Le Boat launches Green Week to help care for the biodiversity of the renowned Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and widely considered one of the favourite destinations of Le Boat customers, is currently affected by the colour canker disease that threatens its plane trees and all the biodiversity closely linked to it. Nearly 30,000 trees are infected and the only way to stem the outbreak is widespread felling of contaminated areas. With the trees providing much needed support for the Canal and the wildlife within it, the impact of this disease has the potential to be very destructive.

Truly an outstanding feat of engineering, the Canal du Midi was constructed in 1694 and runs for 240 kilometres through the natural beauty of the French countryside. 42,000 plane trees were later added to the Canal to help strengthen the banks and provide some shade, as well as preventing the evaporation of water during the hot summer months. However, more recently, specialists have identified a fungus amongst the trees, Ceratocystis platani or colour canker, which is causing the trees to become sick. The fungus is believed to have been brought to France in contaminated ammunition boxes by US troops during the second world war. The effects of the disease have been worsened by boaters tying ropes around, and bumping into the trees, as they cruise.

In order to prevent further damage to this architectural site, Le Boat is launching Green Week in collaboration with Voies Navigables de France (VNF) for the preservation of the plane trees of the Canal du Midi. Throughout 9-15 May 2022, Le Boat will donate £20 from each booking to the replanting programme set up by VNF to preserve the biodiversity of the most famous Canal in France. This money will go towards replacing the plane trees with sturdier species including pine, poplar and oak, which will help to preserve and rebuild the canal’s biodiversity.

Cheryl Brown, Managing Director of Le Boat says: At Le Boat we care about making our world more sustainable for future generations and safeguarding the intimacy of getting away from overpopulated cities and cruising on free waters. After all, if we are to succeed in creating inspiring boating memories and enabling our customers to see the world from the unique perspectives of the waterways, it is our responsibility to ensure our cruising regions are protected and preserved at their very best for all to enjoy. We have pledged to work with VNF for the next three years as part of our Green Strategy for continual collaboration with our industry partners to improve the cleanliness and quality of our waterways”. To support the project, book with Le Boat from 9-15 May 2022 and enjoy a boating holiday on the Canal du Midi whilst also supporting its preservation

Go there: In 2022, Le Boat operates on the Canal du Midi from 27 March to 31 October. The region is easily reached from Toulouse airport, which benefits from low-cost direct flights from London, Bristol, and Edinburgh. Return flights from the UK are priced from £36 pp with Ryanair. A seven-night self-catered stay on the Canal du Midi in 2022, starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base at Port Cassafières, is priced from £789/£158 pp

Call 02392 801125 or visit www.leboat.co.uk

Read more about Le Boat and its partnership with VNF here

Le Boat is the No.1 provider of boating holidays on Europe and Canada’s beautiful inland waterways, with the world’s largest fleet of over 900 self-drive boats, operating in nine countries across 17 regions.