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 few observations on living aboard with a ship's cat
I was always a cat slave by intent, my first cat Tabitha and I became inseparable companions when my age was still just single digits. What I never expected was to become a liveaboard boater in my thirties and when it happened, my old peculiar tabby cat Theakston came with me to a new watery life on a narrowboat.
I was worried how Theakston would cope but he probably adapted more quickly than I did once we’d worked out the best place to put his litter tray, his food and water. The second challenge was a cat flap as you don’t really want to be cutting holes into your steel boat if you can possibly avoid it. The solution was a false door of heavy duty marine ply with a cat flap inserted and bolted into one half of the bow doors. Easy to undo from the inside, difficult to undo from the outside it worked a treat.
Theakston spent 3 ½ years on board with us, ruler of his kingdom on boat and mooring as well as cruising with us along the Thames, the Oxford, Ashby, Coventry and Grand Union canals before he passed over the rainbow bridge aged 14 something. I was never totally sure of his age as he was a rescue cat.
Two years passed and we still missed Theakston so much that another big fluffy boy was a must. Merlin was a Norwegian Forest cat and utterly gorgeous. When he first arrived home he was so tiny he could sit comfortably on the 5cm window ledge of the bow windows. Kittens on boats are more challenging than older cats, there are plenty of small spaces for them to hide and also get stuck, usually inaccessible places like the back of the calorifier cupboard!
Merlin took to cruising with a much more laid back attitude than Theakston who would hide under the bed when the engine started. Merlin would sit on his favourite perch looking out of the saloon window watching the scenery change through locks, under bridges, over aqueducts.
When cruising we were always more nervous of letting Merlin out unsupervised as he wasn’t as streetwise as Theakston. We don’t have speeding cyclists, hundreds of runners, mobility scooters or large aggressive cat chasing dogs on our mooring but they are a fact of life of many towpaths and many pets have been injured or lost.
Both of my cats fell into the canal during their lives. Theakston just 3 times, all early on in his boating career and he rescued himself each time. Merlin however used up most of his 9 lives falling in 8 ½ times and requiring a human in water rescue one bitterly cold winter as the ice was melting. Definitely not recommended for either pets or people and fortunately neither Merlin nor I repeated our stupidity.
Merlin passed away last year after a short illness, far too young aged 10 and a bit. I still haven’t got used to having a whole half of our narrowboat bed to myself, no furry purring pillow or leg deadening lump to greet me in the morning. There is definitely a vacancy for ship’s cat that will be filled if I can get the captain’s say so.
Boating team blogs
From boating buddies, holidays to birthdays and licensing - read more blogs from the boating team
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.