FAMILIES in Huddersfield are being urged by British Waterways to get up close and personal with their local canals this summer.
The organisation is planning a host of events to transform the waterways around the North of England.
Last year the number of adults visiting an inland waterway reached a record 13m – illustrating a turnaround in fortunes which has seen canal restorations increase the network by 10% and the number of canal boats increase by more than 40% since the turn of the century.
Now, the waterways host a range of activities including major waterside festivals and dragon boat races.
In recent years events like Leeds Waterfront Festival, Dragon Boat Racing at Clarence Dock, On the Waterfront Festival in Sheffield and the Liverpool Waterfront Festival have become key dates in their regional events calendars, with families attracted from all around the country.
The Standedge Visitor Centre at Tunnel End, Marsden, with trips into the historic tunnel, is also a key attraction.
Last year it welcomed more than 13,000 visitors.
Cassie Weaver, volunteer co-ordinator for British Waterways said: “What all the events showcase is the vast amount of opportunities there are for the public to get involved in their local waterway, whether it’s visiting a waterside festival or joining in with a volunteer event such as Towpath Tidy.
“We want local communities to feel a sense of ownership in their local canal or river, creating an improved environment for all the family to enjoy.”