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 'King of Fishers' is usually glimpsed as a sudden flash of glistening blue. This colourful bird is a splendid sight, bathing in sunlight on a waterside perch. Even dedicated bird-spotters can fail to catch sight of it until it takes flight.
Kingfishers travel at lightning speeds, catch several fish each day, raise up to three broods every season and fiercely defend their territory at all times.
There are more than eighty species of kingfisher around the world, but only one is native to Britain. Our kingfisher makes its home in dense cover near slow-flowing fresh water such as canals, lakes and rivers in lowland areas. If you are extremely lucky, and the possessor of a large pond, you may spot the occasional kingfisher gliding through your garden. In the UK, southern regions are blessed with healthy populations, but kingfishers become scarce further north and are rarely sighted in Scotland.
Smaller than a starling, the kingfisher is a fearsome predator, readily tackling prey larger and heavier than itself. It will perch patiently, on the look out for any tell-tale fish movements in the water below. When it spots a fish, the kingfisher makes a split-second assessment of its depth and precise location and then dives, bill-first, into the water. With eyes closed and beak half-open, the kingfisher seizes the slippery prey and carries it back to his perch.
The design of a kingfisher's beak is aerodynamically efficient, allowing it to dive from its perch, towards its prey, with maximum speed and minimum splash. In fact, the beak design is so clever that the front of many Japanese bullet trains are modelled to mimic it.
Kingfishers are protected from being disturbed on or near an active nest. Please take care not to go too close to a nest as this may cause parents to abandon eggs or chicks.
Appearance: Brightly coloured with a cobalt-blue back, tail and head, bright orange underparts and a white bib. Legs are short and red or orange in colour. Females have orange markings on the lower part of their long bill
Size: Length 16-17cm, wingspan 24-26cm
Lifespan: Maximum 15 years. On average kingfishers live for 7 years
Diet: Predominantly fish. Also tadpoles, shrimps and aquatic insects when available
Download your free guide here, and start exploring the nature on a waterway near you.
Last date edited: 12 July 2017