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 canals and rivers are enjoyed by millions of people every year. Most of them appreciate that they are safe and pleasant places to visit so leave them as they found them.
However, each year we still clean up hundreds of tonnes of floating litter, towpath litter, fly tipped waste, dog poo and pollution to make sure other people’s rubbish doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of our waterways.
Cleaning this up diverts funds away from essential maintenance and restoration work. The good news is that it’s easy to help us keep our canals, rivers and towpaths tidy. Here’s how…
Over the course of a year we’ll empty around 46,000 litter and dog bins and 2,000 skips.
Much of this waste we try to save from landfill:
Gentle reminder: Our bins are for general domestic waste, such as food and non-recyclable packaging. Please take large items such as mattresses and tyres to your nearest council recycling centre.
We’re dedicated to recycling more and aim to increase the amount of recycling points available for customers with our Green Plan.
Please contact us if you see:
Join our Towpath Taskforce teams
Our teams of regular volunteers meet up and down the country to help us care for their local waterway. Join us today
Make a difference in your area
In our offices or on the towpath, volunteers help us with all aspects of our work to bring canals and rivers to life. Find a role that suits you today
We don’t have a used oil or bilge waste disposal service. In fact, we spend thousands of pounds every year disposing waste that boat owners need to dispose of themselves. Please take your waste oil to the nearest dedicated local authority site.
To dog owners: you’ll find dog bins at many places along the towpaths. These are emptied periodically. If the bin is full, or where there are no bins, please take your litter home with you.
To dogs: Grrrr, bark, woof!
Visitors love coming to our waterways. And many of you take an interest in the weird and wonderful items that sometimes lie at the bottom of the canal. However, magnet fishing can have its dangers. Consequently, you are not allowed to magnet fish in our waterways. And here’s why…
Magnet fishers have recently pulled items that have been left in the canal and that were potentially dangerous, such as a WW2 hand grenade! While these items had been in the water a very long time, fishing them out with magnets could have harmed the person concerned. So, because we want you to stay just the way you are, we suggest you visit our angling pages and try that instead… it’s more fun!
We’ve a legal obligation to make sure the canals and rivers are free from any obstructions. Any work we do is from our own land and the cuttings are typically left on the non-towpath side of the waterway.
All our waterways are vulnerable to pollution. From small, accidental spills to major problems causing significant environmental damage. Around 300 pollution incidents are reported to us every year, costing between £50 and £50,000 each to resolve.
If you see pollution on our waterways, please:
When you report pollution please tell us the following information:
You'll find more information and advice on preventing pollution from The Green Blue and Environment Agency
Our local teams take action to contain and minimise the impact of the pollution. If the pollution is serious, we support the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales who'll lead on responding to the incident.
A canal is not a bin
Our resident blogging boater, Debbie, explains how boaters can help keep the waters clean
This is a rubbish blog
Read about the trials and tribulations of dealing with tonnes of boaters’ rubbish each year
Last date edited: 22 February 2018