Skip to main content

The charity making life better by water

Deborah Meaden

You may know Deborah best as an investor in the Den. But her passion for the environment has established her as a fantastic ambassador for the Trust.

Will you pledge to support our Plastics Challenge and plan a litter pick along a towpath near you? Deborah feels strongly that we all need to join in to make a difference.

What do you like about spending time by canals and rivers?

Being in nature by water brings a sense of calm that you don't experience elsewhere. Walking along the towpath watching the ducks or catching sight of a dragonfly, you naturally unwind. I just feel the stresses of the day disappear. Even if you're in the heart of the city, a few minutes walking along a canal and you feel so much better.

Why is the work of Canal & River Trust so important?

There are huge inequalities in the amount of green/blue spaces and access to nature that people can enjoy close to home. This was thrown into sharp focus during the pandemic.

I've always felt passionately that having nature close to the places where people live, work and visit is critical for our mental and physical health. The work that the Trust does is vital to the nation's wellbeing - bringing nature into the heart of our urban centres and creating places where people want to spend time.

What are your hopes for the charity over the next 10 years?

Research tells us, and I know from my own experiences, that having easy access to nature-rich spaces make a difference to how we feel. Sadly, the poorest communities are twice as likely to live in neighbourhoods without this access.

Canals can be the answer to this. They pass through some of the most economically and socially disadvantaged communities in the UK and they can play a unique role in giving people much needed access to green and blue spaces and so improve their wellbeing.

In 10 years' time, I'd hope to see high-quality nature-rich waterways that are the focal point for even more communities - the places where friends meet, families go for a walk, where people go for some peace. I'd like kids to see frogspawn, spot butterflies and everyone, no matter where they live or the type of home they live in, to see their local canal as their 'back gardens'

Last Edited: 23 February 2024

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration