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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Find out more about our ongoing work to tackle boat licence evasion.
We have a boat licence customer support team that is out and about on our canals and rivers, constantly working to tackle licence evasion.
For seven years in a row the licence evasion rate has stayed below 5%. This is calculated following the national boat check, which logs all boats during the month of March. Any boat which cannot be identified or has an expired licence is recorded as an evader, even if the licence only expired in February.
Our process starts with the local teams patrolling the banks with hand-held computers that show whether your boat has a valid licence - no matter what's displayed in the window. If you're not complying with the rules, your details are automatically recorded and some kind of follow-up will commence.
Initially our office-based team will try to give you a call to help you licence the boat. However, if they are unable to get the matter resolved they will pass the case onto a licence support officer.
We will always try to work with our customers to get boats licensed. However, in some cases we are left with no alternative but to take further action. Our main tool is the power for the Trust to “Section 8” unlicensed boats. This relates to power given in the British Waterways Act 1983 (and transferred to the Canal & River Trust) and allows us to remove boats from the waterway if they are there without our permission or persistently in breach of our licence terms and conditions – including not having a licence.
Once we've removed the boat we can either sell it or, if it is of little value, we may destroy it. We have first claim on any sale proceeds which we use to recover our costs of taking action.
"“Many thanks for all you help, co-operation and assistance in the matter which has been traumatic to say the least over the last year."
If a boat is also someone’s home, before exercising these powers we take the added precaution of getting a court order to remove the boat from the waterway.
Many boaters have got into the habit of contacting us on an ad hoc basis when they see boats that appear to be unlicensed. Please bear in mind that there can be many reasons why licences are not displayed, from simple forgetfulness to condensation causing them to fall off.
If you don’t see a boat licence in the window, it doesn’t always mean the boat is unlicensed.
If you want to find out for yourself then please do use the online boat checker and if you have spotted an unlicensed boat, we’ll automatically be notified.
You can order a free pair of plastic holders to display your own boat licence in your windows from our shop.
Please note, we do not issue licences to our own workboats. A separate fleet management system ensures that all our boats comply with safety requirements.
Last date edited: 2 March 2017