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.
Metalocking has been around for over 75 years and is a tried and tested system for repairing cracks in cast metals by literally stitching them up.
The metal stitching system involves using special tools to drill lines of holes at intervals across a crack and then tapping made-to-fit metal keys into the holes. Holes are also drilled along the line of the crack and filled with a series of metal studs that bite into each other to form a pressure-tight repair. The keys and studs that form the stitching are ground smooth before finally being painted.
There are many advantages to metal stitching; it is a well-recognised system that works as well for ships’ engines as for historic buildings, it is a cold repair that avoids the difficulties and distortions of hot welding and above all else it can be done in-situ. This is very important to our engineering heritage structures and over the years numerous cast iron aqueducts and bridges have been successfully stitch repaired around our waterways.
Two good examples are Thomas Telford’s fine aqueducts at Stretton and Nantwich on the Shropshire Union Canal. There are photographs in the Waterways Archive from 1954 that show Stretton Aqueduct undergoing metal stitch repairs. These have performed well over time and now, 61 years later, Nantwich Aqueduct has been repaired in the same way; a classic example of a proven repair method that has itself almost become part of our heritage.
As national heritage manager, Nigel’s role is to lead the Canal & River Trust’s team of regional heritage advisers in England and Wales. He has over 25 years’ experience of working in the conservation, archaeology and interpretation of historic buildings and places. He is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He has written numerous articles concerning heritage conservation and is the author of several longer published works, including the English Heritage Book of Canals.