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The charity making life better by water

Saira Khan

Saira fell in love with our canals over the pandemic. Using the towpath to exercise, walk the dog and spend time with her children, Saira felt more connected with the outdoors and has now become one of our ambassadors.

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

I love the scenery, wildlife and tranquillity of my local canal. The gentle sounds of the water soothe my mind and just being along this stretch of water lifts my mood, spirits and helps me to appreciate the free things in life that ​make you feel better.

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

What Canal & River Trust ​does is ​so important ​- raising awareness for our local canal and river network and the role they play within local communities; encouraging, recognising and recording local wildlife; promoting sustainability and outdoor activity and fighting against plastic and litter that can harm the natural environment. Our canals and rivers are safe and accessible to everyone for free because of the valuable work Canal & River Trust do​es.

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

I would like to see more and more people taking ownership of ​a stretch of their local canal ​or river and playing their ​part in making them safe for everyone in the local community to use ​- whether it's walking your dog, jogging, a bike ride, a canal boat trip, or a school day out. I would love for local communities to take part in the projects ​and activities that Canal & River Trust ​organise to engage people in protecting the wildlife by picking up litter, or by improving accessibility and the ​towpaths.

What's your favourite stretch of canal and why?

My favourite stretch of canal is my local Oxford Canal. It is so very special to me, I have made friends with people who moor there in their narrowboats, I have a favourite cedar tree that I say hello to, I admire the beautiful murals that have been painted on the footbridges and, importantly, I love walking my dog Vera, or running along it. My ​goal one day is to walk the whole 77 miles from Oxford to Coventry and raise funds for the Canal & River Trust, so more people can enjoy this beautiful and energising outdoor space.

Last Edited: 08 July 2022

photo of a location on the canals
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