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.
Colin Edwards wears his gold badge with pride. He was one of five Kennet & Avon Canal volunteers to receive Gold Badge Recognition Awards at a Thank You event in Birmingham in June.
It is thanks to the huge efforts made by volunteers like Colin, and many thousands around the country, that we can keep our canals running smoothly.
Colin has given 2,000 hours – that’s 250 working days - of his own time to working on the Kennet & Avon Canal. The other K&A gold badge volunteers are John Webb, John Inman, Derrick Hunt and Tim Stenner.
You can see Colin manning the famous Caen Hill Lock Flight through the summer season. As lockkeeper, he turns out two days a week to help boaters through the locks with a friendly chat, advice about local attractions, and a cheery wave to send them on their way. He has done this since 2012.
Dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists, wildlife enthusiasts and families are all part of the rich tapestry of life he encounters while on duty. He says he finds being ‘a face of the waterway’ for these people immensely satisfying.
"Volunteering is a funny way to relax and can be hard work at times, but I’d rather do this than anything else.
It doesn’t worry me if I don’t have any boats to attend to in the locks, I am still quite happy just to be near the water - I’m drawn to it."
His wife Thelma volunteers aboard The Admiral Welcome Boat, which is moored at the Caen Hill Locks. Colin helps with the children’s activities in the school holidays.
As the season ends Colin diverts his time to ad hoc tasks. He also goes out once a month with the Towpath Taskforce, working to keep the towpaths in good order.
"The only thing that would prevent me being lockkeeper is ill health. If I found I could no longer operate the locks I would still work on the Welcome Boat, or just visit the canal for walks."
Without people like Colin, our treasured waterways would suffer, and visitors to the canals would lose the friendly camaraderie that is so much a part of the boating experience.
Make a difference in your area
In our offices or on the towpath, volunteers help us with all aspects of our work to bring canals and rivers to life. Find a role that suits you today
We'd love to tell you more
Our newsletter is packed full of exciting updates and stories of how our work has helped local people and communities. Sign up today, and join us for the journey
The Kennet & Avon and the Bridgwater & Taunton canals are two of our most loved and scenic waterways. Peaceful, tranquil - and always something more to discover. Here, our waterways team share some of their favourite, fascinating stories from around the region.