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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
When you're talking about canals, foreign invasions may not immediately spring to mind – that is unless you live near the Kennet & Avon Canal and know about Stop Line Blue.
In 1940 this canal was a major defence line against an imminent invasion of German paratroopers. Every intersection and crossing point was fortified with a variety of obstacles manned by the Home Guard to hold up advancing tanks and troops. Now if that reminds you of a well-known TV programme you are in the right place!
Some seventy years later the remains of these defences are part of our canal heritage. This summer a couple of sites on the K&A have been in the news. One is a listed canalside pillbox that has just been restored at Rotherstone in the middle of Devizes. Not something that happens very often. Thanks to the efforts of local enthusiast John Girvan, who engineered some grant funding, we have been able to turn what was a bit of an eyesore into a real feature of interest. In the future it's going to be used by schools to help tell the story of Devizes in the Second World War.
Anti-tank rails at Oakhill Lock
The other site is at the listed Oakhill Lock a few miles east of Hungerford where we have been installing a new by-pass pipe to improve water management on the canal. The accommodation bridge at the tail of the lock was defended in 1940 by anti-tank rails – basically a barrier of vertical ironwork dropped into concrete slots in the ground in front of the bridge. When it was quiet the rails were removed and the slots capped over so that the bridge could be used. You do wonder how difficult it would have been for the enemy to have lifted the rails out themselves…
The rails have gone but somewhat to our amazement the concrete slots 1.2 metres deep are remarkably intact – not bad for something that was hastily installed in an emergency over seventy years ago. Unfortunately part of the installation had to be removed as it was right in the way of the new by-pass pipe, but this did provide an opportunity to do an archaeological investigation.
When visitors stop at Lock 68 in future there will be an interpretation panel explaining this isn’t just a lump of concrete on the ground, it’s heritage!
David Viner, Heritage Adviser for Kennet & Avon and South Wales & Severn
The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.