Look east to get active

Our East Midlands team are encouraging everyone to get up and out on to our canals and waterways this year. It’s all part of how we're making sure life is better by water.

Running along the Nottingham-Beeston Canal

Waterways can help improve mental wellbeing and happiness – 90% of users feel that waterways are good places to relax and de-stress.

Waterways & Wellbeing: Building the Evidence Base

It’s all part of a project to support local community health and wellbeing.

Liz Fleuty, development and engagement manager for our East Midlands team explains: “Using our towpaths and waterways provides an opportunity for exercise – for running, cycling, walking the dog or simply walking to work. In fact, our research shows that physical exercise is the top motivation among waterway visitors*.”

*Source: Waterways & Wellbeing: Building the Evidence Base

Expanding on the work carried out in our Waterways & Wellbeing report, which found that: “Waterways can help improve mental wellbeing and happiness – 90% of users feel that waterways are good places to relax and de-stress.”

Our East Midlands team has set up several projects designed to help local people make great use of the towpaths and waterways across our region.

Trent Lock running routes

Running routes in the East Midlands

We’ve already created three new routes from Trent Lock covering 2km, 3km and 5km – a perfect start if you’re following the Couch to 5k programme. Look out for these signs on the canalside:

Trent running routes signs

Canoe trails

Paddling at Trent Lock, Erewash Canal

If you prefer to paddle, canals are brilliant for beginners. Our canoeing and kayaking pages have some great information on getting started. In the East Midlands, we are working with British Canoeing to develop new canoe trails on our waterways. There are two trails on the Erewash Canal, and in Leicestershire the Soar Tour offers a range of routes for all levels.

Healthy body, healthy mind

It’s not just about physical health. If you’re looking for something for your mind, your body and your soul, try volunteering on our waterways. We run ongoing programmes across the East Midlands, or your group could work with us on a specific project to improve your local area.

Nottingham nature in mind project
Nottingham Nature in Mind

Making life better by water

Our East Midlands team continues to organise a range of activities to help everyone get active every day with free, healthy routes and places on your doorstep.

Katherine Wilson, who developed the running project, said: “We all know that we should get away from our screens, spend more time outdoors and get more exercise but modern life pressures make this really difficult. We want to do all we can to make it easy for people to access and enjoy the nearest waterway to them, whether it is going for a lunchtime leg-stretch rather than eating a sandwich at your desk, or taking advantage of the gloriously flat towpath for an easy run”.

Whether it’s for sport, such as rowing, fishing or running; for fun or for that everyday walk to work, follow our team on Twitter to keep up to date on the latest ways to keep fit on our East Midlands waterways.

Last date edited: 5 June 2018