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The charity making life better by water

People's Postcode Lottery

Our partnership with People’s Postcode Lottery, which began in 2012, has supported us to look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, because we believe that life is better by water.

Street Art on the canal towpath in Walsall

With over £21 million in funding awarded to date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have supported a variety of important waterway and wellbeing projects.

This ranges from work on the Cathedral of the Canals, the Anderton Boat Lift, through to our Let's! participation programmes, and also includes our national community outreach programme, Community Roots.

People's Postcode Lottery - Earth Trust

Richard Parry, our chief executive, said: "We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of People's Postcode Lottery which has enabled us to fund a range of vital projects, helping to realise our vision of living waterways that transform places and enrich lives."

  • Read the video transcript

    We’re the charity that looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales because we believe that life is better by water. Our canals and rivers offer vital outdoor space for millions of people to meet, exercise, or just relax. They also make a big difference to our environment, bringing nature into the heart of our towns and cities, and can help tackle some of our biggest challenges, such as climate change. With funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re planting thousands of trees along our waterways, creating small woodlands to help offset carbon emissions and provide much-needed food sources and homes for wildlife.

    We’ve been out on the towpath planting fruit-based trees, not only for the benefit of wildlife but also to try to actually restore some of the balance of the carbon emissions. We’ve been making a difference. We’ve improved the environment, the quality of the towpath. The number of people that walk past and say, “Thank you, you’re doing a grand job.” It makes it all worthwhile.

    Today, we’ve been planting 200 trees provided by the Canal & River Trust, planted by members of Newark Quaker Meeting acting as volunteers for the Trust. It makes a difference to the carbon dioxide levels of the air also improves the appearance of this area. It’s very satisfying to have achieved something so quickly and with so many helpers.

    From the quiet, rural countryside to the bustling suburbs, our volunteers are helping plant trees across our land. They’re connecting hedgerows to form long wildlife corridors and creating mini forests of different tree varieties to bring even more species to our waterways. I walk along the towpath all the time and when I saw people volunteering, I thought this is a good thing to do. Keeping the towpath clean, tidy for everybody to use, gets you out in the fresh air, do some physical work, and it makes a big difference to the area you live in.

    Sadly, the UK has some of the worst biodiversity ratings in the world. By planting trees, we are creating much-needed habitat for the wildlife found in and around our canals and rivers. And over the course of its lifetime, every tree we plant will absorb tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is crucial in the fight against climate change.

    Locally, this is an improvement on the biodiversity of the area, so it helps connect isolated habitats. It helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere locally as well. And nationally, this ties into the national agenda of achieving net zero by 2050.

    Very pleased with how this has gone. Feels amazing to be out here with colleagues and volunteers. This has been very fulfilling.

    To find out how you can help your local environment and combat climate change, please visit our website:

Thank you to players of People's Postcode Lottery for supporting us today and throughout the year. Future funding is intended to be awarded by Postcode Earth Trust, a promoting society of People's Postcode Lottery.

Volunteering outside

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Our newsletter is packed full of exciting updates and stories of how our charity keeps canals alive.

Last Edited: 15 March 2024

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