|The River Wharfe in Appletreewick|
|The River Calder in Wakefield|
|Near How Stean Gorge in Nidderdale|
|The River Wharfe in Kettlewell|
|The River Aire in Saltaire|
|The Leeds Canal in Rodley|
I've lived in Yorkshire for fourteen years now and, while I didn't grow up here, I regularly count my blessings that I'm lucky enough to live in this beautiful place. I'm afraid Yorkshire residents do constantly bang on about how special their county is, and that's because it's true, it is special. We have a seriously stunning coastline. We have the Dales, an area I love to visit as often as I can. We have hills, rivers, moors, beaches and any number of beautiful places to visit. We have a rich heritage, an interesting history and an awful lot of sheep.
So when a few weeks ago Yorkshire Water got in touch to ask if I'd like to support their campaign Blueprint For Yorkshire, I was very keen to get involved. It is dedicated to improving water quality, the environment, creating cleaner rivers and beaches, and just generally making Yorkshire better for residents and visitors. It's a long term plan with big aims for a big county.
I thought about driving over to the coast. Or up into the Dales, maybe to our beloved Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe. But those destinations all involve at least an hour long drive, planning, picnics, and a full day out. I wanted to remind myself of what we had closer to home and so we spent Sunday morning walking along a short stretch of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. It's years since we came here and I'd forgotten how peaceful it is, how slow the pace.
I love to visit these pockets of calm within the city of Leeds. Those spaces where you can't hear the hum of traffic anymore (well, barely), where you can see open spaces and greenery. The canal is hugely popular with walkers, runners and cyclists as it's wide, flat and there is no traffic.
It's also very popular with five year old boys and their scooters.
It was such a mild, hazy September morning and so still, not a breath of wind. The only thing to disturb the water was the odd passing canal boat.
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