Planet Patrol and Scottish Canals
The Forth and Clyde Canal between Twechar and Auchinstarry, East Dunbartonshire
This blog post is different to others as it isn’t explicitly about a specific paddle location as such. It’s much more about the waterway of The Forth and Clyde Canal and how during the last year it has become our home. There are hundreds of launch points for paddling on the canal and if you have a board and live locally, we would encourage you to embrace what is already on your doorstep!
Stand up paddleboarding has literally taken over the world recently. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and over 10 000 boards were sold in Scotland in 2020. Crazy.
Part of the reason for the influx has been due to the covid pandemic. People have been looking for things to do at home. Scotland is covered in water. Rivers, canals, sea... we have it all. The accessibility of the sport is another reason. With inflatable sups you can roll them away, pop them into a bag and they can fit into the boot of your car and can even be stored under your stairs! It’s hugely accessible to everyone and because you can get the hang of it quickly and can quickly increase and improve your skill levels.
Glasgow Paddleboarders Group at Applecross Wharf - home of Scottish Canals
Part of the problem with inflatable paddleboards in regards to our environment is the huge amount of plastic that is needed to create the kit. When good kit is bought, it lasts a long time so that in itself isn’t an issue. Buying cheap boards thrown about on eBay and Amazon for fun just means more plastic in landfill. More rubbish to deal with. More carbon dioxide in the air. You hear me right? We have recently decided to team up with Sea Lion Boards who are huge advocates of looking after the environment and come May we will have our own fleet of the most eco friendly boards made. Yes, they’re made out of plastic too but they do everything they can to source the best materials to allow the build to be as eco-friendly as possible. We will be a demonstration centre and key retailer for their company.
Caring about the environment we live in is hugely important. Councils are under more pressure to ensure that they are recycling rubbish from homes, bin collections are less to ensure people do recycle properly from their homes and the culture of recycling slowly changes. Sometimes though, people just don’t care. Around the countryside it feels like more than ever people have been fly tipping and throwing their rubbish out the window. The canal is a beautiful place to paddle but it can at times also be covered in litter and rubbish. With all this in mind we have decided to affiliate ourselves with Planet Patrol.
“The charity was set up in 2016 by paddleboarding enthusiast Lizzy Carr and now already has made great strides to remove litter from over 80 countries around the world. Planet Patrol exists to protect our planet and wildlife by addressing the pressing threats of litter and the single-use culture. We are a community-focused, solution-orientated, non-profit organisation: a movement of people working for a cleaner future. With your help we can continue our mission to stop pollution at the source.”
At Glasgow Paddleboarders Co. once covid restrictions allow, we will be organising litter picks around the waterways of Glasgow and are very excited to be involved with the research that goes on with the collection of the rubbish. When the rubbish is collected, you can record it on the Planet Patrol App and then universities use the data to identify brands that are most commonly dumped on our streets and in our countryside. Recent pickings of Tesco trolleys, water pistols and even Vax hoovers have all been interesting finds in and around the canal in Glasgow. Planet Patrol provide litter pickers and buckets to collect rubbish in. They even fit on the front of the boards!
Scottish Canals will be excited by the influx of activity on the canal since paddleboarding has become so popular and we look forward to working more closely with them and building relationships as the community at Glasgow Paddlebladders Co. grows. Maybe we’ll even some art work commissioned to promote keeping our paddle home clean... watch this space.
“We cannot afford to wait to act against the threat of climate change. We must work together to protect our planet and people and ensure a greener, more resilient future for us all.
The UK will host the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 with our partners Italy in November 2021 to bring together world leaders to commit to urgent global climate action.
But each of us has a part to play. That’s why, in the run up to the summit, we’ll be working closely with businesses, civil society groups, schools and people across the UK as part of our conversation on tackling climate change.
Many people from all over the UK are already doing their bit on climate change, from the engineers working on the offshore wind farms now powering our homes and businesses, to local initiatives encouraging children and parents to walk to school. We want to celebrate them and inspire more to join them.”
It is hugely exciting for.Glasgow as a city to be hosting this event. We want to be a part of that too so will be making our action count over the coming weeks and months and plan to share events about what we are doing using #TogetherForOurPlanet on all social media platforms and joining others through the Count Us In campaign. If you want to get involved with us keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels for events coming soon.