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.
I have another ‘I love my job’ day
...the welcome is always warm and the tea always hot and sweet...
I love my job. I think canals are wonderful. I’m in awe of the engineers who designed them over 200 years ago and the men who built them, navigating their way through the land, digging out tons of rock and soil by hand and laying millions of bricks. I love our industrial heritage and how grand and beautiful buildings – some of them for quite humble uses – were built at the waterway edge. And I love the havens for wildlife the canals have become since their heyday as 18th and 19th century motorways.
There is a part of my job I particularly love and that’s going out to see our teams keeping this wonderful network of waterways in good working order. I went to Tardebigge top lock 58 today where a South Wales & Severn Waterways construction team is digging out by hand an estimated 10 tonnes of silt, fitting new bottom gates made at our Bradley workshops, extending the lock ladders and – oh yes – playing host to the public on an open day on 18 January.
Construction supervisor Mark Abraham explained the job in hand and said that everything should be ready for the public next Saturday. Of course, since just before Christmas we have had too much rain and storm force winds and although the barometer was up and the sun shining today, more bad weather is forecast during the week.
Tardebigge top lock is deep (the water rises 11 feet): the lads say it’s the deepest narrow lock on the system. It was certainly impressive looking down into it from the safety of behind the hard edge protection. But by next weekend, if the good weather holds, a sturdy scaffolding staircase will be installed so that the public can safely walk down into the bottom. While there they will marvel, as I do, at the beautiful brickwork that spends much of its time under water. They will see that the huge lock gates pivot on a small pintle in a ceramic cup, not much bigger than my hands, the balance beams offering the counter balance to the weight of the gate (hence their name). It’s such a delicate piece of engineering for something so big and important.
The lads are welcoming and very patient with my photography demands, even though I know some of them don’t like having their photos taken (they’re the ones who will look anywhere but at the camera). The painful bit over, they shared their tea, doughnuts and biscuits with me (they need fuel against the cold and damp, whereas I still have the extra Christmas layer of insulation). But whenever I visit a stoppage site, the welcome is always warm, the banter is always sunny (even in torrential rain) and the tea is always hot and sweet. Our lads are what my mum would have called the ‘salt of the earth’. And meeting them is another reason I love my job.
Liz Waddington is editor of The Source, the Canal & River Trust’s monthly staff newspaper. She has been in love with canals and their industrial heritage since her first holiday on the Grand Union Canal when she was 10 years old. Liz likes nothing more than getting out and meeting her colleagues on the cut.