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'Duck lanes' added to canal walkways across the country

The Independent logo The Independent 25/05/2015 Kashmira Gander
Junko Kimura/Getty Images: Young ducklings rest by a lake with their mother at Mukoujima Hyakkaen Garden on May 18, 2007 in Tokyo, Japan. Every year Mukoujima Hyakkaen Garden, which means Garden of a Hundred Flowers, sees ducks return in the autumn to raise their young. © Junko Kimura/Getty Images Young ducklings rest by a lake with their mother at Mukoujima Hyakkaen Garden on May 18, 2007 in Tokyo, Japan. Every year Mukoujima Hyakkaen Garden, which means Garden of a Hundred Flowers, sees ducks return in the autumn to raise their young.

Special lanes for ducks have been sprayed onto towpaths around the country to remind walkers, runners and cyclists that they share canals with feathered inhabitants.

Offering a respite from busy city life, canals are more popular than ever, with over 400 million people visiting the 2,000 mile network of towpaths which wind across England and Wales each year.

But as the areas become more popular, the Canal and River Trust has sprayed some paths with tiny bike-lane like roads for ducks, as part of the Share the Space, Drop Your Pace initiative.

The walkways have been introduced in bustling cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester. 

Richard Perry, the chief executive of the Canal and River Trust, said in a statement on the charity’s website: "For many people our towpaths are among their most precious green spaces, antidotes to the pace and stress of the modern world and places to relax and unwind

“But with that success there are also problems, which is why we are calling on visitors to help make our canals preserves for old fashioned good manners!  We can all help by slowing down and remembering we are all there to enjoy the space.”

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