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.
I was the metaphorical bear with a sore head. Well, actually, it was bear with a sore tooth in my case, but what’s the difference between friends? Having lived on a cocktail of painkillers and antibiotics for over a week along the odd glass of brandy (purely for medicinal purposes, of course) and very little sleep my usual sunny disposition felt a million miles away this morning.
Not even seeing my horses or driving the favourite part of my commute to work where the bright morning sunlight dapples the road as it shines through the tunnel of trees could cheer my mood this morning. So, I knew that it was going to be a very long day indeed. In fact, it felt like a long day before I had even arrived at work and I thought then that I should maybe have stayed at home instead. I can handle almost all ailments whilst retaining my composure…and a smile. All that is except for sleep deprivation. When I get tired I lose my perspective, reasonableness and good humour. I’m sure it’s the same for us all but other people just seem to handle it better.
Turning on my computer I wondered what might await me. Depressingly the awaiting emails reflected my mood. Pieces of information I had been waiting on, new requests for information, reasons why I would still have to wait a bit longer for documents I needed urgently, a few unusual queries, comments from customers which would need some consideration because they covered several different departments and I’d have to be careful they weren’t overlooked, a moan…you probably get the idea and, yes, I probably was reading everything through my tired and grumpy eyes.
That was until I came across a very ordinary email titled ‘Harecastle Tunnel’. It had been forwarded to me by our customer service team so my assumption was that it may be less than positive and need my attention. Though you should never assume anything (one of the most valuable of life lessons, I’d say) because as I read through the email I saw that what it recounted was the most delightful, unassuming and touching act of kindness from our tunnel keeper, Derek.
New to boating, our visitors from New Zealand had missed their chance to moor up and purchase some oatcakes, a memento of their visit. To make up for their disappointment Derek had invited them into his office and donated them his very own oatcakes (which were also his lunch!). When reading their email you certainly didn’t have to be a genius to work out quite how much Derek’s kindness meant to our visitors.
I’d also like to thank you Derek. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart because, not only did you give our visitors the most touching memory of their visit but you have single-handedly restored my faith in humanity and, with it, my sunny disposition.
Who needs sleep, eh?!
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!