PEOPLE are being urged to stay safe around the district’s waterways and reservoirs this summer.

The Canal & River Trust has issued the plea as the number of people using canal towpaths has soared during lockdown – and is set to continue to rise as coronavirus restrictions are further eased.

John Gibson – area operations manager for the trust, which looks after 316 miles of waterways and five reservoirs in this region – said: “We’ve seen more people than ever relaxing and reaping the health benefits of spending time by water.

“We welcome people to the waterside but are particularly concerned about those enjoying a post-lockdown drink and then going for a dip, and children who could be unaware of the hidden dangers of swimming in our waterways.”

He said undercurrents, freezing temperatures and obstacles beneath the surface could pose a danger to anyone tempted to enter open water.

The message is backed by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies.

Donna Wagner, for the brigade, said: “By bringing together partners such as the police, councils, youth services and the trust, we are tackling the dangers of open water swimming. We are committed to protecting the people of West Yorkshire and are working with others on measures.”

Advice can be found at