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.
During the long winter months, many of our waterway birds pack up and migrate to warmer climes. But for those who stay behind, winter can be tough.
To survive the cold temperatures birds need rich sources of food and shelter from the harsh elements. The good news is that holly & ivy provide this perfect combination.
Holly berries are brightly coloured and attract winter birds. Holly provides much needed food and in return birds spread their seeds to help new holly plants grow.
Ivy berries are darkly coloured and rich in fat and they are often seen in abundance along our waterways. Whilst they usually bloom in November, birds tend to avoid them until December. They will eat the shorter lived fruits first, saving the robust ivy berries for the tough winter ahead. It has been suggested that these berries have the same amount of calories as a chocolate bar, gram for gram.
Holly’s harsh spikey leaves can be the perfect shelter for our smaller bird species, protecting them from predators. For this reason, you will often find birds roosting amongst the branches.
Ivy is often given a bad name due to its fast growth and its ability to spread rapidly. However, it has also been hailed as one of the best plants for wildlife. Its waxy leaves provide amazing shelter and thermo-regulation for our winter wanderers. This allows bird species to nest and insects to hibernate safely.
Without these plants our canal-loving winter birds would find it hard to survive the winter, with little food and shelter.
The good news is, you can help! By following our top tips, you can keep your garden wildlife friendly:
1) Keep it Natural - use caution when removing dead leaves and branches as this removes the habitats that wildlife need.
2) Build a brush pile – use a mix of small and large branches with plenty or small spaces for roosting and insulation. Create the pile in an area sheltered from strong winds to make it most attractive to birds.
3) Healthy Bird Feeders – filled with rich foods such as seeds and nuts will help give birds a little boost. Avoid salty snacks, as birds cannot digest these.
4) Water Supply - birds still need to drink and many die from lack of available water so keep an eye on freezing water.
Last date edited: 6 December 2016