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.
This New Year began for me with a new opportunity. I relinquished my role as a heritage volunteer to become a heritage adviser, covering Lizie Thomson’s maternity leave. I would like to share a few thoughts on my first months in post.
My first few weeks already feel like the distant past. That new starter’s whirlwind of faces, systems, induction and H&S training is coloured with a sense of trepidation at all the unknowns that needed to be conquered.
The fog of mystery has begun to clear. With the guidance and support of my colleagues I have woven my way through Gateway, My Map, EAs, WIPs, WDBs, the ZQs and ZXs of SAP, and LBCs among others. It isn’t all an acronym soup, I’ve learned about functional location numbers too. I now feel sure I have absorbed the lexical particularities of locks and ladders and have a better feel for the historic bricks and mortar of the job.
I think most people who work with the Trust will agree that the best days are those that see us out and about on the waterways. I enjoy discussing design options with engineering colleagues or seeing what’s been done by our service and operations teams to safeguard the historic fabric of our infrastructure. It’s not always as solid or straightforward as one might think.
I can now better appreciate the scale of the Canal & River Trust challenge. It’s clearly routine to many people, but remains impressive. The planning, the designing, the environmental concerns and the legal and financial challenges that need to be tackled to deliver our annual programme of work is remarkable. There can’t be that many work places where every day is so varied and interesting.
The bottom of a lock can be a pretty inhospitable place to work. The skill of our construction teams in maintaining the gates, locks, aqueducts and bridges is poetry and persistence in motion. I have enjoyed working with colleagues in the planning and estate teams, interacting with contractors on site, along towpaths and in their site huts.
Whether in office meetings or during canal side conversations about the use of traditional materials and modern tools, a regular exchange of views and sharing of knowledge ensures we achieve the best heritage outcomes possible.
I have found most everyone keen to ensure the valuable historic assets that are in our stewardship receive the best possible care. It’s a privilege to be in a position to contribute to that objective, even for a short length of time.
Like life and work anywhere, I’ve had a few ups and downs but life at the Trust is varied, interesting and usually on the level. My professional journey with the Trust will, I am sure, continue to provide many opportunities to learn, develop and make a small contribution to a large and worthwhile cause. I am looking forward to getting out and about more in the months ahead; to seeing the latest Works Information Packages - that’s WIPs for short - turn into reality.
Heritage at the Trust
Find out more about what the heritage team get up to.
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.