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.
There are some simple steps that you can take while you're out boating to use our precious water more efficiently.
When you're approaching a lock, check whether it’s set for a boat coming in the opposite direction. If not then it’s all yours, but first look whether there’s space to share the lock with another boat - an extra boat in a broad lock can save the equivalent of 1,000 bathfuls of water.
Both of these steps will involve waiting - either for a boat to come in the opposite direction or to share the lock with you. Please be patient and see it as a good excuse to have a cup of tea, maybe stretch your legs and have a chat with passing locals.
It’s also a good opportunity to talk to other boaters about their plans and to see if there’s any scope for sharing locks further on your respective journeys. Sharing locks where possible makes the best use of the water available
Once in a lock make sure the top paddles are properly closed when you are trying to empty the lock and please, please, please double check that gates or paddles have not been left open when you’ve finished.
Locks are built to last and can take most of what we have to throw at them, but it’s important to take care when operating them to minimise the potential for leaks. When entering or leaving a lock, aim for minimal contact by ensuring that both gates are fully open – even if you are a single narrowboat in a broad lock.
By opening just one gate there is a greater chance of damaging the mitre of the other gate. Pushing lock gates open using a boat can damage the gate lining, increasing the likelihood of it leaking. And finally, please close paddles gently. Letting them crash down can damage or break them causing additional leakage.
In many places there will be volunteer lock keepers ready and waiting with a cheery smile to help you through the lock and to give you advice for your onward journey.
Of course it’s not just out on the cut where water is increasingly limited and by taking just a little more care with the water used in sanitary stations we can all help limit water usage. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to share a shower with the chap in the next boat, just that, where possible, you take simple steps such as taking shorter showers, turning taps off while brushing your teeth and making sure no taps are left running.
Likewise, keep watch when filling water tanks to make sure that they don’t overflow. Ask yourself whether you really need to clean your boat or whether it can wait a few weeks – sit back and relax instead.
So there you have it. By following just a few basic, common-sense steps you’ll play a small but very important role in helping to survive the drought.
We need all canal users to be vigilant about vandalism, as we have had some huge water wastages through vandalism. Please call the police if you have any concerns or witness vandalism.
Keeping water in the canal
Find out how our hydrology team manages the water in the canal, keeping you afloat
Last date edited: 7 June 2016