My great British canal adventure: exploring by kayak in lockdown

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Throwing a kayak on Britain’s historic inland waterways offers town dwellers instant access to freedom, tranquility and wildlife

My dad grew up obsessed with small waterways. As a child he scoured streams, ponds and, perhaps inevitably for someone living on the edge of Manchester, canals. Soon he had tanks filled with dozens of small creatures in his bedroom. This included wildlife that was plentiful in the 1950s but that I’ve never seen: shellfish such as freshwater limpets, invertebrates such as the charismatic water scorpion.

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