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.
I love our canals and rivers. I live overlooking one. And, like most people of the female persuasion, when I see a neat little row of anglers early on a Sunday morning fishing out tiny silver prey from the black, murky waters I have to wonder what on earth is so compelling?
Sitting there for hours often in the rain, handling maggots and who knows what else. So, imagine what I thought when asked to upload a number of stories to our website for our new series on the ‘Greatest angling writers’. Not just anglers, but people who felt the urge to put down on paper what they felt about this seemingly alien activity.
Oh, how uneducated was I. These great and good of the tall (or should that be long) fishy tale are more than just grey old men on the side of the bank endlessly waxing lyrical about the ‘one that got away’.
These are British spies, WWII heroes, teachers, newspapermen, artists, inventors, TV presenters, footballers – indeed, many have represented their country for reasons other than fishing. I was surprised, for example, to see Arthur Ransome’s name on the list – he of ‘Swallow and Amazons’. Although you will be sad to learn that a certain J R Hartley doesn’t feature this time.
These writers’ books are not just niche periodicals to their chosen passion. But love letters to the cold creatures they court.
Our series, written by one of their kin, Keith Elliot, himself having written 9 million words on the subject, shows these men to be analysts of the human condition. It’s as if their prose anthropomorphises their not so tiny cast of thousands. Caught up between the ‘my carp is bigger than yours’ machinations are the struggles to save fisheries and the environment. The years of searching for pisciform perfection. The friendships, the bonds, the discoveries and legacies that lurk beneath the calm seam between our world and theirs.
As a writer, I feel comforted by reading these stories of men that made a difference in their discipline. And, as we launch our Facebook vote to decide which is indeed the greatest ever angling writer, I suspect the answer is simple - whichever one reels in this non-believer into opening the pages of their prose and diving into fishy heaven.
Great angling writers
See our full series of stories on angling's greatest writers now
Last date edited: 15 November 2017