This summer we are encouraging people to set out on a voyage of discovery and help celebrate the nation’s most beautiful blooming boats. At this time of year hundreds of boats around the country are festooned with flowers, and we want people to spread the word.
“Take a walk along any towpath and you’ll come across a boat that lifts your spirits with its spectacular display of flowers." Matthew Symonds
We are asking people to visit the waterways – close to home or further afield – and, if they come across a blossoming boat that takes their breath away, to take a photo and share it on the Trust’s Facebook and Twitter pages, with the hashtag #boatsinbloom. It’s free to stroll along the towpath and, with 8 million people living within a kilometre of a canal or river, it’s one of the most accessible ways to enjoy the summer sun.
It comes at a time when more boats are using the waterways than any time since the Industrial Revolution, with the renaissance of 200-year old canals benefiting local economies, tourism, and the health and happiness of communities.
Matthew Symonds, boating strategy & engagement manager said: “Take a walk along any towpath and you’ll come across a boat that lifts your spirits with its spectacular display of flowers. We want you to capture that moment of stumbling across something new or special and share it with others. A beautiful picture can inspire people to get out and try something different, and maybe come down and experience our wonderful waterways for themselves.
“Our teams and volunteers work hard to keep the waterways open and in great shape so everyone can enjoy them, while the huge variety of boats that cruise them really bring them to life with charm and vibrancy. There are all sorts of boats: the iconic narrowboat, historic craft, wide beam barges, and motor cruisers, not to mention rowing boats and other paddle craft. They’re used for many different things, from floating homes to leisure boats used to explore the network for pleasure, to a whole host of businesses that trade from the waterline.
“We know that being by the water makes people healthier and happier. What better way to celebrate summer and unwind than by making a trip to your local canal or river and ‘gongoozling’ – taking the time to watch the boats go by. And if you spot a gorgeous blooming boat, take a photo of it and share it so other people can share the pleasure.”