Our Values and Charity Work

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 the our rivers and coast.  We regularly pick up litter and plastics when walking and paddling and try to shop locally.  For us it about sensible sustainability and making a difference to our local community and helping others where we can.

Canoe Trail Values

  • We are proud of our family run business
  • Our aim is to promote outdoor activities, outdoor learning and adventures
  • Our unique wild camping experience promotes solar showers, locally sourced and free range food and to leave no trace
  • It's our lifestyle and not a label
  • We provide safe activities

How We Live Our Values?

  • we provide a number of free trips for local groups and charities such as church youth groups, Princes Trust
  • We educate and help young people through our partner company www.inspiredlife.org providing adventurous activities and outdoor learning for young people through schools and community groups
  • All food we provide is locally sourced and free range
  • We help with river clean up activities, picking up litter when we paddle, and removing fishing debris
  • we tailor our bookings and try to share our enthusiasm and experience with others
  • Adventures are part of our life, see richadventure.com
  • Having fun

Supporting Charities and Good Causes

Part of our DNA is to try and make a difference to others and support good causes. This has included cycling London to Paris(twice), London to Marrakech by bike and kayak, canoeing the Great Glenn and various other exploits .

As a business we try and support other charity events and good causes and pick several a year. Recent charity paddling events have included:

Our Charity Canoe Race racing funds for good causes

Bedford used to host the brilliant 24 hour canoe race which has over 100 teams in its hayday and raised thousands for charity. We have relaunched this using 1 mile relay laps on the town centre embankment and inviting teams to come and paddle and raise money for their good cause. See www.canoerace.co.uk

Andy North's Sunshine Challenge for the Soldiers Charity ABF to sea kayak the channel

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.

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.

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!

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.

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. We provide 4 of these a year and try to share them amongst good causes.

Charity Auction Prizes

We provide a overnight woodland camp trip for 4 people to canoe and camp using our woodland. This often includes a dedicated coaching session with Richard or one of our coaches. We provide 1 or 2 of these a year.

Charity Fundraising Paddle

We can provide charities and groups with a fund raising 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 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.