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.
Abigail White pays homage to our sturdy, stalwart canal bricks, which will be receiving much essential care during the winter works.
Over the next few months the Canal & River Trust are carrying out repairs and restorations to the many thousands of bricks found along the entirety of the waterways. Here's our lowdown on the humble, historic building block.
Construction When canals were first installed in Britain, bricks were used for the construction of locks, lock approaches and bridges. For the stretches between locks, clay lining or piling was used rather than bricks, simply because brickwork was such a labour-heavy, time-consuming task.
Damage In locks, the deterioration of brickwork is usually caused by the constant wetting and drying of bricks when the locks are emptied and filled. In winter this can lead to frost damage. Impact damage by boats is another contributing factor.
The original bricks These were handmade by the many brick manufacturers that operated in Britain in the 19th and early 20th century, and local bricks were used for local sections of the canal. They tend to have a rounder, more distinctive shape than today's bricks – some people say they look like they're smiling! The Canal & River Trust try to salvage and reuse as many original bricks in their restorations as possible.
Today’s bricks These are often machine-made so tend to look more uniform and lack the 'character' of older bricks. However the Trust try to source modern bricks that match the original brickwork and occasionally even go so far as cosmetically ageing the bricks so they blend in more.
Mortar To stay faithful to the mortar used for the original brickwork, the Trust use traditional lime mortar for re-pointing and restorations. They use a particular grade of natural hydraulic lime (which can set under water) depending on the type of restoration they're carrying out.
Dams and draining For localised repairs a small dam is placed around the area so it can be drained, or if the restoration is focused on a high level of the canal wall the water level may only need to be lowered slightly, so that the navigation can be kept open without much disruption.
You're reading Waterfront, the online home of our supporters magazine. If you want to be the first to find out about out latest news and features then become a Friend of the Trust. We'll send you regular emails telling you all about our colourful canals and rivers and much more.
Become a Friend today