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.
Amanda Morgan is one of our volunteer co-ordinators who works with our heritage, environment, engineering and hydrology teams. She's been keeping busy helping eels out on the River Lea lately and she's been kind enough to tell us all about it.
Located far away from the hustle and bustle of London is the Sargasso Sea, in the north Atlantic. Taking its name from the free-floating Sargassum seaweed, the sea is uniquely defined only by ocean currents and it provides a home for a fantastic variety of marine species.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the wildlife of our canals and rivers – well, the answer is the humble eel! Beginning and ending their life in the Sargasso Sea, Anguilla anguilla, to give the European eel its official name, spends a proportion of its life in the UK, entering the network through areas such as the River Lea.
Classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with ‘recruitment’ (returning elvers) numbers suggested to have declined by up to 95% over the last 25-30 years into some tributaries of the Thames, this summer sees the official opening of the eel pass on Lea Bridge Weir.
Designed to aid the passage of elvers along this stretch of water, its usage and success will be monitored by a team of volunteers, who will be assisting on a joint project with Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
ZSL already have a track record of eel monitoring projects, but this is the first time that the new pass will be monitored. After training, volunteers will visit site regularly to check the eel trap, and to measure and assess the elvers using the pass.
This ‘citizen science’ will help scientists to identify trends in annual recruitment, indeed data from ZSL’s other programmes have been used in Environment Agency eel management plans.
Volunteers are currently being recruited for this year’s scheme – no experience is required, just an interest in wildlife and the ability to commit to regular trap inspections (so you will need to live close by to Lea Bridge Weir in Clapton).
The initial training session will be taking place in mid-late May – so if you are interested, please contact Amanda Morgan. Just one more thing – the return boat trip to the Sargasso Sea is not included – the eels will be doing this part on their own!
Join Waterside Watch
Will you be part of Waterside Watch and help protect the homes and habitats of some of our most beloved species?
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.