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.
I regularly hear feedback from different people about a few inconsiderate people who don't think about others when they use our towpaths. I say different people, because no one group is flagged up in these comments more than another. I've heard grumbles about cyclists travelling too fast, anglers using scarce moorings, boaters who clutter up towpaths, pedestrians who 'walk in packs' - the list could go on.
If you've had a bad experience from one or another of these groups you're understandably going to feel a bit aggrieved about them - and if it's happened repeatedly, you probably would like to see the offenders 'banished' from the towpath for ever more! I know how it can blot an otherwise enjoyable visit to the canal, as I've met inconsiderate people myself when I've been out on the towpath.
Our towpaths are a fantastic resource for everyone, and we want to encourage everyone to use them considerately and that means understanding and respecting others' needs. The issue of bad behaviour on towpaths led us to run a consultation on 'Sharing Towpaths' earlier this year. It sets out our proposed approach to towpath management to ensure they are shared spaces where a range of uses can be enjoyed.
The reality is that with more than 2,000 miles of waterways, we could never have the number of staff needed to effectively 'police' all our towpaths and be in the right place at the right time to address every incosiderate user or incident of anti social behaviour - and even if we could, would we want to spend scarce resources on an army of 'towpath police' rather than on maintenance or improvements?
I think that the right approach (as set out in the consultation report) is the 'Towpath code' and a 'share the space' approach that encourages everyone to consider each other's needs. We all need be responsible for promoting 'good behaviour' and consideration of each when we're on the towpath. If serious incidents occur then further intervention from us may be necessary, but if we all 'do our bit' I think we can make our towpaths better, fairer spaces for us all to enjoy.
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.