Annual Report

Read our Annual Report to discover how the Trust is creating living waterways, transforming places and enriching lives.

Explorers education volunteer with children Explorers education volunteer with children

As a charity, we rely heavily on support from our funders, partners and corporate and individual donors. You can find out more about this support and how we are using this it to transform canals, rivers and communities across England and Wales in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Since launching in 2012, we have made a valuable contribution to the waterways and communities we serve. Take a look at some of the highlights:

  • We've increased our annual visitor numbers by 33% to 396m, with visitor satisfaction hitting 85%
  • We've increased volunteering by 264% to 540,000 hours in 2016/17   
  • 180 communities have adopted a stretch of canal or river
  • Over 235,000 children have been reached through the Trust’s education programme

Our income, investments and resources

“We have been able to increase the amount of money we can spend on the waterways which has seen a huge output by staff and volunteers alike. Accordingly, we beat our target for unplanned navigation closures with a further reduction year-on-year." Richard Parry, chief executive

The Trust is unusual in the charity sector as it generates around 60% of its income from commercial sources with just over 1% from donations. It also receives a large proportion of its total income from reliable income sources.

Income sources, annual report 2016-17

Charitable activities

Our spend on charitable activities continues to grow, as it has done in every year since the Trust was created. Much of the increase this year relates to the Waterway regeneration and restoration works performed following the winter floods.

Charitable activities - annual report 2016-17


Our investment portfolio has had a very strong performance this year with property continuing to outperform its IPD benchmark at total return level and the non-property investment portfolio returned significantly ahead of the CPI+5% target.

Investment - annual report 2016-17

Case studies

We want more people to discover the pleasures of time spent on or besides canals and rivers. We know that life is better by the water, and that our waterways have the potential to support local communities today and tomorrow.

Last date edited: 3 May 2018