Skip to main content

The charity making life better by water

100 voices

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we're sharing 100 quotes from 100 people who love to spend time on and by our canals and rivers.

Celebrating ten years as a charity

Life's better by water

There are so many reasons why people use our canals.

For some, it's the enjoyment of wildlife spotting, or making the daily commute a little less grey. For others, it's the perfect backdrop for time with loved ones, whilst many simply find happiness in the tranquility and peace it brings.

Our teams and volunteers work hard to improve and maintain our 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales, ensuring that they're safe, inclusive and accessible spaces for everyone.

Knowing that we've helped make life better by water for millions of people, from all walks of life, is a special thing.

A boost by water

An increasing number of studies show that spending time by water can give your wellbeing a significant boost. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the biggest reasons people love our canals.

Keeping active

Many visit our canals to keep active in the fresh air. From paddling to fishing, running to cycling, they provide a perfect platform for a plethora of outdoor pursuits.

And, with nearly nine million people living within 1km of our waterways, our towpaths also serve as greener, cheaper, alternative routes for getting from A to B.

Placeholder for quotes
Running along the canal makes such a difference, it's the whole environment. I had a heron fly down and land right in front of me. You see how nature changes over the seasons.
Charlie, towpath runner

The joys of nature

Whether visitors spend time by our canals in the countryside, or in a busy town or city, they can always enjoy a variety of wildlife and nature.

From the ever-present mallard to the elusive water vole, our waterways provide vital sanctuary for many species in a world where suitable habitat is in serious decline.

Connecting with the past

Steeped in history, our 2,000 miles of waterways are home to over 2,700 listed structures, 50 scheduled ancient monuments and four UNESCO world heritage sites.

Whilst many of our visitors simply admire the work of days gone by, others also feel a more personal connection to what were once the nation's industrial arteries.

The perfect environment to volunteer

From towpath taskforce to lock keepers, our volunteers enable us to achieve so much more, with many saying that working next to water makes for a great place for them to give their time.

Placeholder for quotes
I’m into my seventh season as a volunteer lock keeper at Diglis and I’m loving it more all the time. Each year I learn new things and meet new people.
Gill, volunteer lock keeper

Hear more from some of our volunteers

Get involved today

Last Edited: 22 June 2022

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration