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.
Canal lovers across south west England are celebrating a quarter-century of progress this summer as the Kennet & Avon Canal marks the 25th anniversary of its reopening by the Queen.
Providing a link from the River Thames at Reading to the River Avon in Bath, the 87-mile waterway is one of the greatest achievements of the canal restoration movement, and has become a haven for people and wildlife in Wiltshire, Berkshire and Somerset, as well as visitors from across England and indeed the world.
The story of the Kennet & Avon Canal provides the blueprint for many of our inland waterways - once a linchpin of the area’s economic development, it fell into decline and disrepair before being painstakingly restored by volunteers. Once reopened, a second phase of restoration, made possible by a £25 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, ensured the waterway would survive for generations to come.
Now owned and cared for by the Canal & River Trust - the charity that looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales - the canal today:
The anniversary is being marked with a free event held jointly by the Canal & River Trust and the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust at Caen Hill Locks today, with activities for all ages, from boating and pond-dipping to cycling and live music. Bringing together volunteers past and present, the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire will re-enact the opening of the canal.
Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “It’s a privilege for all of us at the Trust who work on the canal, and it’s all down to the volunteers and the incredible amount of work they did that it’s here. Whether it’s in providing an escape from everyday life, or a home for the area’s amazing wildlife, the Kennet & Avon Canal really does enrich the lives of everyone around it, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate it and the achievement of those who restored it.
“It’s fantastic to see more and more people getting involved with the waterways in so many different ways, so if you’re interested in our heritage and in our stunning countryside please do get involved. The future of the Kennet & Avon Canal, and the nation’s inland waterways as a whole, has never looked brighter.”
Rob Dean, chairman of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, said: “Restoration of the Kennet & Avon has proved a huge success for our community. The volunteers who led the restoration from the 50s to the 90s have given us a great legacy which we’re pleased to help care for and improve."
The Kennet & Avon Canal was opened in 1810, after 16 years’ hard work by famed waterway engineer John Rennie. Major structures include Scheduled Ancient Monument Caen Hill Lock Flight, Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts and Bruce Tunnel.
Emergency appeal launched following breach on the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal
23 March 2018
Try canal boating at Drifters national open day
22 March 2018
Heritage transport plaque awarded to Froghall Basin on Caldon Canal
'Plasberg' eyesore removed from River Aire
Local people sought to help care for the Grantham Canal
20 March 2018
Canal & River Trust brand
19 March 2018
Bookings now open for 2018 Canal Pairs Championship
Breach of the Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union Canal
16 March 2018