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.
TV personality and outdoor champion Julia Bradbury is joining us to encourage local communities across England and Wales to play a bigger part in looking after the waterways on their doorstep.
The aim is for a quarter of our waterways to be adopted by local people. The call comes as part of our wider plans to ensure that the nation’s waterways continue to thrive and don’t fall back into the dereliction of the mid-twentieth century, when they were almost lost forever.
Look at our map
Find out which stretches of canal have already been adopted, and which are still available
"I’ve seen what a difference it makes when local communities come together."
Julia Bradbury comments: “Two hundred years ago, canals helped to transform the face of Britain, bringing about unprecedented change to our economy and society. The legacy we have today is amongst the finest examples of industrial heritage in the world, yet the biggest threat our waterways face is apathy.
“Last century it was pioneering volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to help save the waterways from being lost forever. And today when I’m out exploring and taking in the waterways I’ve seen what a difference it makes when local communities come together and make their stretch come to life. I’d encourage anyone with a community spirit and a bit of time to spare to see how they can get involved.”
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust, says: “Volunteering on the canals is a win-win for everyone. The love for the outdoors is very much alive across the nation, but there aren’t always easy opportunities to get stuck in. Waiting lists for allotments are testament to this, or the number of people who would love a garden but aren’t able to get one. Even outdoor volunteering experiences can be in short supply in some areas. We think our adoptions could provide an answer, benefitting you, the waterway and the community.”
Adoption groups will work in partnership with us in order to make their mile of waterway shine; anything from improving wildlife habitats and access for local people, to creating a linear veg-patch for the community. Each group works at least one day a month for 12 months and agrees the projects they want to prioritise to make their mile matter.
There are 170 waterway adoptions already working across the country, including scouts, neighbourhood societies, running groups and schools. The aim is to get a quarter of our network (500 miles) adopted by 2025.
Richard Parry continues: “Our waterways are arguably as important today as they have ever been. They have evolved from freight highways to linear parks in our towns and cities. They are places for us all to escape – havens for both people and wildlife. But to make sure this valuable legacy thrives into the future, we need to capitalise on the huge pride people have in them and encourage groups to work alongside us to make it happen.
“The nation’s waterways are enjoying a renaissance, with more visitors and more boats than even at the height of the industrial revolution. We see how much a stretch of canal is improved if local people are helping us to look after it, that’s why we’ve set this ambitious target for people to show their love for their local canal.”
Read more about our adoption groups and see which stretches of canal are still available for adoption.
Love My Stretch
Everyone has their favourite place on the waterways, and we want to hear about yours. Make a donation today through Love My Stretch and you can claim your own special spot for a year
Make a difference in your area
In our offices or on the towpath, volunteers help us with all aspects of our work to bring canals and rivers to life. Find a role that suits you today
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