Rivers and Waterways Week

Canals

Part of

Do you know what a canal is?

A canal is a human-made waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most were built back before faster transportation was available, and they made it easier for people to move items and people from one side of the country to the other.

Did you know Scotland has five canals which total 137 linear miles of waterway network.

  • 60 miles - Caledonian Canal
  • 9 miles - Crinan Canal?
  • 35 miles - Forth and Clyde Canal?
  • 2 miles - Monkland Canal?
  • 31 miles - Union Canal

Find out more about the heritage and history of the Scottish Canals at Scottish Canals web site.

Where is your closest canal?

Imagine this: You are riding along the canal when you reach a large hill. What is going to happen to your boat?

Thankfully, there is a way to keep your boat from plunging into the waters below: a lock and dam system!

Think about the dams we have just heard about? This is a similar idea! Boats sail into an area where dams then close them in. This chamber is called a lock. Once the boats are inside the lock, the operators can then either let water in so that they rise up or let water out so they lower to meet the next waterway. Watch how it works here:

Scottish Canals
Scottish Canals
Canals - Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

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