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.
From March 27 – April 2 organisations across Britain, including us, are coming together for Invasive Species Week. Although it sounds like a celebration, it’s not, we’re raising awareness of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and, hopefully, inspiring people. Including your good selves, to take action to prevent their spread.
Animals and plants from around the world have been introduced to Britain by people for hundreds of years. Most are harmless, but 10-15% spread and become invasive – harming the environment and our wildlife. They also impact the economy and some can even pose a risk to our health and the way we live. INNS are also one of the main threats to biodiversity across the world, if we are not careful much of our beloved countryside and its wildlife could be pushed out and lost.
For our waterways they cause serious damage to structures, like Japanese knotweed and signal crayfish; block navigation like floating pennywort; or cause harm to people like giant hogweed.
INNS come at a cost to us. We have to control their growth and repair the damage they cause. Some, such as Japanese knotweed can seriously increase the complexity and cost of a simple a maintenance job. Sometimes we also have to put in place special measures or restrictions, such as temporarily closing a navigation so we can clear away something that shouldn’t be there which, can bring added frustrations. We also need to protect our valuable habitats and this takes time and money. Help from volunteers and local communities can be invaluable to combat these threats.
As you may know, the spread of many INNS is due to human activity. This can be as seeds or bits of plant on people’s clothes, through dumping of plants in the wild, or seeds or bits of plants getting caught on equipment and boats. Often, it’s done without even noticing. With boats cruising directly from one waterway to another it is difficult to clean a boat as it usually stays on the water the entire time. That said, there are some general rules everyone who uses our Waterways can follow while moving around and especially if you go on to other waterbodies. You can help stop the spread with the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ philosophy:
We’d also like our visitors and neighbours to Be Plant Wise and don't dump aquatic plants in the wild. The Be Plant Wise campaign, launched by Defra, is designed to raise awareness among gardeners, pond owners and retailers of the damage caused by invasive aquatic plants and to encourage the public to dispose of these plants correctly. Plants like floating pennywort and water hyacinth look lovely in a pond but can quickly take over. They would quickly take over a canal or river if someone dumped them there. Please don’t! Compost responsibly and do not let a non-native or ornamental plant into the countryside and our waterways.
For lots more information on INNS and Invasive Species Week visit Invasive species week
Tom King, Ecologist
The Canal & River Trust has top team of committed experts and enthusiasts, who help to protect our waterway environment and improve it for both people and nature. Follow this blog to find out more about the hugely varied work they carry out.