My stretch

Walkers, volunteers and a Buddhist on the Pocklington Canal.

We’re winding our way up and down the waterways, finding out exactly what people love about their stretch of water. This time, it’s the gorgeous Pocklington Canal in East Yorkshire. Interviews: Paul Clarke. Photography: Paul Moffat.

"I’m the working party coordinator for the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society so I organise our volunteers to do maintenance along the canal. You don’t need a gym membership – we‘ll work it off for you. Working here is also a great social occasion. Our wives refer to us as being like the Last of the Summer Wine cast." Richard Watson

"I’m out here with my dog Albie and I come down at least three times week as it is only a two minute car ride for me. I often come with my daughter and her baby, who we bring in a baby carrier, so it is a family thing too. It’s a really social thing for dog owners, and it is nice for Albie to socialise as he’s only a puppy. All the dogs down here are well-behaved, too." Liz Sargent

"We have a boat called Just Chillin’ which has Pocklington on the side, and it’s surprising how many people say they didn’t realise they could get still get up this canal. So we need to spell it out – come along and see this canal, it’s lovely. This year is Pocklington’s bicentennial so we’re organising lots of events including a boat rally in July. We need people involved to keep the canal alive." Debbie Smith

"I live in Millington and I’ve walked here from Pocklington. There is loads of pleasant scenery and it’s an undemanding walk. I have seen loads of birds, but I’m not out here for that specifically. It’s a 12 mile walk, but as it’s mainly on the flat I thought I’d set myself a challenge as it is such nice day." Adrian Roberts

"This is a beautiful area, very quiet and there’s a really nice community at this marina. The boat allows me to still go to the Buddhist centre, but also to come here to do my own individual meditation and retreats. Having a boat gives me space to do my own thing and spent time meditating. It’s nice to be out in the country, and if I don’t feel like cooking there is the pub at the end of the road for a meal, so it just works really well for me." Lamden


"I started off as a volunteer by laying a hedge at Canal Head and I helped level out a kilometre of towpath up there. I’m not that mechanical, but I helped out on the renovation of the weed-cutting boat Sheila Nix, where we stripped it all out, and did a load of sanding down and painting. This a very tranquil place, where the wildlife is outstanding  – otters have been spotted." John Thorpe

"I just like getting outdoors with my dog Holly and seeing a bit of scenery. The dog likes to go for a swim in the canal, and it makes a change from just walking round town. I tend to see a lot of wildlife, so we see ducks and birds as we walk along. You often get nods from other dog walkers. Holly loves being out and about." Sid Cobbald

"I’m doing water vole research for my university dissertation to see if the habitat is suitable for them. I’m comparing this stretch with a beck and the River Derwent to see which is best, and at the moment I’m thinking the platforms on the bank might be a bit steep. I love being outdoors as I’m doing a geography degree and there is lot of wildlife down here which is fantastic for me. The canals are a real part of our history so it’s good to see so many people using it." Caroline Wilkinson

"Canal Head is a lovely place to come and we alternate between this and a local wood. We’ve only lived here about three months, so it is all new to us. But it’s nice to be able to use the locks to see where you are on a walk, and work out how far you have gone." Stephen Beckett

"It’s so much better for us to walk Keesha down here than on the roads, plus I like looking at the birds and on the canal, and we’ve seen moorhens, swans and a few ducks down here. It gives the walk real interest and Keesha really loves it. It’s nice to walk by the water as there are always things to look at, all the time." Lynne Beckett


"I take all the bookings for the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society’s boat New Horizons. We carry over 2,000 passengers in the summer; groups of walkers, family groups and the WI. It is great fun as you meet such a wide variety of people, and it gives us an opportunity to share our love of the canal. All our crews are encouraged to know about canal. We consider it to be a real gem." Bob Ellis

Got a suggestion of where we should do a future My Stretch story? Let us know.

We work closely with The Pocklington Canal Society to keep this beautiful waterway open for everyone. Find out more about volunteering with the Trust.

Last date edited: 22 January 2015

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