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.
If you’d like to spot some of these captivating creatures then make your way down to your nearest canal or river.
Some of our 200-year-old tunnels, bridges, and aqueducts are home to countless bats and if you plan your visit properly you’re almost guaranteed to see something flitting across the water.
Bats are easier to spot during the summer months as they’re out and about hunting for insects. They’re fascinating to watch as they dart about catching their prey and showing off their agility. If you want to enjoy a night out with a difference then take a look at our guide to spotting bats and head out to the water.
Choose a dark area. Many bats avoid bright street lighting and prefer to fly in the dark so try and find a location with as little light pollution as possible. Don’t forget to take your torch for the walk home though!
Arrive just before the sun sets. Bats are easiest to spot around dusk when they come out to feed.
Watch the water. Bats need to hydrate themselves just as much as we do and you’ll often see them swooping down to take a drink from the waterway. You’ll also spot Daubenton’s bats hunting just over the water. They catch insects with their feet and will often feast while they are still flying.
Go out on a dry, still night. Bats don’t like hunting insects when it’s wet as the moisture in the air confuses their echolocation system. Flying when it’s wet or windy means that they will use up a lot of energy hunting but not get much in return.
Choose a good spot. Stand on a bridge so that you get a good view of the water in both directions or find a straight part of the waterway so that you can see as far as possible. Bats often feed in sheltered areas, where swarms of flying insects gather, such as winding holes bordered by mature trees. Places where the canal is wider are good spots too.
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
Last date edited: 30 October 2017