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.
Our waterway network is home to many invasive species, which cause a variety of problems. From interfering with navigation and water control to reducing water quality and habitat availability, invasive species can have a huge impact on our canals and rivers.
Non-native invasive species are considered the second greatest threat to native wildlife and they cost the UK economy up to £1.7 billion a year. Every year we spend around £700,000 treating invasive weeds. However, these direct control costs are likely to represent a small proportion of the wider impact of invasive species
As non-native invasive species are often introduced to the waterway network by well-meaning members of the public, we have been working with Defra and the Non-Native Species Secretariat to raise awareness of the problems they cause. One main objective we have is increasing the awareness of Check, Clean, Dry. This is an awareness campaign developed by UK Government, devolved Governments, Water Companies, Wildlife Conservation organisations, and angling and boating organisations. The aim is to raise public awareness about invasive species and how we can all help to limit their spread across the countryside
If you’re concerned that an invasive species has not been dealt with on our waterways please get in touch with your local office and we’ll consider it. Some invasive species can be managed by volunteers, like Himalayan balsam and Ragwort. Check our volunteering pages for details of how to get involved and make a difference to our waterways
Japanese knotweedWe’re fighting a brutal battle against Japanese knotweed. One of the most invasive weeds in Britain, Japanese Knotweed’s dense growth crowds out native vegetation, erodes riverbanks and causes structural damage.
We spray it twice a year to try and keep it under control. However, it’s impossible to eradicate it completely as it can grow from the smallest fragment of root.
Floating pennywortFloating pennywort is a major problem for us as it can grow and spread rapidly, causing operational and safety concerns. The plant can grow from the smallest fragment if it is broken up. A single infestation in one location can cost us up to £25,000 a year to treat and without proper management can block our waterways.
Giant hogweedGiant hogweed is a concern for us because it is harmful to people if they touch the plant. We aim to act as soon as possible when we become aware of this plant growing on our waterways. We spray the plant and know where it tends to occur year on year, but if the plants flower it can produce up to 10,000 seeds, so it is key we know where new plants are early so we can deal with it early.
Himalayan balsam Himalayan balsam is now widespread along our network. It outcompetes native plants and when it dies back in winter results in erosion of banksides. The most effective control method is manual hand pulling, however this is a time-consuming activity and is often reliant on volunteer time. Visit our volunteering pages for details of how to get involved during early summer and make a difference to our waterways
What should I do if I spot invasive weeds by the canal?As a responsible landowner we manage potentially damaging invasive plants such as giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed.
In the case of Japanese knotweed, if you believe that it is not being treated near you please contact us on 0303 040 4040 or let us know here.
What should I do if I spot ragwort on your land adjacent to horse grazing?We comply with our duties in accordance with the responsibilities identified in the 1959 Weed Act, with regards to ragwort close to horse pasture. Contact us on 0303 040 4040 if you spot ragwort near a horse pasture.
The rogues' gallery
Take a look at our rogues' gallery, full of the pesky critters trying to make our waterways their home
Last date edited: 12 March 2018