A Hebden Bridge campaigner has become the first person to travel coast to coast entirely on standup paddleboard, highlighting the issue of plastic pollution in the UK waterways along the way.
Jason Elliott set off from Liverpool on February 7 and reached Goole on 16 February, having endured headwinds from Storm Erik on the first three days of his challenge, setting him behind schedule.
Jason persisted with his journey despite the bad weather and has paddled an extraordinary 162 miles (255km) along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation.
Jason, a seasoned surfer, canoeist and paddleboarder said “I knew completing this journey in winter was going to be tough, and Storm Erik hitting just as I was setting off added adverse weather to the challenge… not to mention the multiple swan attacks along the way!”
He has been traversing the country using the Desmond Family Canoe Trail– a project run by waterways and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust – taking part in community clean ups along the way to highlight the problem of plastic in our waterways.
Jason Elliott is the Managing Director of British Recycled Plastic in Hebden Bridge, a company he started to be part of the solution to the problem of plastic waste.
He said: “Having seen firsthand on this journey how plastic pollution impacts on the canals, I believe it is more important then ever that we stop using single use plastic, especially as 70 per cent of plastic that ends up in the sea has come from the inland waterways.
“How we reuse, recycle and dispose of our plastic is absolutely crucial, my coast to coast journey has highlighted the real problem of plastic pollution, and we must all play our part to make a difference.”
For more information on what’s happening on your local waterway, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk