We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

The Canal & River Trust is here so you have a place to escape. A place where you can step off the pavement, onto the towpath and breathe.

We are a charity, and we are entrusted to care for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.

We all live in an increasingly fast-paced and crowded world. Our historic waterways are the antidote to this. They provide an unfenced, ‘no turnstiles’ opportunity to interact with history and nature next to soothing water.  

Many people don’t realise that our waterways are only here thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers and the generous donations you give.

Over 200 years old

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 and more.

From improving towpaths for cyclists and creating new wildlife habitats to maintaining our distinctive infrastructure, we are constantly working to make our canals and rivers the very best they can be.

And thanks to our waterways millions of children have the chance to experience local wildlife - even to see a kingfisher or an otter close up. Those struggling with the pressures of day-to-day life have somewhere to rejuvenate themselves. And many of us have a place on our doorstep where we can simply stretch our legs and soak up 200 years of history.

Our waterway network is a national treasure. It makes people’s lives better. We’re here to ensure that it is protected forever.