Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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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.
Water voles, the country’s fastest declining mammal, are to receive a £25,000 lifeline on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Lancashire to help join up isolated colonies and improve their chances of romance and survival.
Immortalised as Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, the water vole is a protected species in the UK with the population having fallen by 95% since the 1970s due to loss of habitation and predation by mink.
A survey by the Canal & River Trust and Lancashire Wildlife Trust has identified colonies of water voles on the canal in the Rufford area in Sollom and below St Mary’s marina near Rufford Old Hall.
Now thanks to £25,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery a 220 metre section of the canal bank is being repaired and will be planted up to provide cover for the water voles to help bring these isolated colonies together and increase their long term chances of survival.
The work involves laying two metre-lengths of coir rolls pre-planted with aquatic plants along the canal edge to provide cover for water voles. It will allow them to meet up for romance using the cover of the plants to avoid predators.
Canal & River Trust ecologist for the North West Stephen Leigh said: “The good news is that our survey revealed that we have pockets of water voles on the Leeds & Liverpool canal in the Rufford area. What we need to do now is ensure that we provide the best possible habitat to ensure their survival.
“We can do this by using the pre-planted coir rolls to link these pockets of population together so that they can breed more easily. By providing vegetation along the canal bank we are able to extend the water voles’ territory and improve their chances of romance and survival.
“The work we will be doing will enhance the canal bank habitat providing water loving plants for the voles to eat and enable them to burrow into banks, forming intricate systems of underground tunnels and nesting chambers.
“This work isn’t just good for water voles, it will help protect the canal side and ensure people can continue to enjoy the amazing wildlife that lives in and around the canal.”
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Made famous by Ratty in The Wind of the Willows, the water vole is struggling and we must work hard to ensure that, for future generations, their only knowledge of this charismatic creature isn’t just a reference in a book. I’m thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery, through their support of Canal & River Trust, are helping to ensure the water vole doesn’t disappear from our landscape.”
It is hoped that further stages can be developed including additional areas for soft banking, carefully controlling overhanging trees, installing visitor awareness information and building some mink rafts to monitor the populations in the area and create an action plan for controlling their impact on the water vole.
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