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.
Aside from contributing useful income to the Canal & River Trust to help maintain our waterways, not everyone is aware of the role that angling clubs’ bailiffs play in looking after our fisheries.
They’re a unique set of volunteer eyes and ears. Every club or organisation with an agreement for fishing rights with us, must also provide adequate bailiffing.
The Environment Agency (EA) or Natural Resources Wales (NRW) employ ‘water bailiffs’ to enforce the Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 as amended (SAFFA) and various other legislation, such as the Eel regulations 2009 and the Keeping and Introduction of Fish regulations 2015, for which is required a KIFR permit.
Water bailiffs carry warrants and have the same powers of arrest as police. They can enter property, check rod licences and arrest people. See our bogus bailiffs blog for more details on their powers.
There are currently around 70 full time EA bailiffs, and it’s certainly an opportunity for anyone looking for a career in fisheries.
Angling club bailiffs are legally ‘water keepers’. They don’t have any special legal powers. However, they do carry out the authority of their employer (although most are actually volunteers). In this case the fishery owner or angling club to whom they report. The water keeper has the powers to prevent the civil wrong of trespass.
When an angler breaks the fishery rules, eg. uses a bait or method not allowed as part of the permission granted to the permit holder, then this makes the offending angler a trespasser in law. That’s why the wording used by fishery owners and angling clubs on their permits is important - it allows water keepers to check anglers’ permits, tackle and boxes.
Volunteer angling club bailiffs are often the first to notice pollution or fish in distress in our waterways. Whether it’s a ‘light diesel rainbow sheen’ or something more serious that’s killed or caused distress to fish, the club bailiffs, like any member of the public, should report the matter immediately to the EA.
In England, the number to call is 0800 807 060
In Wales, the emergency number to call is 0300 065 3000
Where fish are clearly in distress, contact your local Trust fisheries manager too as it’s also our responsibility to rescue distressed fish on our waterways.
It’s a sad fact of life that there are criminals who fish illegally – perhaps for food or to sell for restocking in return for cash. With the average price of fish for restocking being around £8 per pound, the temptations are self-evident. Vigilant angling club bailiffs report dozens, if not hundreds, of incidents of illegal fixed engines each year. In England, water keepers, again just like the public at large, should report any illegal fishing to the EA on the above numbers.
Catching a fish by rod and line and then taking it away from a Canal & River Trust owned canal or reservoir fishery is theft.
If you see someone stealing fish, report it to the police immediately by calling 101.
There is however one type of fish that must not be returned to our stillwaters, canals or reservoir fisheries – non-native fish species if taken out for the water. You’ll find more details in our spotted anything fishy from your boat blog.
The most familiar role of angling club bailiffs is to check anglers have paid their annual or day membership fees.
Fishing without proper payment is also theft. Although, most clubs who rent water on our waterways will offer day tickets on the bank at between £3 and £6. You can pay the bailiff in cash.
It’s the dedicated club bailiff who patrols the waterways day in day out, perhaps issuing half a dozen permits on a good day and none on a bad one. As a volunteer, the club bailiff may take a little of the money collected as a contribution towards wear and tear of their vehicle. Next to none of them would come close to making a profit for their endeavours. They do it for the love of their club and of the sport of angling because every little helps when it comes to keeping angling clubs solvent.
Make a difference in your area
In our offices or on the towpath, volunteers help us with all aspects of our work to bring canals and rivers to life. Find a role that suits you today
Support our work, support your waterways
The support we get from the public helps to keep canals and rivers alive. Donate now to make a real difference in your local area
Last date edited: 11 January 2018