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.
Dragonflies are the raptors of the insect world. To us humans, the brightly coloured creatures are an integral part of summer.
To other insects - and even small fish - the dragonfly is a voracious hunter from the time it first hatches as aquatic larvae to its peak as a flying adult.
This militant behaviour is understandable when you consider that the dragonflies' predecessors stalked the earth almost 300 million years ago, pre-dating birds by some 150 million years. Today, dragonflies are still widespread throughout the UK, especially in the southern counties.
During the breeding season they stay close to waterways such as canals, rivers and ponds but at other times they can be spotted almost anywhere, in woods, gardens or even houses. Some species have a specific set of requirements to breed and flourish, and they tend to accumulate in one geographical area. Thus the Norfolk hawker is most often found in or around Norfolk.
The reed fringes of many of our canals and rivers provide excellent breeding sites and hunting grounds for dragonflies - and our maintenance programme involves the creation and improvement of canal banks with dragonflies in mind.
In the past, any work on canal banks would have involved steel sheet piles. Today, with our greater emphasis on habitat creation, soft banks are created either using coir roles or hazel faggots. This allows the growth of reed fringes, ideal habitats for many species of insects, particularly damselflies.
We have been a supporter of the British Dragonfly Society for over ten years, during which time it has been a member of its steering group.
Last date edited: 11 May 2017