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.
A cautionary tale of a New Year that nearly wasn't.
Holiday time again and no doubt many of us, myself included, will be indulging in some festive spirits with friends and family. Some of my friends will be cruising to a favourite canalside pub destination like Stoke Bruerne for a festive get together and others will be taking advantage of the window between stoppages to move to a new location.
It’s sad fact that every year during the winter, and especially over the festive season, that some boaters and other towpath users will drown whilst under the influence of alcohol.
The Royal Life Saving Society say that it only takes a split second for happy hour to end in a nightmare and that about a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. And I’m telling you they are not wrong!
A few years ago, actually quite a few years ago when I was relatively new boater, I met up with a whole load of other boater friends for a somewhat chilly New Year’s Eve cruise followed by a party in a canalside pub. There were quite a few of us and the beers were being opened shortly after we cleared the last lock on our journey. We all managed to tie up safely at the visitor mooring although we all had to breast up and fitting every boat in was a bit of a juggle.
Off we all went to the pub and a very jolly and convivial evening was had by all until chucking out time after “The Chimes” and “Auld Lang Syne”. It was cold outside the pub with broken ice still upon the canal, sparkling frost and a wonderful moon glinting through scudding clouds. You might be wondering by now why I remember in such detail how beautiful it was.
Back to the visitor mooring, down the steep and frosty bank onto the deck of the inside moored boat and then I was suddenly plunged into ice cold water as I slid down between my neighbour’s boat and my own boat having misjudged the gap between the boats. The water was deep, I could barely keep my head out of the water and it was so very, very cold. I was totally incapable of getting myself out. I looked at the beautiful moon, the moonlit, frost-rimmed landscape and thought,
“This is it, what an incredibly stupid way to die!”
Fortunately, my partner and friends came to the rescue and somehow managed to drag me out of the deep water and get me safely back onto my boat. I have never been so grateful. Wet clothes came off and I was tucked up safe and warm in bed. It was a very lucky escape as if I hadn’t had help I never would have got out and would have become an addition to the 427 people who tragically drowned in 2002.
So when you are out and about this festive season be careful next to the water if you’ve had a drink or two and look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely.
With very best wishes for the season and much wonderful boating in 2017. Cheers!
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.