We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

It's a special place

Find out why we’re calling for old-fashioned good manners to return to the nation’s towpaths and asking people to make a pledge to preserve the peace.

City Road Lock, Regent's Canal City Road Lock, Regent's Canal

Dick Vincent with pledge cardMake a pledge

In this age when we’re all moving a million miles an hour, the smallest of courtesies can sometimes be forgotten. We've done a survey to find out what people believe constitutes common courtesy in 2016. Old-fashioned manners, like saying please and thank you, still top the list, but modern manners, such as not invading people's personal space, are becoming just as important. We also uncovered a national tendancy for 'manners-mirroring' with more than three quarters (77%) of the public admitting they are only polite to someone if that person is polite to them first.

In response to this we’re asking people to make the first move! We're asking you to make a pledge have better manners while on the towpath so that we keep it the special place that it is. 

Please make your pledge today using the hashtag #SharetheSpace.

Download your pledge card here

Here are some suggested pledges to get you started:

  • I pledge to offer my seat on public transport to someone today #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge not to look at my phone while walking along #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to always pick up my dog’s mess when we’re out for a walk #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to make a more conscious effort to be polite #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to be aware of people’s personal space #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to wake up 10 minutes earlier so as not to rush to work #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to say hello to at least one person a day #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to smile at people #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to stop, look and listen at nature around me #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to pick up litter when I see it #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to help my fellow boater to enjoy life aboard #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to say good morning to someone on their way to work #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge that if I am in a hurry, I will not to use the towpath to cycle #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge not to fish by the locks #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to say thanks when I pass people jogging / on my bike #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to look both ways as I step onto the towpath (like I would on a busy road) #SharetheSpace.
  • I pledge to turn down the music on my headphones so I’m more aware of what’s going around me #SharetheSpace.

See what other people are saying about #SharetheSpace further down this page.

Share the Space infographic

Manners are important. They help to make the world a nicer place. That’s why we’ve been introducing special zones for people to embrace good old-fashioned manners across the busiest stretches of towpaths.

Share the Space, polite zoneWithin these polite zones, messages have been sprayed onto the towpath to encourage people to ‘smile and say hi as you go by’ and to remember that they are entering ‘a hat tipping zone’, a nod to times past when people tipped their hats or doffed their caps as a sign of respect or merely as a greeting. 

See what other people are saying about #SharetheSpace below.

    Last date edited: 28 February 2017