Today (that’s Sunday 26th September) is World Rivers Day, which celebrates our waterways and reminds us of the need to protect and look after them.

The podcast CanalCast, brought to you by the charity Canal and Rivers Trust, explores all the issues currently facing our waterways, as well as shining a light on the work that the charity does and how you at home can help.

Even though canals these days are used more for recreation than the industrial purposes they were originally built for, they are still relied on by hundreds of thousands of people. There are more than 2000 miles of canals that run throughout the country, carrying more than 1,400 million litres of water per day.

On the latest episode The Outdoor Fix the broadcaster Liv Bolton spoke to medical educationist Dr Lucy Loveday who talked about the mental benefits of being active and being outside. A keen wild swimmer, she talked about how the activity benefits her:: “In terms of how it makes me feel … I feel reset. I feel cleansed over my whole body. It is just a wonderful feeling being in water and there’s something that makes me feel alive.” 

The podcast initiative Full Harvest also recently commissioned seven poets and writers to reflect on the beauty of the South Downs National Park and its various scenic rivers. Each engaged with the local community and asked them about the local stories and anecdotes to help provide material for the short series too. These episodes explore the area’s local mythology, industrial heritage and local biodiversity.


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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I Never Thought It Would HappenThis is a new interview podcast brought to you by singer-songwriter Chris Difford (from the band Squeeze), who asks musicians about how they got started and what they have learnt about their craft during their career. Already there are episodes with Sting, Robbie Williams and the activist Billy Bragg. 

I got stuck into an episode featuring a conversation with Dame Evelyn Glennie, who you might remember being the one with the massive set of instruments during the Industrial of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. The Scottish percussionist was joined by her huge collection of instruments during her interview with Difford. Her very first? , A pair of drumsticks that she got in school. 

“I saw the school orchestra play during one assembly,” she rollects. “I knew that I didn’t want to play a string instrument, I had already been playing the clarinet for one year. I was not so interested in brass. Percussion seemed quite exciting.”

“That was really the start. It was just that chemistry thing. It is sometimes hard to explain what happens when you feel something so right.”

Black Women WorkingWith many of us being encouraged (or forced) to head back to the workplace by our bosses, the return of this well-respected and engaging podcast for Black women to talk about workplace culture, is well timed.

The first episode of the new series features a discussion on the pros and cons of flexible working. Is productivity that much different between working in the office and working from home? Are employers more understanding and more trusting of the work that we produce as a result of the pandemic? And what about those people who simply cannot work from home because of the work that we do? 

Why Do I Feel?The author and mental health nurse Nathan Filer hosts this podcast delving into the complexity of our emotions, which have certainly been heightened over the last year. A conceit of the podcast is that whilst your feelings may fool you into thinking that the emotion is being experienced only by you, the reality is that this exact emotion is being shared by many of us all the time.

To prove this, in an episode that explores the universal themes of envy and jealousy (or the “Green-Eyed Monster”), Filer recorded a psychotherapy session between himself and cognitive behaviour therapist Dr Windy Dryden. The intimacy of hearing Filer express so casually his concerns and fears, followed by Dryden’s practical thoughts and advice, is a brave and engaging thing to do in a podcast episode. 

Nuremberg: The Trial of the Nazi War CriminalsWe all know what happened at the Nuremberg trials, but how much do you know about its lead up and its aftermath? This BBC Radio 4 series (available exclusively on BBC Sounds) has turned witness testimony, court transcripts and historical documents into a sixteen part factual drama, divided into twenty minute chunks.

I was impressed by the production (it is another drama that feels perfectly suited to hear through your headphones). Also, how each episode delves into a particular issue related to the trial, rather than just telling the story chronologically. For example, what Nazis do you decide to put on trial and potentially execute? Do they deserve to have their own lawyers? And what are the consequences if any of those put on trial are then later acquitted?

Before we go, just to say thank you for all of the recommendations that this newsletter receives from all of you each and every week. I listen to as many as you send forward as I can and I really do appreciate them. As always, if you have heard a great podcast that you want to recommend for this newsletter, just fill in the forms on our website.

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Categories: Weekly Picks