The Coracle Fun Day on the Montgomery Canal at Welshpool on Saturday.
Pictures: Alan Roberts.
Children of all ages were messing about in boats on the Montgomery Canal last weekend when the Friends of the Montgomery Canal organised a free Coracle Fun Day in Welshpool.
Assisted by Ironbridge Coracle Trust and Welshpool Canoe Club, a number of coracles and canoes were on hand for a range of activities.
With a safety briefing, buoyancy aids and tuition, about 60 children and adults, many of whom were families, were able to try their hand at the challenge.
Paddlers had time to gain basic skills in coracle handling and later were invited to join in coracle football, where canoes and kayaks acted as goalposts and retrieving ‘realistic’ fish from a canoe.
Members of TRAMPS (Thursday Restoration and Maintenance Project Supporters who volunteer with the Canal and River Trust (CRT) also lent a hand with lifting, recovering and managing the event.
The event was attended by local councillors who arrived on the Heulwen Trust trip boat and congratulated the Friends for working jointly with Powys Youth Service to encourage participation in the fun day, in line with the UK Government’s Levelling Up Campaign.
Alan Roberts, from the Friends committee, who organised and led the event team, said: “This was the first time that we have run an event dedicated solely to coracles. We ran our free fun day for the enjoyment of the local population and to enhance awareness that the canal is a rich resource, particularly in Welshpool town centre.
“A key objective of the committee is that more canal activities should be attractive to children and young people. Therefore, we are keen to engage families and young people, especially at a time when financial pressures can mean that expensive activities can be a difficult option.”
Christine Palin, Friends of the Montgomery Canal chairman, said: “The revival of the Montgomery Canal can bring many benefits to the towns and villages along its route, conserving its rich heritage of locks, bridges and canalside structures and safeguarding its valuable plants and wildlife.
“All this brings visitors to boost the local economy and gives residents and their families opportunities for recreation on the towpath and on the water. We were delighted, once again, to bring simple, water-based activities to Welshpool to show what the canal is about.”
The Friends of the Montgomery Canal is part of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! Appeal to raise funds to continue restoration towards the Shropshire border at Llanymynech by volunteers.
The appeal - https://localgiving.org/appeal/restorethemontgomerycanal/ - is promoted in partnership with the Shropshire Union Canal Society, the Inland Waterways Association’s Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch and Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust.
To join the Friends and help promote the canal, visit https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk/join-the-friends-of-the-montgomery-canal/ .
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