Video: A ‘quack-ing’ idea? Duck lane introduced on Calderdale canal towpath

The new duck lane on the Calder and Hebble navigation
The new duck lane on the Calder and Hebble navigation

A special duck lane has been painted on the canal towpath on the Calder and Hebble Navigation between Elland and Brookfoot.

The temporary move has been designed to highlight the narrowness of the space shared between people and wildlife.

And as the number of people using the nation’s towpaths reaches record levels, the Canal & River Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace.

Jon Horsfall, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “For many people our towpaths are among their most precious green spaces, antidotes to the pace and stress of the modern world and places to relax and unwind.

“They are ‘super slow ways’, providing a slice of peace and calm through the centres of our busiest cities.

“Today they are more popular than ever, with more investment in improvements and better signage, but with that success there are also problems.

“It just wouldn’t be possible to paint lanes on the towpath for all our different visitors – cyclists, walkers, runners, anglers, boaters - so we thought the ducks could have one instead.

“We can all help by slowing down and remembering we are all there to enjoy the space...and watch out for ducks.”

The Trust’s towpath code ‘Better Towpaths for Everyone’ was produced after consultation with more than 2,000 towpath visitors and interest groups. The top three issues raised were the need for improvements to the towpaths, better signage and better behaviour between visitors.

Last year, the Trust secured more than £8m of funding to improve its towpaths, and it is planning a further £10m investment in the next 12 months.