OUR MISSION

To deliver safe, fun, and educational water-based activities and adventures.

CORE VALUES

  1. Create a positive impact on our local community.
  2. Be a socially conscious business by considering the environment in our decisions and actions.
  3. Create a positive workplace culture by caring for our employees.
  4. Support and help charity where we can.

Canoe Trail is a lifestyle business, it is not about labels it is about how we chose to live our lives. We love the outdoors, wearing flip flops, and sharing our rivers and coast. We pick up litter and plastics when walking and paddling and try to shop locally. Our award-winning woodland camping experience promotes ‘fresh air miles’. Our expeditions are designed to develop skills and confidence in the great outdoors supported by our professional team. For us, it about sensible sustainability and making a difference to our local community, and helping others where we can. How do we live our values?

Create a positive impact on our local community.

  • We are proud of our family-run business and awesome team.
  • We forge partnerships with UK organisations that share our values.
  • We provide a number of free trips for local groups and charities such as church youth groups and the Prince's Trust.
  • We educate and help young people through our partner company inspiredlife.org providing adventurous activities and outdoor learning for young people through schools and community groups.
  • We tailor our bookings and try to share our enthusiasm and experience with others.

 

Be a socially conscious business by considering the environment in our decisions and actions.

  • We support local businesses by providing locally sourced and free-range food using our village farm shop Browns of Stagsden
  • We operate a 'leave no trace' policy
  • We buy British were possible with our canoes and kayaks reducing transport costs supporting Palm Dagger and Silverbirch Canoes
  • We help with the river clean-up activities, picking up litter when we paddle, and removing fishing debris.
  • We host the Plastic Patrol movement helping to clear rivers of plastics and debris on a regular basis

 

Create a positive workplace culture by caring for our employees.

  • Development and training are offered so employees are better able to carry out their duties and are more motivated in their work.
  • The creation of a healthy and safe working environment so employees feel safe at work.

OUR CHARITABLE WORK

As a business, one of our core values is to support charity events and good causes. We aim to pick several a year.

This has included cycling London to Paris (twice), London to Marrakech by bike and kayak, canoeing the Great Glen, and various other exploits raising tens of thousands for good causes. Ash has completed many a long-distance walk with William our Collie including Coast to Coast for the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Fund.

Supporting Your Charity Event

There are a number of ways we can help support your charity event. Obviously, we are a small family business and need to balance paying the mortgage with helping out. We can help in the following ways:

Raffle prizes

We have provided half-day or full-day paddling vouchers to be included within charity raffles.

Charity Auction Prizes

We have provided an overnight woodland camp trip using our woodland. This can include a dedicated coaching session with one of our coaching team.

Charity Fundraising Paddle

We can provide charities and groups with a fundraising mechanism where for larger groups linked to a charitable cause we provide a heavily discounted rate for a canoe/kayak and camp weekend activity challenge.

This can be sold at a normal full rate to allow the charity to raise funds for their cause. We can also organize this as a distance or time-based challenge to allow participants to get sponsorship and raise additional funds for the charity.

We map out our charity initiatives at the start of the season so apologies if we are not able to help you at this time.

Previous events include:

A Charity Canoe Race racing funds for good causes

Bedford used to host the brilliant 24-hour canoe race which had over 100 teams in its heyday and raised thousands for charity. We relaunched this using 1-mile relay laps on the town center embankment and inviting teams to come and paddle and raise money for their good cause.

Sunshine Challenge for the Soldiers Charity ABF

Triple world record holder and endurance athlete Andy North contacted us on one of his early world record attempts aiming to complete Gatterick Garrison to Gibraltar with a marathon each day and also kayaking the channel. Now a close friend we taught Andy to kayak and led the trip sea kayaking the English Channel.

Fostering and Fundraising for Heathlands Animal Charity
We love animals and our team includes Foxy and William, our rescue dogs and usually another dog or two from Heathlands where we have to date fostered 18 dogs and helped with fundraising and other charity initiatives.

Gary Austin paddling the English Channel for an Epilepsy charity
Gary Austin had completed a number of challenges for charity over the years but had never kayaked before. Gary and his team came to Canoe Trail to learn to kayak and then kayaked the length of the River Thames. Gary and his friends are now keen kayakers who have gone on to paddle regularly enjoying white water kayaking.

Graham Dandy's fundraising for Neve paddling the Thames

Graham Dandy kayaked the length of the River Thames to raise money for his daughter’s care. Neve has a rare disease and needs constant help and support. The team included double Olympic Rowing Champion Steve Williams and there were plenty of laughs throughout the training and challenge as they got to grips with wobbly (and fast) racing kayaks.

Andy Reid’s Warrior Challenge

Colonel Andy Reid MBE is a triple amputee from Afghan who has completed many notable fundraising challenges for charity. Canoe Trail helped with the 128-mile kayak from Devizes to Tower Bridge providing safety cover and coaching for this incredible challenge which raised over £50,000 for the ABF - the Soldiers Charity.

The 40 something's paddle the Cam source to Sea for Help for Heroes
One of our previous customers who had enjoyed one of our canoe camping options wanted to raise some money for Help for Heroes paddling their local river from sea to source. We provided training and kit to make this happen, they did the hard graft and the rest!

River Clean Up’s and Plastic Patrol

We have spent many hours over many years cleaning up our beautiful and pristine river. You would not believe the number of bikes, old boats, teddy
bears, footballs, and plastics from the river. We have more recently teamed up with Plastic Patrol hosting their largest clear up event of 2019.

Great Ormond Street Charity Paddle of the River Great Ouse

We met up with a friendly group of paddlers who were just past Kempston on their trip paddling the length of the River Great Ouse for Great Ormond Street. As you would imagine they were slightly tired so we offered our woodland campsite for the night to give them a little boost.

Peter’s Charity Paddle of the River Great Ouse
Peter O Donnell and his team of 3 had never paddled before contacting us. We provided some training and support and even provided kit, logistics and support for the boys who paddled the length of the River Great Ouse for charity. Well done guys.

Talks and Events for Charities

Richard and Ash have supported a wide range of different charities with motivational talks, charity donations, and prizes for our nominated charities. To
date we have supported the D of E (Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme) with Richard supporting 8 events at Buckingham Palace and St James Palace. We have also worked closely with Build Africa raising over £8000 in one year with donations of motivational talks and team building events.