The Lancaster Canal Trust operates the trip boat 'Waterwitch' every Sunday and bank holidays, May to October, from Crooklands landing stage. Volunteers skipper the boat, welcome prospective passengers at the old stables and promote the canal.

One volunteer, Jane Simms, must be congratulated for her wildlife presentations. She gets buckets of canal water, clears any sediment, and places the clear water in a large glass dish. Then she helps children identify what can be seen. The interest on their tiny faces is wonderful as they pick out each creature.

The canal water is teeming with life. Several species of Water Boatmen, Dytiscus or Notonecta to the scientific, or just plain water beetles to most.

To see them surfacting the water tension and dive, trapping a tiny bubble of air as they go, is quite fascinating.

With all this life under water, no wonder we see ducks and swans with their tails in the air. I always thought they were feeding, but now I realise they are as interested in nature as we are.

Frank Sanderson