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Addi Mann crowned Clear Access Clear Waters Community Champion

Adventure paddler and environmental campaigner Addi Mann has become the latest paddler to be awarded the Community Champion award in partnership with Peak UK.

Addi Mann2

Over the last years, Addi has worked relentlessly to inspire the nation with her paddling adventures to explore their local waterways and spend more time outdoors.

She’s built vessels procured entirely of recycled materials and raised awareness on bio-security and the significance of the check-clean-dry campaign with support from field experts.  

In 2018 Addi became one of British Canoeing’s Women Paddling Ambassadors, encouraging women to get into paddle sports, showcasing the best of the British waterways and promoting wellbeing and sustainability. 

Addi’s passion for water and her desire to create environmental impact has seen her collaborate with researchers from the University of Leeds ([email protected] Network.) With a particular focus on the topic of Invasive Species, for her latest project she receives support and expert advice from Dr Karen Bacon and Dr Julie Peacock, on why alien non-native species threaten biodiversity by out-competing native plants, how to identify those and ways to prevent their spread. 

Addi develops links with field experts bringing together multidisciplinary research from both academia and national stakeholders including among others: SISI (Scottish Invasive Species Initiative), Scottish Canoeing Association and Scottish Natural Heritage (Wildlife Management and Invasive Non-Native Species.) 

She believes that her paddling adventures can help educate and engage the general public and joined by her daughter Athina, they often give talks on their canal adventures across schools and Universities in Yorkshire, encouraging the young generation to get active and live life more adventurously. 

The intrepid duo meet regularly with the British Canoeing team to discuss ways of promoting water-related issues and how to engage the general public. Using the power of social media, Addi addresses the important topic of non-native alien species and how detrimental for the British environment and native wildlife these can be. Her regular social media updates highlight that we’re all part of the solution in keeping our waterways clean for future generations to enjoy.

As part of their latest adventure -Pirates of the Canals IV- Addi and Athina, with help from their 70-yr old friend Doug, build a Canadian canoe in just four weekends using an old vessel sketch and scrap pieces of wood.

In August 2019, mother and daughter paddled the Great Glen (Scotland) in their new vessel, embracing the challenge of wild-camping along the way and carrying all their provisions including enough food to last them for the entire journey. An ambitious self-supported adventure, they covered a total of sixty miles. 

Their paddling adventures explain why bio-security is critically important and the importance of checking, cleaning and drying a vessel when exiting the water to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

During their journey they were interviewed by the Scottish press and they arranged for meetings with researchers from Aecom and the Scottish Canals to discuss ways of protecting our waterways and to learn more about the New Zealand Pigmyweed Innovation Challenge.

Speaking of the award, Richard Atkinson, Waterways and Environment Policy Officer said:

The secret to Addi’s success is that she always makes her paddling adventures fun no matter what difficulties may arise. Her journeys illustrate a message of the critical value we all play in looking after our planet.

– Richard Atkinson, British Canoeing Waterways and Environment Policy Officer

To find out more about the Pirates of the canals click here:

Could you or someone you know be our next Community Champion? Submit a nomination today!

In partnership with Peak UK we are looking for Clear Access Clear Waters Community Champions who can inspire a movement to campaign for fair, shared and sustainable open access!

Each month we will select one champion (either a club, group or individual) who has truly inspired others and really gone above and beyond to champion the cause.  If you, or someone you know is worthy of a nomination you can find out everything you need to know here!