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.
There’s a tap at my mother’s house which continually plays games at my expense. But it has happened for the last time. I refuse to grace it with my presence ever again and have made alternative hand-washing arrangements.
I like to wash my hands with warm water, not freezing cold or so hot that the top layers of skin blister. I’m certain this tap knows it. If you turn it on to wet your hands before soaping up then, by the time you’re ready to rinse, it’s unbearably hot.
This always leaves me with quite a dilemma. Do I open the door with my soapy hands to find another, more obliging, tap; do I try as hard as I can to turn the cold tap on with my slippery hands and rinse under glacial water; or, do I take a deep breath and rinse as fast as I possibly can under the searing hot water whilst simultaneously hopping from foot to foot, making noises only a dog can hear.
I know what you’re thinking, “none of these choices are ideal”. No, that’s not it? OK, well, if you’re actually thinking “what’s this deranged woman rabbiting on about” a) it’s likely you’re not alone and b) please keep reading, I may eventually speak some sense.
You might think that I would have learnt my lesson after the second incident, or even the third. But, no, sadly not. It’s actually taken me about three years to decide that I will never use this tap again because it is just too painful, complicated and cunning.
This time, quite oddly, my rage at being outfoxed yet again got me thinking about how fortunate it is that I’m not an engineer. Perhaps it’s my genetics or obvious lack of common sense which predisposed me to decide not to take this particular route in life. Whatever it was I think we should all be thankful.
Anyway, reflecting on this gave me new found respect and admiration not only for the likes of James Brindley or Isambard Kingdom Brunel but also for my colleagues. Can you imagine what might have happened if I had been in charge of the repair work to the Dutton Breech?! Trial and error is most definitely not the appropriate working method for projects like this and we simply don't have three years for me to decide that something really doesn't work. Even just thinking about how you might plan, arrange and undertake every miniscule detail and timing of this project makes my, already stretched to capacity, head hurt.
I think it's so true that there are “horses for courses” and we each have our own special qualities. Mine may not be based in common sense, practical thinking or advanced detailed planning but I believe that I still play my own unique part in the making of the Trust.
I must also remember that, whilst some of my colleagues are not blessed with the tact of a diplomat or the ability to communicate like a wordsmith, they contribute much more than I do in ways I simply can’t. So, rather than judge or get annoyed and frustrated, I must do what I can and offer my help and support where it is needed.
Then we’ll all be in safe hands, so long as I keep well away from any major work projects…and tenaciously tricky taps.
Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!