Ducks & Lazy Days- The Canal & River Trust
Canals and rivers are very special places which kids and adults can explore together any day of the week. Some are found in quiet countryside and others run through bustling cities. Wherever they are, canals and rivers are great places to visit for a few hours or a whole day out.
There are lots of fun things to do there!
Feeding the Ducks
Exploring our canals and rivers you’re bound to bump into some delightful ducks. But did you know white bread is their version of junk food? Treat them to these healthy snacks instead. Each time you feed them, choose a different spot on the bank and give space to nesting birds.
Sweetcorn –Ducks are very fond of sweetcorn. Tinned, fresh and frozen (defrosted, of course) are great.
Oats-Rolled oats and even instant porridge oats are always a huge hit with ducks.
Lettuce-When the lettuce leaves in your fridge are past their best, don’t put them in the bin. Tear them into pieces and treat the ducks instead.
Rice- Treat the ducks to
a real banquet with leftover rice from your takeaway or uncooked rice from your store cupboard.
Peas- They don’t need to be cooked – just defrost them before you head out.
Seeds- Ducks love bird seed and the seeds from the healthy aisle in the supermarket. Seeds don’t always float so it’s best to scatter them in shallow water or on the ground.
The Kennet & Avon
The Kennet & Avon Canal, at 87 miles long, links London with the Bristol Channel, and passes through some spectacular landscapes including Wiltshire and the rolling Cotswolds.
The Kennet & Avon Canal was born in 1794 when it was agreed that linking the river navigations at Newbury and Bath via a canal would bring huge benefits to Hungerford. It opened new markets and provided cheap transport for bulky goods. Today, it provides a wonderful base for a family day out in the country.
It transported bath stone and St Lawrence’s Church was built of Bath Stone.
You can take a trip on The Rose of Hungerford and learn more about the canal.
It is an important part of wildlife conservation and you can find water voles and waterbirds.There are different quirky bridges as you walk along the towpath, you can watch the boats and feed the ducks.
Once a busy industrial canal wharf, Kintbury is now a picture of tranquillity.
Kintbury was the first section of the Kennet & Avon Canal to be opened. The canal was the main trading route between London and Bristol and the wharf thrived for 100 years. Here, large quantities of iron and coke bound for the local ironworks were unloaded, as well as raw materials for nearby breweries.
You can take a horse -drawn boat trip, cycle along the towpath yo the water meadows where watercress once thrived in clear chalk streams. Look out for Kingfishers, Mute Swans, Coots, Moorhens and Heron’s. Kintbury Parish Church has a memorial tablet to Charles Dundas, first chair of the Kennet & Avon Company.
Newbury was once a busy inland port on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Today, it’s a great place to start exploring one of the most scenic canals in the country.
200 years ago, Newbury Wharf was on the main trading route between London and Bristol. When the railway arrived, trade decreased and the Kennet & Avon
Canal was threatened with closure. Fortunately, a team of dedicated volunteers took it on and restored it for leisure use. You can take a boat trip from here.
Once a busy industrial canal
wharf, Aldermaston Wharf is now a peaceful backwater. It’s great place to start exploring the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal. Check out
Aldermaston Lock with its scalloped brick chamber. One of only two on the canal. Look out for kingfishers, mute swans, coots, moorhens and herons. You can also spot different types of boats such as Dutch barges, river cruisers and narrowboats.
Garston Lock is very unusual
– it’s lined with turf rather than hard materials. One of only two turf-sided locks in the country, it’s so special that it has listed building status.
Turf was most often used on rivers in the early 1700s, before the canal system was built. All except one other turf-sided lock on the Kennet & Avon Canal have been rebuilt with hard materials, such as brick. The other is Monkey Marsh at Thatcham, also a listed building. The Kennet & Avon
ormed a line of defence against invasion during the Second World War. Look out for pillboxes which were built as mini forts. You can cycle along the towpath. Spot waterbirds such mute swans, mallard, coot, moorhens. You may even catch sight of a kingfisher!
At Canal & River Trust we believe life is better by water. We care for these waterways so they exist for you to enjoy, for free, every day.
Discover, explore, enjoy.