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.
Ornamental bridges are usually associated with landscaped parks and gardens rather than waterways, but intriguingly the Trust owns a number dotted around the countryside. These fancy bridges as boatmen called them, were often designed by great and versatile engineers, men like Rennie and Telford, and their architectural decoration was in the style of the day.
Some of them, like Lady’s Bridge (1808) on the Kennet & Avon were built to placate a landowner where a canal passed through their country estate. Others were built so that landowners could simply show off. Examples include New Bridge (c1825) on the edge of Teddesley Park on the Staffs & Worcester, built by the Littleton family who keenly promoted the canal, and Avenue Bridge (c1840) which carries the long drive to Chillington Hall across the Shropshire Union.
Fancy bridges are usually in a Classical style, with lots of balustrades and rusticated stonework. But there are exceptions; Sir Robert Peel, who was Prime Minister in the 1830s, preferred a mock-castle approach and built the curious turret footbridge where the Birmingham & Fazeley crossed his estate of Drayton Manor. And at Cosgrove, the Grand Union is graced by Solomon’s Bridge (1800) built for the local Lord of the Manor, George Biggin Esq. This is a beautiful bridge, built of Northamptonshire limestone in a rare and ornate Regency Gothic style.
National Heritage Manager
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.