We're urging people to be alert to the dangers of icy waterways now that temperatures have dropped.
Towpaths, bridges and lock-sides can become slippery at this time of year and snow can conceal boat mooring rings and ropes which, unless people are paying attention, can be easy to trip over. While frozen canals look beautiful no-one should ever attempt to walk on or test the thickness of the ice.
Families should make sure that young children are kept within sight and made aware of the importance of staying away from the edge. Dog walkers are advised to keep dogs on leads during a freeze, and never follow their animal on to the ice.
Stay away from the edge
Simon Salem, director at Canal & River Trust, explains: “Canals and rivers remain popular throughout the winter months when they provide a frosty escape for walkers, cyclists, anglers and joggers. However it can be easy for people to become complacent and forget the potential dangers that icy towpaths and waterways can present.
“It's important that people take care while enjoying the waterways this winter, wear appropriate footwear and stay away from the edge. There is no reason why everyone can't enjoy the picture-postcard beauty of their local waterway in safety this winter.”
Our message for visitors is to stay SAFE by Staying Away From the Edge. Safety resources are available to download from our educational website www.wow4water.net/. RoSPA provides comprehensive advice on safety around the water and information and education packs can be found on its website www.rospa.com/index.htm.