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.
As we celebrate our first birthday today, we’re launching an appeal for communities to transform their local canal or river by adopting mile-long stretches of waterways across England and Wales.
The initiative has been inspired by various community groups, from scout troops to waterside residents, who have, since the establishment of the charity last year, come forward asking to get more involved in the day-to-day care of their local canal and river.
When we took over the care of 2,000 miles of historic waterways in England and Wales on 2 July 2012, it was the largest ever single transfer of state assets to the voluntary sector. Since then we have raised almost £1,000,000 in donations and in-kind support, recruited around 3,000 Friends and received pledges of support from 17 corporate partners, including Marks & Spencer, Google and People’s Postcode Lottery.
Find out more about adopting a stretch of canal near you
Among the most significant changes has been the growth in numbers of people wanting to volunteer on the waterways, including over 250 volunteer lock keepers and 84 education volunteers who have inspired around 10,000 children to learn more about the waterways.
Tony Hales, chairman, explains: “We have made a great start in our first year but have only just begun to realise the untapped potential out there among communities wanting to get more involved in their local waterway. Adoptions are the next natural step. They aren’t just good for our canals, rivers and towpaths, helping to get those communities who most care for them to help us with their upkeep. They are good for communities too, providing wonderful outdoor spaces for people to come together, to get involved in a rewarding activity and to grow their own community.”
Waterway adoptions give communities the chance to work together with our local teams and partnerships to shape the future of their waterways. At a hands-on level they are able to get involved in activities specific to their waterway, from recording and improving wildlife habitats or maintaining a local towpath, to helping to fundraise, run educational events or helping combat anti-social behaviour. For some groups, adopting a canal is also a social activity, allowing them space for BBQs and social events and for meeting and mixing with their neighbours.
A group of residents living near the Rochdale and Ashton Canals in Manchester did exactly that, joining together to form the Ancoats Canal Project. James Headifen describes the experience: “We had a real desire to get involved and enhance our local waterside area and working with the Trust we’ve been able to put on some great events and make some really positive changes. The Trust simply can’t do everything all the time so it’s great to get together as a group and to give a little back to something that many of us use every day. It’s been really fun and satisfying to be part of making a difference in caring for our important industrial heritage, green spaces and canals in Ancoats.”
Tony Hales adds: “It is easy to forget that 500 miles of canals were lost in the last century because not enough people cared about them and too many people took them for granted. We should never forget the lesson that it doesn’t matter how much money, time and effort we all invest in caring for our precious waterways, they will only survive in the long term where local communities take pride in them and help us improve them.”
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
Heritage transport plaque awarded to Froghall Basin on Caldon Canal
15 March 2018
Artists launch ambitious cultural programme in Worcester
12 March 2018
Fradley event gives fascinating insight into our feathered friends
We're calling for boaters to take part in our 'boat owners views survey'
9 March 2018