Canal walks and readings

All biological life – animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and other single-celled organisms – depends on the existence of water. We are intimately linked to water, with our own bodies being 70% water.

Over 6 months, join us and artist Greg Herbert to explore our connection with the canal and riversides – slow, winding spaces that connect Bootle Library to Netherton Library. We will see the canal change over the seasons and gain a deeper understanding of the species and biological life that live alongside and within it. Along the way, we will explore fermenting, air quality, and underwater life, fungus, and wetlands.

Alongside monthly walks, you are invited to join a monthly ‘Reading in Nature’ group led by Michelle Barrett, where we will immerse in natural surroundings whilst exploring great stories about people and places. The group is for everybody, whether you love books or have never read before — come along for a friendly chat.

If you can, let us know you are coming by booking onto each month’s walking or reading session (or both!) on Eventbrite here. If booking online is a struggle for you, drop ins are always welcome too!

“Canal Walks & Readings” is an At the Library project supported and funded by Canal & River Trust.

All Sessions will be 1:00 – 3:00 pm and we will meet at Netherton Library.


Mapping the Canal | Monday 30th May

Walking along the canal we will map places where species live in reciprocity. We will think about how the body is linked to the canal and other bodies of water. A fermented elderflower kombucha will be served.

Air Quality // Lichen | Monday 20th June

Using a lichen identification guide, created by Greg Herbert, we will be taking a leisurely walk along the canal to spot these composite organisms, and discuss what they can tell us about the air quality in our area. 

Beneath the surface | Monday 18th July

Over the summer holidays, we will explore what lies beneath our canals’ surface. Join us to find out what ecosystems lurk below the water. 

Slowness Monday 22nd August

Silence and slowness are invitations for the body to change its stance, drift down the canal and meditate on the changing of sounds and timescales.

Typha (cattail) | Monday 19th September

The Typha is thought of as the most applicable wild plant for its many uses. The Typha is a bio-accumulator that can process and absorb toxins from the water. On this walk, we will build a bag using recycled materials and woven Typha, reflecting on Elizabeths Fisher’s discussion on human evolution and one of the earliest cultural invention — a container to hold gathered products. 

Fungus Monday 21st October

As the season turn, our final session will be an investigation into the world of Fungus, and the fungus which exists along the canalside. 


6 June

4 July

1 August

5 September

3 October

Past Events

Oct 2022 Netherton Library

Join artist Gregory Herbert for the last in our Canal Walks series. We will gather to explore our symbiotic relationship between plant/trees and the fungal networks in the soil before we prepare and eat a mushroom broth together along the waters edge.

Please book on Eventbrite here to let us know you are coming – or just drop in on the day.

If you have any access needs, any questions about access or general enquires, please email: or text/whatsapp: 07751240427 and our part time team will respond to you as quickly as possible.