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What are the London Canals?

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Canals, a man made trench filled with water, used since the 10th century as a way of trading and transporting goods around countries before engines were invented.

Hi, I’m Lily from London.

I’m fortunate enough to live beside a canal and although it’s extremely dirty and turbid, the reason why is because of pollution, boat pollution.

Hundreds of boats chug along the Hertford Union Canal daily, driving through all the locks, which are used to keep the level steady. However, instead of trading, families live on these boats, a portable and cheaper home. On the other hand, this is a very contradictory matter.

Many claim it is awful for the environment and protest against the fact that countless boats are moored against the tow path; abandoned and with no signs of life. At this moment in time, boat owners are still placing posters to stop the boat cull.

Canals here are not only used for boating but also for kayaking and the occasional fishing rod. In the summer the surface of the water is flooded with a pea green colour due to a plant that grows underwater called algae, and in the winter, the water sometimes freezes (although not thick enough to walk on!). Recently, my local canal, the Hertford Union, actually flooded, spilling over onto the banks nearby because of a huge amount of rain.

Personally, I would love to do a boating holiday though probably not as a home. How about you, would you live on a boat?

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