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.
Since our last flooding update there has been a lot of hard work, both on the ground and behind the scenes, to repair and reopen sections of flood-hit waterway in and around the Calder Valley.
We’ve had an amazing response from those locally, which has seen people aged from 8 to 80 giving over 3,000 hours to repair and reopen stretches of towpath that had been badly damaged by the floodwaters. We’ve also seen fantastic support for our fundraising appeal and we’ll give more details on how this has helped communities affected by flooding later in the month.
We’re really grateful for the help of each and every individual that has given their time or made a donation - it shows just how important our waterways are to people.
Alongside the efforts to repair towpaths for those on foot, we’ve also been working hard to fully understand what needs to be done to reopen the affected waterways to boats. We now have a much clearer idea of the timescales involved and are able to share some details of our plan.
The good news is that, as part of the first phase of our programme, we’re planning to reopen over 12 miles of waterways to boats in time for Easter. This will be in two sections; the Rochdale Canal between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge and the Calder & Hebble Navigation between Cooper Bridge and Figure of Three Locks.
Getting to this position has involved significant dredging works and repairs to lock gates, wash walls and weirs.
The next stage of the programme is focussed around early summer and by the end of May we hope to be able to reopen a further section of the Rochdale Canal heading west from Hebden Bridge towards Lock 15. Shortly afterwards we’re aiming to open up the Calder & Hebble Navigation between Salterhebble and Cooper Bridge.
Elland Bridge and Crowther Bridge need to be completely rebuilt as both have been badly damaged. In each case our engineers are planning the rebuild so that the canal can be reopened to boats once the new bridge foundations and a concrete arch are in place – expected to be at the end of June.
This will mean that boaters can then use the canal while the remaining works to rebuild the bridge take place, reinstating an important link from Hebden Bridge to Wakefield and beyond and to the Huddersfield Broad Canal.
Alongside all of these works we’re also progressing the projects to repair the breach and landslip that occurred on the Rochdale Canal. These are two major, and complex, engineering jobs and so timescales are slightly less clear but we’re working hard to get these sections open as soon as possible this year. There are some rumours locally that the canal will be closed for the rest of the year and most of next – this is certainly not the case, we’re doing everything that we can to open the canal as soon as possible this year and we will share more information when we have more details.
Repairing the damage caused by some of the worst flooding ever seen on our waterways has placed real pressure on budgets and the availability of our staff and contractors. With flood-related works estimated to cost just over £10m (with £5.5m being provided by Government in relation to the works at Elland Bridge) we will have to delay or scale-back some other projects that were in our plan for the year ahead. We’ll be able to provide more details in the coming weeks.
Whilst there’s still a huge amount that needs to be done we’d like to thank boaters and local businesses for their understanding and patience as we’ve worked through exactly what needs doing.
It may take some time for sections of waterway to get back to looking their absolute best, but we’re pleased that sections of canal and towpath are being reopened and that life can begin returning to normal on our flood-hit waterways.
You can read the stories of people affected by the Boxing Day floods here
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