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.
Enforcement data collectors Adam Richardson and Phil Lloyd talk about wild life watching and photography on the Grand Union and Oxford canals.
Adam Richardson & Philip Lloyd are data collectors for the South East Enforcement team. They are out and about in all weathers and all seasons on the Oxford and Grand Union Canals logging boats using the canals with a hand held computer to check that they are licensed and that they are complying with boat licence terms and conditions. As a result they also have plenty of opportunities to indulge in their mutual interest of wildlife spotting.
Being outdoors in the fresh air, doesn’t matter what the weather is or the time of year. The worst thing for us is having to come back inside.
All sorts of things, the most unusual and rare animals so far have been water voles & egrets. We’ve seen grass snakes, butterflies, swans, thrushes, coots, cows and even water buffalo in a farmer’s field near the canal.
We do our boat checking walks individually which means we can be really quiet. Not making a lot of noise means you can get closer to wildlife to take photos and not scare it away. That said our best photos are of animals that aren’t so fleet of foot! Water voles are very shy and kingfishers too fast, especially if only armed with a phone or tablet camera. Take a decent camera with the biggest zoom you can afford if you can.
Do your research about what you might see before you go looking. Adam had never seen a water vole before and wasn’t sure what he had seen when he did see one so asked one of the Trust’s ecologists for more information. Now that he’s clued up on the water voles habitat and habits he see them all the time. Adam’s top tip for getting close to a water vole is to wait for a rainy day as the sound of the rain will help disguise the noise of your approach and you may even get a photo before they scurry off.
We never really used to think of the canals as being a great place for nature watching but since we’ve worked for the Trust we’ve really taken the canals to heart and enjoy showing our wildlife photos to each other. We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a couple of our photos too. If you want to learn more why not visit our #GreatNatureWatch page
The Great Nature Watch
More information about the Great Nature Watch
More from the boating team
Catch up with the latest from the boating team
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.