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.
In this first of two entries, Trustee John Dodwell cruises, and sings the praises of, the often overlooked Middlewich Branch.
There are some who think of the 10 miles (or so) Middlewich Branch as being just a link between the Trent and Mersey and the main Shroppie – and I must admit I’ve thought like that in the past. A relatively modern canal (1830s built) with some straight lines and 4 deep and sometimes difficult to work locks – and with an above average chance of queues at locks.
Yet the Arm has more to offer than that. Having embankments means having good views over the surrounding countryside (see photo right at Church Minshull). And this time, we made a point of stopping at Church Minshull to go and have an evening meal at “The Badger” of which we’d heard good reports.
These were justified and we learnt the pub/restaurant had re-opened and been extended four years ago after about 8 years’ closure – which is good news. We didn’t moor at the visitor moorings and so, being deep drafted, we needed the gangplank to get ashore. We then followed the footpath through the woods to the pub.
The following day we saw signs of towpath edge repairs (see photo) and went on to Middlewich – where we were pleased to see Maureen Shaw’s old lock cottage is being repaired by the new owners. Got drenched by a heavy shower doing down the locks but we then enjoyed a sunny evening as we went north through some lovely countryside – I reckon this part of the T&M is underrated (see main photo above).
We passed under some intriguing distinctly non-Brindley looking bridges (see photo below) – maybe rebuilds when the T&M was railway owned? – I’m sure someone will know! We tied for the night just after the Lion Salt works and enjoyed a lovely sunset.
John Dodwell was formerly one of our 10 trustees. He owns Helen, a 51ft old BCN tug/icebreaker which draws 3ft and is based near Stourbridge, West Midlands. His waterways interest goes back to the early 1960s.
John’s been involved in the waterways since the early 1960s and he enjoys all aspects of the waterways. To pick out one oddity, he was pleased and surprised to see about a dozen herons this June around the BCN Main Line, including two under the M6 motorway!