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
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Following the largest single bioengineering project ever seen in the UK, new wetland habitats are establishing well in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
As part of the work to prepare the 560-acre Park, we helped transform the area’s rivers from contaminated industrial waterways, into a mosaic of wetlands, restored river banks and rare wet woodlands.
These waterways are once again providing important wetland habitats for fish, amphibians and birds, including reed buntings and kingfishers.
Ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we worked with Olympic delivery agencies to build a new lock at Three Mills to control the water levels on this network of rivers, and create an environment where new wetland habitats could establish.
Leela O’Dea, ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, explains: “Over the last decade the Canal & River Trust has transformed its engineering approach and has been at the forefront of applying soft bioengineering techniques to repair its waterways, including the Olympic waterways. Soft bioengineering solutions were incorporated into the major dredging scheme as a sustainable way to re-use clean material, create new wetlands and help tackle water quality naturally.”
Salix River & Wetland Services planted 400,000 wetland plants into 11,000 pillows and rolls made from coir fibres, and positioned them alongside 8km of riverbank. Thirty species of water plants, including reeds, rushes, irises, grasses, sedges and wild flowers, were grown at the company’s Thetford Forest nursery in advance.
The reed beds are now well established and reed buntings have been recorded nesting in the reed beds. Grey heron and kingfishers have been sighted in and around the islands.
The waterways of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park became a key part of the London 2012 Games, from bringing in construction materials by barge to David Beckham’s famous journey into the Opening Ceremony.
The rivers now host all manner of activities, from recreational boating and tour boat trips to canoeing and rowing in the shadows of the iconic sporting venues.
Leela adds: “The Trust’s role in the sustainable delivery of the Olympic Park was so much bigger than the building of Three Mills Lock, dredging and habitat work we led on. Throughout the planning stages we supported numerous authorities with technical engineering and environmental advice to ensure that there was no detriment to the navigation and improvements in habitat and water quality were made.
"The transformation of these interconnecting waterways is apparent for everyone to see and we look forward see them continually evolve and mature.”
North Wales and Borders canals are popular hot spots with boaters
16 February 2018
Plans submitted to transform Finsley Gate into leisure destination and community space
15 February 2018
New season of half term family fun at Standedge Visitor Centre
Pocklington Canal Amenity Society adopts section of Pocklington Canal
14 February 2018
Paddleboarding yoga group helps tackle litter on Nottingham's waterways
See the Nottingham Beeston Canal in a new light this February
12 February 2018
Newbury school helps us tackle litter on the waterways
9 February 2018
Elland Bridge re-build shortlisted for engineering award
7 February 2018