Every year we celebrate canal day here in Banbury in England, and it is our love of the English waterways that always creates a buzz around this time of year.
The birds are chirping, the flowers are in full bloom, and the temperatures are perfect for a nice day out on the canal.
Every year, our spots for parking narrowboats get filled up faster and faster, and we have hundreds of people descend on our humble event to share the love of canals and the boat life.
In the UK there are now 38,000 narrowboats, and of this number over one quarter of them are homes.
There are over 3,000 miles of navigable waterways in the UK, where boat owners and holidaymakers can coast around till their heart’s content.
It is estimated that the number of people enjoying barge holidays has more than doubled in recent years.
Not only that, but the towpaths that run alongside the canals are also teeming with activity from cyclists, walkers, anglers and more.
People love canals, but what about their future?
Historically, canals were used for the transportation of goods around the country, but when the steam engine arrived with the arrival of the industrial revolution, canals suddenly went quiet.
Thankfully, canals are seeing what we like to call the waterways renaissance, as more people take to the water and the canal ways.
Thousands of volunteers are helping to restore nearly 100 different canal restoration projects across the UK.
The Inland Waterways Association here in the UK is also working towards reopening nearly 3000 miles of unused canals which currently lie derelict and have not been used in years.
We like to think of canals and waterways as a giant spidering network of plants, animals and people all living harmoniously on one of the most environmentally friendly transport systems available