, cool water of the canals can look inviting on a hot day, we are urging the public – and especially young people – to resist the temptation to jump in and cool off.

The nation’s canals are an excellent place to enjoy the fleeting Scottish summer whether you’re looking to spend a day tackling the towpaths by boot or bike or get away from it all with a break in a canalside cottage.

But, no matter how you choose to enjoy the waterways, it’s incredibly important that everyone is aware of the dangers the canals – like any body of open water – can pose. We’d encourage everyone to visit Scotland’s canals this summer but, no matter what their age, to stay SAFE and Stay Away From the Edge.

Parents are asked to always accompany their children on the canals and to ensure they’re well aware of the hazards posed by open water. The still surface of the waterways can often betray hidden dangers and surprisingly strong currents beneath the surface. The water itself is also quite cold and immersion in it can be a shock to the system on a warm day.

Pets should also never be followed into the canals. Animals are far more likely to make it back onto dry land safely and owners only jeopardise both themselves and their pets by following them into the water.

The towpaths of Scotland’s canals are also busier than ever and play host to a wide variety of users, from cyclists and runners, to dog walkers and horse riders. With a finite amount of space on the paths, users are encouraged to be considerate of others, manage their speed, stay alert and help avoid any accidents that may result in someone taking a tumble into the water.

Anyone taking to the towpaths is encouraged to read the Towpath Code of Conduct which sets out guidelines and safety tips for everyone from horse riders and anglers, to cyclists and walkers. We would also encourage users to read our recently launched Boats, Bikes, Boots and Beyond: A guide to using Scotland’s canals responsibly – an easy to understand guide developed with the help of our towpath users – which offers guidelines for sharing the land and water along Scotland’s canal network and what to expect of other users.

Stay SAFE and Stay Away From the Edge

 

Remember:

  • The still surface of the waterways can often betray hidden dangers and surprisingly strong currents beneath the surface.
  • Even on a hot day, the water of the canals can be quite cold and immersion in it can be a shock to the system.
  • Pets should never be followed into the canals. Animals are far more likely to make it back onto dry land safely and owners only jeopardise both themselves and their pets by following them into the water.

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