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.
The Droitwich Canals have been reborn from a derelict channel to become a thriving boating route and a peaceful retreat for the local community.
28th Feb 2018 8:00am to 28th Feb 2018 4:00pm
The top end gates of the lock are being re-fitted with new Felt and Boarding.
17th Jun 2013 8:00am onwards
Updated 28th January 2014
As from June 2013 one paddle has been locked off at the bottom end of Locks 5 and 6 on the Droitwich Junction Canal to reduce water flows through the M5 Tunnel. This will...
Chandlery open 5 days a week, 9am- 5pm.
The Droitwich Barge Canal and Droitwich Junction Canal re-opened in 2011, after years of hard work by the Droitwich Canal Trust, local volunteers and ourselves in our former guise of British Waterways.
The canal flows through the spa town of Droitwich and is thickly lined with trees and hedges. At Vines Park, it forms the centre of a green haven for local people.
The re-opening of the Droitwich Canals has created a brand new cruising ring for boaters. The Mid-Worcestershire ring can easily be completed in a weekend’s boating. It gives you the chance to explore the attractions of Droitwich, the cathedral city of Worcester, and the broad waters of the River Severn.
The restoration of the canals was carried out with careful consideration for nature. Coney Meadow reed bed was created to provide a home for wildlife displaced by the dredging of the canals. Otter holts, bat boxes and kestrel boxes have been added and trees and wild flowers planted. Ponds have been created as a habitat for the protected great crested newt.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway
The navigable culvert under the M5 has exceptionally low headroom. Although the airdraught is nominally 6ft (1.8m), it can vary according to the flow from the Body Brook into the canal. Check the gauge at the culvert portal before trying to go through.
The three locks descending from Hanbury Junction have working side ponds. Please use these to conserve water — follow the instructions on site. You can download a useful boating map for Droitwhich from the waterway routes webpage.
Download our Droitwich Canals towpath guidance for cyclists.
Natural brine springs have attracted people to Droitwich from very early times and created wealth for the town's inhabitants. First evidence of salt production dates to the late Iron Age and significant Roman remains have been found in the vicinity. The importance of Droitwich during the Anglo-Saxon period is evidenced by its tax yield, which, in 1066, was second only to London.
During the medieval period, salt production was monopolised within Droitwich and salt rights could only be passed on by inheritance. In 1695, this monopoly was successfully challenged and production dramatically expanded. Consequently the transportation needs of the town increased and in 1703 and 1747 bills were presented to make the River Salwarpe navigable, but these foundered. Pressure for good transportation increased when, in 1727, deep borings were made to expose stronger flows of brine - and salt output soared. It was not until 1767 that the Droitwich Council appointed famous canal engineer James Brindley to survey a route for a canal to link Droitwich with the River Severn that a solution was found, and in 1768, the Droitwich Barge Canal Act was passed and construction commenced.
James Brindley had built England's first large scale canal for the Duke of Bridgwater and was considered the country's leading expert on canal construction. The Barge Canal was typical of Brindley's work in following the contours of the land and was one of only a few canals to be completed in his lifetime. The Barge Canal opened in 1771 and was constructed as a wide canal in order to carry barges that came to be known as "Wich" boats, a smaller version of the Severn Trow.
Droitwich's dominance in the salt trade started to decline in 1828 when a new brine source was discovered at Stoke Prior to the north east of the town. The Birmingham & Gloucester railway opened in 1841, and the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway in 1851, both competing with the canal to service the salt trade.
The Droitwich Junction Canal was constructed in 1854 to link the Barge Canal in Droitwich to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Hanbury, in an attempt to revive trade on the Barge Canal, which was suffering from competition with the railways. A narrow waterway, it was one of the last canals to be built in England and included innovations such as water-conserving side ponds.
The last commercial barge used the Barge Canal in 1916 and by 1922, salt production in Droitwich had ceased. The canals were abandoned in 1939 and became redundant.
South Wales and Severn Waterways
Find out more about our plans for these canals and rivers