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.
Welcome to the latest edition. In it you'll find a report on what changes you've told me you'd like to see in Boaters' Update change and there's a special feature on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Of course, you'll find the usual waterway diary and an update on the latest stoppages affecting cruising.
In the last edition I asked for your views on how you’d like to see Boaters’ Update evolve (or not) – thanks to the many of you who sent in your views. Please do have a read and let me know your view if you haven’t already.
One of the suggestions was, in each edition, to have a focus on a different canal or part of the network. So, in that vein, in this one you’ll find lots about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal; its bicentenary and some of the upcoming festivals.
As always, if there’s a particular topic you’d like to see in a future edition, or a regular feature you think will be useful, then please drop me a line. In the meantime, click on the links below to jump to the article of your choice:
Since the last edition you may have heard, or seen, that:
And here are just some of the things happening over the next fortnight:
Of course, there are plenty of other activities and volunteering opportunities around the network so please visit the events section of the website to find the perfect one for you.
Linking the great industrial cities of Liverpool and Leeds, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (L&L) is the longest canal in Britain built as a single waterway. With rural walks, noteworthy heritage and peaceful boating, its 127 mile length has a lot to offer.
It’s quite hard to summarise 200 years of colourful history in such a short space so I won’t try! Instead I’ll just list the key dates (you can read a more detailed history if you want):
The L&L has continued to prosper and this year sees bicentenary events and celebrations marking its 200th birthday. Our heritage mile marker project will have replaced a quarter of the canal’s missing mileposts by the end of this month with more following. There’s also the pioneering Desmond Family Canoe Trail, and a new choral symphony, just one part of the Super Slow Way arts project, plus dozens of festivals.
Talking of festivals, there are two coming up in the near future:
Blackburn Bicentenary Canal Festival, Eanam Wharf , 23 & 24 July
This year, as in the past, you’ll find a floating market, boat flotilla, boat trips, live entertainment, family fun fair, vintage and traditional market stalls selling just about anything you can imagine. If that wasn’t enough, there’ll also be pony rides, live bands, promenade drama pieces, heritage trail, art trail, art workshops, art installations on and off the water and the latest addition to the coast to coast trail with the launch of the Blackburn Hub.
Chairman Graham Vernon, of the festival steering committee said: "This year will be the festival of festivals. It’ll celebrate the heritage and outstanding engineering the canal brought to our small market town 200 years ago, into the busy, industrious, diverse and modern thinking community it is today. Everyone involved in our free family fun day should be very proud, as I am to be involved in creating a truly spectacular waterways celebration commemorating our canal."
More information or boating booking forms can be found on the website or contact the festival office on 01254 699 221.
Leigh Canal Festival, 10 & 11 September
By the time of this festival summer should have started! After a successful inaugural year, the Leigh Canal Festival is back with a bang. We’re delighted to be joined by Ambush and newly refurbished short boat George, with historical links to Leigh this is a must for a visit.
The weekend will also involve a food and beer festival at the historic Waterside Inn, boat taxi, canoeing, a sparkling new marina at Pennington Wharf, music and, on the Saturday, a heritage day in the town centre. Boaters and trade boaters can look forward to a warm welcome and plenty to do. Fancy booking your boat in? Just drop the local team a line and they’ll be happy to help.
In the last edition I asked you what, if any, changes you’d like to see to Boaters’ Update. As mentioned above, lots of you got in touch with your views – thanks! If you haven’t got round to it yet but still want to let me know what you think then have a read of the article and please do drop me a line.
I thought you might like to know what the majority have been saying:
The above list just covers the things which were frequently mentioned. There were other ideas suggested but this would be the longest edition on record if I listed them all! What I’m now going to do is look at various ways to incorporate your suggestions in the coming editions. Watch this space!
As some of you may have read earlier this year, we’re working on a mooring strategy for London to address the unique challenges and opportunities of boating in the Capital.
As boating in London has become more popular, and boat numbers have grown, pressure has increased on moorings, facilities and infrastructure. It can be hard to find space at towpath moorings in the most popular areas while the supply of long-term moorings isn’t enough to meet demand.
With the above in mind this strategy’s aims are:
As part of the strategy development we’re currently running a survey to gauge the level of demand for boaters wanting to visit London together with their interest in being able to pre-book a short-stay mooring ahead of their arrival. It’s not a long survey so if you have a few minutes spare please do give us your views.
The survey runs until 24 August.
While we work hard to protect the 200+ year old network of canals and rivers and keep them in tip-top condition, it’s not always possible. The list below is what we already know will affect cruising over the coming weekend. This list highlights those instances where, for one reason or another, cruising won’t be possible.
When any restrictions to navigation happen we get them up on to our website as soon as we can – always best to have a scan before you set off for a cruise.
Trying to remember the expiry date of all the food in the fridge is hard enough, let alone trying to remember when the car tax, insurance, TV licence, boat licence etc. etc. needs renewing. That’s why, in the next few weeks, we’ll try to help in a small way by sending you a text message reminder when your boat licence is nearly due for renewal.
If you’ve registered your mobile number with us then we’ll automatically sign you up for these messages. If you would like to opt out – please note that they’ll be purely licence related and will not affect any messages you get from other departments – then you can do this by logging onto your account and changing your communication preferences by going to the ‘My Account’ section and selecting ‘My details’.
If you need to register for the first time and you have previously provided an email address to us then you’ll be able to use this to register. If you haven’t provided us with an email address then you can use your customer number. As an aside, if you’re planning on buying a winter mooring permit this year then you’ll also need to register – more details of locations, prices will follow in August.
If you have already registered with the online licensing system then please just sign in using your existing details.
Think of this blog as your one-stop shop for up-to-date boating news. It's packed full of useful information about boating on canals and rivers as well important safety announcements and upcoming events.
Sign up to receive the Boaters' Update by email