Ducks Get Their Own Lane in Britain

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Ducks and ducklings can appear in the most unlikely places, such as in the middle of a busy street walking single-file or nesting under balconies or in the middle of ball fields. They usually stay near water bodies such as ponds.

England and Wales has more than 2,000 miles inland waterways, along which run narrow towpaths that are barely wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians. And then, there are ducks. The charity organization Canal & River Trust who is responsible for maintaining these waterways have installed temporary "Duck Lanes" along the waterways in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The move is part of the "Share the space, drop your pace" campaign that encourages cyclists and pedestrians to be more considerate of surrounding wildlife.

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The Canal & River Trust wants people to enjoy the waterways within its care. We want to encourage a diverse range of people to use, enjoy and cherish our canals and river navigations.

Towpaths were built originally to support the use of boats on the water, and they remain essential for boating and other water-based activities such as angling, canoeing and rowing. They all need to use the towpaths for access to the water, including for mooring up, or the operation of structures like locks and moveable bridges. Others enjoy the towpaths themselves – for walking, running and cycling, or simply to experience the calm, tranquil environment away from the bustle of everyday life.

Given the wide range of uses, and the millions of people who visit, we ask that people are considerate to others and in particular the slower, static or more vulnerable users when they are on our towpaths

This is true not only for Britain’s towpaths, but all pavements in general. It's everyone's responsibility to stay alert and watch out for walkers or bikes coming in the opposite direction. Last year, the Chinese city of Chongqing opened a “cellphone lane” for people who are too engrossed on their smartphones to see where they are going and frequently bump into other pedestrians.

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via City Metric. Photo credit: Getty Images for Canal & River Trust

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