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.
Almost 15 per cent of our inland waterway network is made up of rivers. If you’re planning on venturing out on one for the first time there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of your time on the water.
Rivers are generally wider than canals and have a flow on them unlike canals. When you're taking a bend in a boat it's a great idea to keep this in mind and stick to the outside of the bend where the water flows faster, making the channel deeper.Remember when approaching locks that local trip boats and commercial traffic take priority. Be prepared to wait your turn.When going through manned locks always accept the instructions or advice from the lock keeper. If you have any queries about your route don't be afraid to ask and always give your intended destination.
If venturing onto the tidal sections of the rivers always speak to the lock keeper to find out what time you will have to leave to catch the tide right to enable you to lock through at you next destination. Get a Sissons Chart for the section you will need as these will give you vital information for your navigation. Also be aware of large commercial traffic on the river, they need the deepest course so be prepared to take avoiding action. Navigation lights are compulsory on all tidal sections.
When mooring up to a pontoon, always try and moor up against the flow of the river, even if this means going past and turning around. This will give you more control and manoeuvrability to moor up safely.
Unlike canals it is not advisable to moor alongside the riverbanks as there may be large boulders and rocks just under the water, or they may be just shallow mud.
If you moor to a non-floating pontoon be aware that river levels can rise and fall over night so moor on long lines, especially if heavy rains have fallen in the previous few days as it takes time for the rain water to filter down.
Ensure that your craft is carrying a sufficient size anchor and length of chain (making sure it is attached to the boat) in case of emergencies such as engine failures. This is especially important if you’re navigating any tidal sections of the rivers.It may sound daft, but make sure you have enough fuel for your journey. Refuelling facilities on rivers are few and far between, especially for petrol.If possible have a VHF radio on board. However, you should first obtain a ship's radio licence from OFCOM and pass the short-range operator course to get your certificate.Build up your confidence by taking a recognised and approved day course. The RYA Helmsman's course covers all the things you will encounter on the river.
Always carry a life ring or horseshoe lifebuoy with a good length of line attached in case of a person overboard situation.
Ensure your crew are briefed on water safety before your trip.
Last date edited: 20 March 2017