News article created on 12 June 2018

Desmond Family Canoe Trail paddles into Leeds

To mark the official arrival of the trail in the city, a metal canoe sculpture will be unveiled next to Office Lock in Leeds city centre.

Desmond Family Canoe Trail Desmond Family Canoe Trail 12/06

This will also act as a unique waymarker, indicating the distance to both ends of the trail (127 miles to Liverpool and 35 miles to Goole).

Spanning 162 miles, the trail has been made possible by businessman Richard Desmond, who has funded the project through the Desmond Foundation.

The arrival of the trail in Leeds comes shortly after the Leeds & Liverpool Canal celebrated its 200th birthday and will be further celebrated at Leeds Waterfront Festival at Granary Wharf on 23rd and 24th June, when people will be able to have a go at canoeing for free.

Danny Matley, Desmond Family Canoe Trail programme manager, said: "It’s a pleasure to welcome members of the Desmond family to Leeds and showcase just some of the activities that young people enjoy through this unique coast-to-coast canoe project.

"Since the project launched in 2015 we have supported thousands of people in a range of activities, not only giving them the chance to get out on the water in a canoe, but also working with them on activities that help them give something back to their community, such as environmental tasks, and hosting sessions to help them learn new skills, such as building a canoe.

"We’re looking forward to bringing the trail to life for 16 to 25-year-olds across Leeds and helping them discover that life is better by water."