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.
After 48 years of helping to look after the Grand Union Canal, John Waugh, one of the longest serving member of staff working along the nation’s waterways, has retired.
In 1967, the same year that Concord was unveiled, the Beatles had a hit with the album ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and the legendary England footballer Paul Gascoigne was born, John started work aged 15 as a bricklayer’s mate for the then British Waterways Board.
John, aged 63 has lived and worked along the canals all his life and will be retiring from working at the Canal & River Trust. Affectionately known as ‘Woofy’, he lives in the lock cottage at Stockers Lock in Rickmansworth with his wife Evelyn after 43 years of marriage.
John has been interested in the canals from a young age. At four years old his family moved into the lock cottage at Hunton Bridge where his dad worked looking after the locks. Conditions at the house were basic with a ‘bucket and chuck it’ toilet and no mains electricity or gas, and water pumped up from a well.
Known to everyone on this stretch of the waterways, John quickly became an expert on water control and up to his retirement, he was busy helping to manage the canal through flood and drought. He’s also played a key role in caring for the canal, carrying out repairs to the 200 year old lock gates, bridges and waterway walls.
John said: “I used to love watching the boats go past and listen to boaters’ tales about life on the canals. Everything used to travel by boat back then including goods such as coal, wheat, sand and even tomato ketchup!
“Boat people really did have a tough job lugging cargo up and down the waterways and I didn’t envy them. Sometimes there would be 10 kids squished in together on a boat. I really don’t know how they did it as there was hardly any living space.
“Things are much better on the waterways nowadays. There was a period when no one was interested in the canal and communities turned their back on them, but it is not like that now. Instead of filling in the waterways we are now looking after them and the canals are more popular today than they’ve ever been which is great to see.”
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
Take a 'lock' behind the ‘Seends’ of the Kennet & Avon Canal