About us

In an increasingly fast-paced and crowded world, the Canal & River Trust’s historic canals and rivers provide a local haven for people and nature. We’re the new charity entrusted with the care of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.

Colin
Enjoying time by the water

 

Why is the Canal & River Trust needed?

Just a few steps away from our everyday lives, waterways give us a much-needed space where we can escape. Next to our canals and rivers we can relax and reconnect with ourselves, our environment and the people who matter to us. Our waterway network is a national treasure and the Canal & River Trust is here to ensure that it is protected forever.

Our mission is to inspire as many people as possible to connect with our canals and rivers and we will do this by:

  • Being passionate about what we do
  • Encouraging those with an interest in our work to become part of it
  • Reaching out to those who have yet to discover this national treasure
  • Ensuring our financial security by attracting sustainable income

 

Shaping our future

We believe that the true potential of our canals and rivers and their long-term survival will only be secured if we fully engage with our visitors, neighbours and business partners. By harnessing their goodwill, energy and expertise, we can widen the enjoyment of our waterways today while protecting them for future generations.

Our trustees believe we can unlock our waterways’ potential using the following six strategies:

  • Ensuring our canals and rivers are open, accessible and safe
  • Inspiring more people to enjoy the canals and rivers and support our work
  • Earning financial security for our canals and rivers
  • Doing everything we can to deliver on our charitable objectives
  • Minimising the impact we make on scarce resources
  • Establishing the Trust as a respected and trusted guardian of our canals and rivers

 

Our work

The canals and rivers that we look after offer you an authentic, unfenced, ‘no turnstiles’ opportunity to interact with history, wildlife and nature first-hand. It’s a very big job looking after them.

On top of maintaining 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, which are often over 200 years old, we are responsible for an enormous network of bridges, embankments, towpaths, aqueducts, docks and reservoirs alongside everything else that makes up our wonderful waterways. This takes a huge amount of effort behind the scenes.

From improving towpaths for cyclists and walkers, encouraging biodiversity by installing bat boxes and insect piles to maintaining our locks, bridges and aqueducts, we are constantly working to make our canals and rivers the best they can be, but we can’t do it without your support.

 

How to get involved

We would love many more people to become involved with the valuable work of the Trust. There are loads of opportunities across England and Wales on our volunteering pages.

There are also ways to help out financially. From supporting an appeal, to taking part in sponsored events, to becoming a Friend, please look at our fundraising pages and discover more about the different ways you can support the Trust.

 

Canals in the modern era

View the timeline of our canals over the past century 


Keep our canals and rivers flowing

As a charity we need your help to protect and enhance our cherished canals and rivers. Find out how you can get involved, donate to us or volunteer

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