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

The Great Nature Watch

Take a trip to your local canal, river, reservoir or lake and record what you see there. It’s a fun activity to do with the family and will help us to monitor and protect the wide variety of precious wildlife that the waterways are home to.

A group of girls spotting wildlife by the Montgomery Canal Spotting wildlife by the Montgomery Canal

This year we're calling on everyone to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ to what’s happening around them following our own survey results, which show surprising gaps in people’s nature knowledge.

Wildlife Sound Recording Society logoWe've been working with with the renowned Wildlife Sound Recording Society to create a series of nature noises and challenge people to identify them as part of our Wildlife Ear and Eye Q test. Surveying toddlers to OAPs, the results showed that 25% of parents and 30% of children could not identify the sound a duck makes. 

We also found that 23% of parents and nearly a third of children thought that ducks have yellow feathers, perhaps the result of children’s TV programmes such as Peppa Pig.

Gaps in knowledge

Findings also show that 76% of parents believe that they are less knowledgeable about nature than the previous generation with 68% of parents also believing that their children are less knowledgeable about nature than they were at their age.

When put to the test the gap in wildlife knowledge between parents and their children is actually surprisingly close, however the gap between grandparents and their adult children and grandchildren is much bigger.

Dr Mark Robinson, national ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, says: “It’s a shame to see that peoples knowledge of nature is declining, but this can easily be reversed. Did you know that a blackbird’s song mimics its surrounding noise, or could you identify the sound a fox makes? Just step outside your front door, stop, look  and listen, and you can hear such a variety of nature sounds.”

Play wildlife bingo

Download our wildlife bingo card and take it out with you next time you visit a canal or river. It's a great way to encourage youngsters to take an interest in the world around them.

Download the bingo sheet


Last date edited: 19 May 2016