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.
It can take between five to 20 days to manufacture a gate, meet the people that make them and discover their stories
"Building lock gates is a niche skill and one that is passed through generations, from those that have worked here for years onto apprentices, but there’s something extra special about being able to pass it on to your own son. I worked with my Dad too, he’s 91 now but years ago he was a rugby league physio at Dewsbury – the same club I played at. It builds a closer relationship and impacts on the wider family too. It makes us all closer as a result.
Unusually we’ve got three sets of fathers and sons working together here in the workshop, but it feels like one big family and we’re all very proud of the work we do. When you look at the history of the canals we’re part of that too. We’re following on from the work that was done 150 years ago, which we’re continuing and the next generation will too. Eventually our work becomes part of history and part of the movement that started an industrial revolution. Without that, none of us might be where we are today.
There are only two workshops in the country still making lock gates but I think will go from strength to strength. Seeing people out and about, walking their dogs and talking to people on their boats makes us feel more involved with the public. The Open Days are another opportunity for people to come in and see what we do and what actually goes into making a lock gate and keeping the canals flowing. The waterways are such an important place for people to enjoy today and in the future and long may it continue, because there’s no other industry like it." (Steve)
"I’m retiring this year, but between me and Kevin we’ve worked here for over 50 years and every day is different! Each canal has its own quirks, as do the gates that we make. That’s what makes it exciting. I enjoy coming into work every day and I’m still learning constantly. Although technology has improved, our methods have remained largely the same. It feels good to know we’re still working in a traditional way and playing our part in keeping up the heritage of the canals.” (John)
"Even though we build lock gates to last 25-30 years, I’ve been here long enough now to see some of my original gates come back into the workshop to be replaced by me again. Richard hasn’t experienced that yet, he’s not been here quite long enough. He’s come a long way though since he started as an apprentice all those years ago. He is now mentoring apprentices of his own. Now it’s his turn to pass on the skills that I taught him, as well as the skills he has learnt himself" (Roy)
Last date edited: 11 January 2017