FAMILIES are being asked to visit their local canal to monitor the variety of wildlife which make the waterways their home.

The Great Nature Watch campaign, organised by the Canal & River Trust, is encouraging people to record the wildlife they see using the trust’s free mobile app.

Records that the trust gathers through the use of the eNatureWatch app help the organisation to protect canal-dwelling species and to enhance their habitats.

Mark Robinson, national ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, said: “By taking part in the Great Nature Watch you can help us monitor the numbers of all species living on waterways, which is essential when looking after and maintaining a 200-year part of our industrial heritage.

“With the warmth of the summer sun, canals are now alive with dragonflies, butterflies and bees.

“This is also a plentiful time for birds, with food abound, as the young leave the nest and take to the wing.

“This makes the school break a great opportunity for families to get out and explore their local canal or river, and find out what’s living there."

The free Great Nature Watch mobile app, eNatureWatch, can be found by searching Canal & River Trust in the Apple App Store/Google Play Store. Anyone can take part and record as many sightings as they like.

The Great Nature Watch remains open until the end of September. For further information on Great Nature Watch visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/great-nature-watch.

Additionally, the trust has created an activity book. The activities included range from making canal collages to spotting wildlife, deciphering bird song and cloud gazing. A sticker sheet allows for challenges to be ‘marked off’ when completed. To receive the free guide, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/summer or text ‘Sunny’ to 70060.