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 can’t get excited about ‘selfie’ or ‘hashtag’….
'Selfie' and 'twerk' don't bother me and I use hashtags every day
I love words. I love that poetry or song lyrics can transport you to a different place. I cried the first time I heard Ernest Hemmingway’s heart-breaking story in six words: ‘For sale, baby shoes, never worn.’ If I come across a word that I don’t know, I’ll always look it up, eager to add it to my knowledge. This is handy, considering I write for a living. It partly explains why I don’t like words being misused – for example, people who have misheard the expression ‘Off my own bat’ (as in cricket) and say ‘Off my own back’ instead. Grrr.
I saw this on the BBC News website on New Year’s Day. And while ‘selfie’ and ‘twerk’ don’t bother me, other than I could go to a dance class for 18 hours a day, but my hips will never, ever be able to move like that, I’ve tired of hearing people say they have a ‘passion’ for what they do. Passion is… well…. so passionate and it shouldn’t be used when you what you really mean is ‘enthusiastic’. But as an early adopter of Twitter (my non-work account is six years old) I use hashtags every day. #SoWhat?
I must say, my heart soared when I saw an excellent article in The Independent about a government style guide that included a reminder that post and pizzas are delivered – but not improvements.
My pet hate in 2013 was the explosion of the incorrect use of the reflexive pronoun. Reflexive means that you do it to yourself, so “I picked myself up and dusted myself down” is correct but “Mary and myself walked down the road.” is not. Recently a (non-Trust, of course) customer service assistant said to me: “I have made a note on yourself’s file that yourself rang today and that yourself is unhappy with the service we have given yourself.” (I promise, I am not exaggerating!) Her constant misuse of ‘yourself’ when she meant ‘you’ or ‘your’ irritated me so much that it overshadowed my original complaint!
The Trust’s style guide calls for simplicity (I understand we had an energetic debate many years ago with the Plain English Campaign because they insisted that a ‘boater’ was nothing more than a gentleman’s summer straw hat).
Recently we have tried not to use words like ‘stoppage’ – understood by our boaters (there go those straw hats again) – but not by the general public who are fascinated by our winter repairs, line up in the cold to go down into the bottom of a drained (rather than de-watered) lock and often go on to become supporters. Research shows us that ‘network’ doesn’t mean anything to the man on the Clapham omnibus either – but I have yet to come across another single word that describes ‘all our canals and rivers in England and Wales’ so well. Our language is so rich, there must be one. Ideas anyone?
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.