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.
Britain’s hedgerows, which have declined by 50% since the Second World War, are receiving a welcome boost thanks to our new project.
Our nationwide canal and riverbank hedgerows are to be reinvigorated to provide better shelter and food for many threatened species, including farmland birds such as blackbirds, thrushes and tree sparrows. Small mammals such as hedgehogs and dormice will also benefit from the work, as well as increasingly rare butterflies including gate keepers, orange tips and brimstones.
Work will begin this summer, as we survey all 600 miles of our waterside hedgerows to establish where gaps can be filled, invasive species removed and where hedgerows can be extended to connect with nearby woodland and other important habitats.
The programme, made possible by £50,000 funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will identify hedges to be coppiced, left to grow up and then ‘laid’ and where simple improvements can be made to existing cutting regimes.
Stuart Moodie, ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, comments: “The hedgerows along the nation’s canals are vital refuges for many much loved and threatened species – they are places to seek shelter, feed and are highways to connect with other canal-side habitats.
“Changes to farming practices in the UK have seen a dramatic decline in hedgerows, with traditional hedges removed or supplemented with barbed wire fences. Modern management of hedges often fails to get the best out of them and can lead to hedges dying back and becoming isolated.
“We manage many stretches of hedgerow that are 200 years old and were planted by the original canal builders to protect the towpath from cattle and other livestock. Consequently the hedges are as much a heritage feature of our landscape as an ecological one, and they are our oldest established habitat.
“Although in recent years the rate of removal in the UK has been exceeded by the amounts planted, it is the old species-rich hedges such as those on our canals that are the most valuable for wildlife. It will take many years for new hedges to be of comparable value to those that have been lost in the last century. This is why it’s vital to retain our old hedges and manage them sympathetically.”
Kate Pearson, trusts manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, comments: “Hedgerows are a defining feature of the nation’s countryside and at this time of year they are coming to life. A walk along a towpath really does get you close to nature – whether it is the springtime sights and sounds of nesting birds or bright yellow of nature’s earliest brimstone butterflies. Hedgerows are such an important part of our countryside heritage and it’s great to see players of People’s Postcode Lottery support this exciting project.”
As part of the survey, we're recruiting a network of 40 volunteers across England and Wales to survey our hedges between June and September. Volunteers will be trained to identify the existing physical and biodiversity condition of hedges and to pick and map appropriate improvement measures.
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