Michael Fabricant, Chairman of the Waterways All Party Parliamentary Group – and a Patron of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust – is asking people across the West Midlands to take part in Canal & River Trust’s ‘Science of Scenic Beauty’ study.
“I am urging people to take part in a scientific study being undertaken in partnership with the University of Warwick to help determine what makes waterway spaces so attractive” says Michael. “The study will then inform the Canal & River Trust’s future planning, to ensure that residents can get maximum enjoyment out of their local canals.
“As well as being a fun way to highlight some of the beautiful scenery in our region, this study will help the Canal & River Trust plan for the future and to make our canals and waterways even more enjoyable. Who can resist, for example, the beauty of the waterways, locks, and ancient canal bridges by Fradley Junction near Lichfield?
“So people are being asked to participate in the study by rating images of canals and rivers online, to create hard data defining the key elements behind scenic beauty. Scenery, not just greenery, has been shown to be key to better health and wellbeing. A previous study by the University of Warwick found people feel healthier when they spend time in more scenic areas, and that canals make the biggest contribution to scenic beauty in towns and cities.”
GP and best-selling author, Dr Amir Khan, known for his regular appearances on Good Morning Britain and Lorraine, says: “The Canal & River Trust’s canals provide vital blue and green outdoor space, particularly in some of the nation’s most built-up and deprived communities. Spending time in these precious spaces can provide benefits gained from exercise, more sunlight, cleaner air, and the regenerative power that comes from being close to nature.”
Richard Parry, chief executive of Canal & River Trust, adds: “Throughout the pandemic, canals have been an on-the-doorstep lifeline for millions, including many of the one in eight residents in the UK who do not have a garden.
“Government methodologies show that the Trust’s canals provide around £1bn in savings to the NHS each year through physical health and wellbeing benefits associated with active visits.
“That is why we are asking people to join the Science of Scenic Beauty study, so we can better understand what makes canals so impactful on people’s health and wellbeing.”
Michael Fabricant concludes: “The way to get started is to click on the link below and rate photos on the website as well as uploading your own.”
Click the link here.