Join the Plastic Patrol this summer

We're proud to be hosting a series of free paddle boarding events across England’s canals this summer, to get people out enjoying the water and to highlight the problem of plastic pollution.

Lizzie Carr Paddleboarder

“Plastic pollution is the single biggest environmental catastrophe affecting our planet today. And the worst part, we’re responsible."

Lizzie Carr

The programme is being led by adventurer and environmentalist Lizzie Carr - aka Lizzie Outside, who, last month, became the first female in history to solo paddle board across the English Channel. Last year Lizzie was also the first person to paddleboard the 400 mile length of England’s inland waterways, solo and unsupported, to highlight the problem of plastic pollution through her nationwide initiative – Plastic Patrol. 

We are hosting the project at eight clean-up events across its canal network where people can help make a difference either from aboard a paddle board or from the towpath.

Lizzie Carr comments: "Plastic pollution is the single biggest environmental catastrophe affecting our planet today. And the worst part, we’re responsible. Plastic is an entirely manmade material so every single piece you see littering the planet is a direct result of our actions.

This summer I’ll be staging a series of #PlasticPatrol clean ups across the country – including eight on Canal & River Trust waterways – so there’s plenty of opportunity for people to get involved and show support. There will be an opportunity to try paddle boarding – completely free – and all I ask in return is that people join the #PlasticPatrol efforts and collect some of the rubbish encountered.

During my SUP adventures I found that a lot of the plastic I came across was caught up in reeds away from the towpath so getting on the water and cleaning up by paddle board means accessing pockets of the waterways that might otherwise remain untouched. We’ll even dispose of everything you find – I’d just love to have like minded people come along, have fun and do something for the environment whilst getting active."

"This summer we’re really delighted to be supporting Plastic Patrol by hosting free paddle boarding sessions at a number of events."

Tom Freeland

Tom Freeland from our volunteering team comments: “Litter and plastics can be damaging to wildlife, it can get stuck around boat propellers and, quite frankly is just an eyesore along our lovely canals.

“We host regular Towpath Taskforce clean-up events where people turn up and join our team, make new friends and do something worthwhile. And this summer we’re really delighted to be supporting Plastic Patrol.

“Those getting afloat on a paddle board will learn a new skill and have some great fun. And the bonus is that they’ll be able to access the plastic in the reeds or away from the bank that it’s not possible for us to normally clean-up from the towpath.”

Anyone can turn up and take part in the clean-up events. However to get afloat and take part in the paddle boarding, participants must be 16 years or older and register for a slot at There will also be a Marine Bus at each location for children and young people to learn about the environmental impact of plastic pollution in an interactive and engaging way.

The events are also being supported Craghoppers, Red Paddle Co which is supplying the paddle boards at each of the Plastic Patrol events.

Visit for further details of the events, including how to register.

Plastic Patrol slide

Last date edited: 3 July 2020