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.
What is it really like to take part in a boat engine maintenance course when you think you don't know much about engines? Debbi from the boating team continues with day two of the course.
The second morning saw us getting to grips with cooling systems, from thermostats to water pumps and more. There are differences between keel cooled/dry exhaust systems and raw water and/or wet exhaust systems. The latter would have been a bit confusing to start with if I hadn’t had a bit of experience of a fresh water cooled Perkins engine in a day launch. Fortunately, once again there were lots of parts for us to examine and put together or pull apart, and despite the different systems the principles of how they work are exactly the same.
Finishing off the cooling systems we got to change the fan belts that drive the alternators as well as the water pumps on most engines. After a bit of practice, I finally learnt how to use a ratchet spanner correctly and how far to tighten nuts and adjust belts to the correct tension. Now all I’ve got to do is learn how to do it dangling upside down, head first into my engine bay from my cruiser deck!
The final part of the course covered boat electrics, both the theory and the practical. I was worried about this part of the course, firstly because I was scared of giving myself an electric shock and secondly because maths is not my strongest subject. I needn’t have worried. Twelve volt systems aren’t like 240 volt systems although they do still need to be treated with respect. And the maths doesn’t have to be that difficult unless you want it to be difficult, in which case you’d probably want to get advice from a fully qualified boat electrician.
The final practical session got us using a Multimeter to do voltage drop and continuity checking across the entire wiring loom of the engines in the workshop. It really helped me to think of the batteries like a fuel tank and the wires coming from them like fuel lines. After what seemed like no time at all we were confidently locating and fixing a number of electrical faults. I even stripped back my first wire, crimped on a new connector and reconnected a faulty oil pressure sensor back to the control panel.
By the end of the course I really felt that I’d learnt loads, in fact I wish I’d done it years ago and not been scared of something that on the face of it seemed to be rather technical and complicated. The basic engineering principles that make an engine work aren’t difficult and it really helped having training engines that were easily accessible for us to make our first attempts at servicing and repairs. Engines really are for everyone! I’m now looking forward to servicing my own engine despite the challenge of working in the confined space of my narrowboat engine hole. At least I should have more than half a clue where each part should be located.
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.