Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Our story, as a charity, is wrapped up in the history of the waterways themselves. Read more to see how far we’ve come.
We’ve inherited something truly unique. Amazing waterways imagined in another age, reborn as thriving, open and active spaces we can all enjoy. The creation of the Canal & River Trust has secured the future of the canal and river network, and waterways enthusiasts in England and Wales can look forward to the next chapter in the waterways’ story.
In July 2017 we reached our fifth birthday as a charity. See how much we had to celebrate...
We've increased volunteering by 264% in 2016/17
Our Friends have grown to 22,000 and our donations are now £2.9m p.a.
We have around 33,000 licensed boats on our network
We've made improvements to our museums and attractions
180 communities have now adopted a stretch of canal or river
Increase in visitors
This year we had around 4.3 million regular visitors each fortnight
You can read the full story in our Annual Report 2016-17
The 20th Century story of the waterways is one of discovery. After the height of the industrial revolution, canals and rivers declined as a freight carrying network but found a new purpose in leisure and quite simply as a place to get away from it all.
The first canal age
The 18th Century saw a surge in canal building and the dawn of a new 'Canal Age'
The beginning of the end for cargo-carrying canals
The new canal age
How the canal system emerged from post-war decline to become the treasured leisure destination of today
Read the story of how we, the Canal & River Trust, came to be. It's a captivating tale of enthusiasts, communities and how we helped the people of Britain to re-discover the value of their waterways.
"Oh, do we get the canals too?"
There are now more boats on the network than at the height of the industrial revolution.
Go back to the top of the page to see everything we've achieved in July 2017.
Be part of the next chapter
Help us to keep the canals flowing by joining as a volunteer. We have roles of all shapes and sizes available.
Last date edited: 9 October 2017