Stay SAFE and Stay Away From the Edge

thin-ice-poster-2Winter has arrived and frost, ice and snow are starting to make an appearance on Scotland’s canals.

As such, I am writing to ask for your help in passing on some important tips regarding winter safety on the canals to the teachers and pupils within your authority.

As in previous years, the key message we’re aiming to get across is that everyone – but children in particular – should stay SAFE and Stay Away From the Edge on the waterways.

Other key messages are:

  • Towpaths, bridges and lock-sides can be particularly slippery during the winter months and snow can conceal trip hazards such as boat mooring rings close to the water’s edge.
  • Frozen canals, whilst incredibly picturesque, can also be very dangerous and visitors should never attempt to walk on the canal. The ice can be very thin in places, with freezing cold water moving in currents beneath the surface.
  • Pets should also never be followed out onto the ice. Animals are far more likely to make it back onto dry land safely and owners only jeopardise both themselves and their pets by stepping onto the ice.

While we run a campaign in the regional press, on our website and at the canalside each year, having this message emphasised in schools does make a big difference. Your support is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, or if there’s any way you feel we could help support the schools within your authority to explore the many educational aspects of their local canal – whether that’s through visits from our heritage, environment and engineering experts or volunteering opportunities for the pupils – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In the meantime, if you would like more information on winter safety on the canals, please see: