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.
Bumblebees are among the most endearing and familiar of our insects. The sight and sound of bees droning methodically from flower to flower is a quintessential part of a summer’s day. Sadly, however, changes to the farmed countryside have not been kind to our bumblebees
The reason that bumblebees have declined in the countryside is simple. Bees feed exclusively on pollen and nectar, and there are far fewer flowers in the countryside than there once were.
Hedges and marshland have disappeared and unimproved grasslands, which are rich in wild flowers have been almost entirely swept away - being replaced by silage and cereal fields. In relative terms, gardens now provide a valuable flower-rich refuge and as a result have become a stronghold for some bumblebee species.
Our waterway network, with is hedges, grassland and scrub can provide excellent foraging habitat for a whole range of nectar-feeding insects, including bumblebees.
It is essential that we retain wild flowers along our network particularly along the towpaths. Thankfully we have a many volunteers who give up their time to help improve our the natural environment of our waterways by planting wild flowers, surveying hedges and adopting stretches of canal.
Bumblebees are social insects with an annual life cycle. The queens build nests and lay their first eggs in spring. These eggs hatch to become worker bees, which then help their mother to expand the nest and find food.
By mid-summer, when nests can contain several hundred worker bees, queens start to lay both female and male eggs. The females are given extra food as they will become future queens. Eventually, the male bees and the new queens leave the nest to mate and the new queens burrow into the ground to wait out winter. The males, the worker bees and the old queen all die off in the autumn.
Help us protect bees
Do you want to meet new people, learn new skills and help protect the country's precious wildlife? Find out more about volunteering at the Trust
Last date edited: 27 August 2015