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650km. 3 weeks. 1 paddle-board.

Female adventurer to paddle-board the length of England mapping the scale of plastic pollution
650km. 3 weeks. 1 paddle-board.

Adventurer and Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion Lizzie Carr is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime: to become the first person to paddle-board the length of England via its connected waterways, using entirely human-powered means.

The challenge also has an important environmental purpose, as Lizzie will map out and scale the issue of plastic pollution, highlighting hotspots that require attention along the way.

The journey

Today (Wednesday 11 May) Lizzie will take the first strokes of this 650km (400 mile) journey that will see her paddle for more than three consecutive weeks to cover this distance. She will be carrying 30kg of equipment on her board, including a tent for camping as well as supplies.

Commencing from the most southern point of the connected network, the River Wey, Lizzie will travel north through Oxford towards Coventry before entering the Stoke on Trent canal and onwards towards River Douglas before reaching the River Ribble where she’ll navigate the Ribble Link.

‘This challenge is a way to reclaim our waterways in the hope that people care, fall back in love, and take action against the problems we’re facing with plastic pollution.’

Adventurer and Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion

This will be the first time a paddle-boarder has been granted access through the link and other areas of the waterway network, helping pave the way for the sport across the country and bringing it to the mainstream.

The threat of plastic pollution

Lizzie, who has a TSK paddle-boarding qualification from London-based company Active 360, is an experienced paddler on rivers and oceans across the globe. She will portage 193 locks throughout the journey and travel along more than 8km of tunnel and aqueducts standing over 25ft above the ground.

‘You don’t need to travel to far-flung destinations to have an adventure – we have some incredibly challenging and beautiful terrain right here in the UK and it’s important that we take the time to explore it.

‘Paddle-boarding the length of the country is a great way to show its natural beauty from an altogether different perspective – the water. Our canals are iconic pieces of history that provide a presence of calm and tranquillity in urban settings. They are easily accessible all over the country they are currently under threat from plastic pollution and debris that, if we don’t address soon, will compromise the beauty and quality of our experiences along the canals.’

Adventurer and Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion

The challenge will be tracked on Lizzie’s website and the Ordnance Survey website. Lizzie will also post daily on social media using #SuperSUPEngland. Lizzie will be supporting two charities as part of this challenge; all proceeds will be split equally between WaterTrek and WaterAid.

Click here to track Lizzie’s progress.

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