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 Wyrley & Essington Canal is nicknamed the Curly Wyrley, due to its twisting course. Its peaceful, meandering waters see few boats, but it is popular with walkers, cyclists and anglers.
26th Feb 2018 7:00am to 30th Mar 2018 4:00pm
We will be undertaking bank stabilisation works on the on the Wyrley and Essington canal between Pinfold BridgeWE-003-004 and Wards Bridge WE-004-001. To ensure the works are undertaken safely, the towpath...
19th Feb 2018 8:00am to 9th Mar 2018 6:00pm
Alfred Bagnall & Sons Limited on behalf of National Grid will be repainting the gas pipe crossing the canal. An encapsulated scaffolding will be erected across the canal & towpath to facilitate the works.
8th Jan 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
To undertake bridge refurbishment and painting. A towpath diversion will be provided.
To undertake bridge refurbishment works and painting. .
We are Roving Traders travelling the inland waterways on our narrow-boat Islonian trading as Flavoursfloat.
Parts of the canal are very rural, and it runs past a number of nature reserves and wildlife hotspots, including Pelsall Common and Rough Wood Nature Reserve. The tranquil, slow-moving waters of the canal itself are home to thriving aquatic plant life, including protected floating water plantain and grass wrack pondweed.
The Anglesey Branch of the canal runs to Chasewater Country Park - 900 acres of open space and water. The Park centres on Chasewater Reservoir, which was constructed to supply water to the canal. It is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with plenty of walking and cycling trails. You can make the most of the water with lots of exciting activities, including sailing, water-skiing and sub-aqua diving.
The Birmingham Canal Navigations also offers the Cannock Extension Canal as an intriguing short diversion off the Wyrley & Essington.
The Wyrley & Essington Canal was constructed entirely on the level, making for easy-lock free boating, away from the crowds in the central Birmingham Canal Navigations.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway.
The Wyrley & Essington Canal was built in the 1790s following an Act authorising a canal from Wolverhampton to the collieries at Wyrley Bank and Essington. The canal company later secured a further Act that enabled them to extend the line to Brownhills and then descend through 30 locks to Huddlesford on the Coventry Canal, plus the Daw End Branch to the Hay Head Limeworks and a short branch to Lord Hay's quarries.
Major traffic on the Wyrley & Essington was coal from the Cannock pits. Boats were gauged for toll purposes at a number of narrows formed by islands in the canal, several of which had characteristic octagonal toll offices.
Although built as a contour canal, in which the line followed the contours of the land, the Wyrley & Essington has been badly affected by subsidence occurring in the mines it was built to serve, and continual repairs have led to some sections now running on high embankments. Water supply was also a perennial problem.
The Bentley Canal linked the Wyrley & Essington with the Walsall Canal via the Anson Branch. One of the last major branches of the BCN to be lost, it was abandoned by the 1960s. Its junction with the Wyrley & Essington is now denoted by a modern pub and retail development.
West Midlands Waterways
Read our plans and all the latest news from our team in the West Midlands.