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 UK glories in more than 50 different species of this brightly coloured insect.
It is always a great pleasure to see the many different and vibrant butterflies that feed along the edges of our towpaths, but did you know that many species are actually under threat from habitat loss and degradation?
In fact, one in ten species of butterfly face extinction in Europe and over a third have declining populations. Several UK species are now listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
To help reverse this trend, we have been working in partnership with Butterfly Conservation and local volunteers to improve habitats for rare butterflies.
For example, at Fenny Compton, on the Oxford Canal, we have planted banks with kidney vetch. This is an important food source for the fantastically named grizzled skipper butterfly, which is attracted to the plants delicate yellow flowers. The new habitat provides the perfect conditions for the grizzled skipper, helping to boost its numbers.
At Napton reservoir, again in partnership with Butterfly Conservation and local volunteers, banks and scrapes have been created at the reservoir and planted with kidney vetch and creeping cinquefoil, essential food for the rare, small blue butterfly which is known to live adjacent to the site. This is one of only three known locations in the West Midlands.
These two projects are a great example of the excellent partnership work that we are undertaking with volunteers and organisations, such as Butterfly Conservation, helping to make the waterways a more attractive and exciting place to visit.
Butterflies undergo a fascinating four-stage life-cycle, starting as tiny eggs laid on leaves in which the larva (or caterpillar) forms. Eggs can hatch after a few weeks or remain dormant for a season (usually winter) before emerging. Once hatched, caterpillars vary massively in size, shape and colour depending on species. Some are furry, some spiky, some camouflaged, some smooth. All caterpillars love to eat and will munch their way through a large amount of mostly green leaves to store up energy for their next phase – the chrysalis.
The chrysalis (or pupa) stage of a butterfly's life-cycle sees it transformed from shuffling caterpillar to free-flying butterfly. The caterpillar surrounds itself with a protective case and anchors itself to a plant. Finally the insects emerge from their cocoon as fully formed butterflies, ready to find a mate and start the process all over again! At this stage some butterflies will travel thousands of miles in order to breed.
Nature spotters guide
Download your free guide here, and start exploring the nature on a waterway near you.
Last date edited: 12 May 2017