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.
Best known as 'Ratty' from 'Wind in the Willows', the furry water vole is an endearing waterways character.
Not to be confused with its widespread cousin, the rat, the water vole is the largest British vole and one of our most endangered species. We have been working to highlight the vole's decline and boost populations for a number of years.
Water voles (Arvicola terrestris) are found in much of Europe, east Siberia and Mongolia. They prefer lowland areas and are not often sighted in Scotland. Water voles spend most of their time within two metres of their burrows and tend to occur in rural areas rich in dense vegetation.
This affords the voles some protection from the searching eyes of their predators - mainly mink which have contributed to the water vole's decline. Slow-flowing, deep water such as canals, lakes and streams suit the voles, who do not have the webbed feet of most water-dwelling animals.
Water voles burrow into steep canal or riverside banks to form a complicated system of underground tunnels and nesting chambers. Intelligent voles construct their burrows on several levels to minimise the risk of flooding, and at least one entrance will be below the water level for a fast escape if necessary.
We are always mindful of potential water vole habitat when carrying out works along our canals and rivers. Where ever possible we incorporate vole-friendly banking into our routine works to expand the amount of habitat available to this well-loved waterway creature.
Water vole spotters should look out for closely grazed 'lawn' areas, often covered with neat piles of chopped grass, which are often seen around burrow entrances. Voles have slow, doggy-paddle style swimming strokes which are a treasured sight on our canals and rivers.
Nature spotters guide
Download your free guide here, and start exploring the nature on a waterway near you.
Last date edited: 12 May 2017