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.
Since becoming the Canal & River Trust in July 2012, volunteering has been an increasing part of building the capacity of the team, supplementing what we can achieve with limited resources. We’re a technical team providing detailed advice to various parts of the business, so work with technically-skilled volunteers.
One volunteer, John, a retired teacher and boat owner, has worked on a data transfer project since 2013, helping us to migrate data out of a defunct database system into our modern bespoke database designed and built by our sister SCADA team and used across the business.
John has provided invaluable expertise on database design and creating complex macros for processing data, and his input has been vital in enabling us to progress this complex project, also providing training and technical support to both staff and volunteers working on the project.
It’s very important for us that it’s a two-way process: not only do we benefit from increasing capacity and capability, but the volunteers develop their CV, or in John’s case feel involved and keep his hand in after retiring. John comments that he has felt welcomed, valued, supported and treated as a member of the team. He has increased his knowledge of Visual Basic coding, and as a boat owner gained a better understanding of how the network is kept running. He’s made good friends and particularly liked refreshing his teaching skills whilst delivering the training sessions and supporting colleagues when they had difficulties.
Mark, another volunteer also had time to spare whilst working part time in the oil and gas industry. He started volunteering for the SCADA team designing the user interface web pages for our SCADA network monitoring system.
Overhearing the work of the water management team, Mark was soon helping us build water resources models as part of our long term water resources strategy. This work firstly involves assessing the information available on water control structures, filling in any gaps with site work, and then building a water resources model to help us predict the long term behaviour of our system.
Mark felt he was part of the team which was nice to know. Having now moved on to a new job in the water industry at a consultancy firm, he’s grateful for the experience he gained within the team, which he is sure helped him move on to his next step. We know ourselves the value of this, with three members of staff being previous volunteers.
Managing the team’s volunteer input is a privilege, and it’s massively rewarding to see both our team output enhanced but also providing training and enhancing the skills of the very kind people who offer their time, expertise and enthusiasm for free. It really does enrich what we do and how we do it. With some new volunteers joining the team soon, we hope to have as much success going forward.
Volunteer with us
Volunteering can be very rewarding, and if you've got some time and would like to get involved, check out our volunteering pages
The water management team spend their days making sure that we have just the right amount of water in our canals. Here they share some of the highlights of their work with us.