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.
We've carried out the biggest ever health check of the nation’s waterside hedgerows
Following concerns over a 50% decline in hedgerows nationwide since the Second World War, the ‘Helping Hedgerows’ project comes after a two-year nationwide survey to protect this vital part of the canal landscape.
The 600-mile survey, made possible by £50,000 funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, was the biggest ever health check of the nation’s waterside hedgerows. It identified areas for improvement and where they needing ‘gapping up’ to help provide important nature corridors for a diverse range of wildlife.
Many miles of the most common hedge species, hawthorn, were identified as in need of some TLC, along with other varieties of ash, blackthorn, elder and hazel.
Training will also be provided for staff and volunteers in hedge laying and Trust volunteers will be on the canal towpath planting new species and repairing historic hedgerows which have been a canal side feature for over 200 years to provide a greater variety of food and shelter for wildlife.
Stuart Moodie, national ecologist for the Canal & River Trust said: “Hedgerows are more than just important features in the landscape; they are lifelines for some of our most threatened wildlife. The growing threat of habitat loss has meant that many of our most at risk species, from dormice and hedgehogs, to birds like blackbirds, thrushes and tree sparrows will all benefit from this project.
“Canals and its hedgerows act like natures highways and have the potential to allow safe routes to travel, collect food and find shelter to help them survive. Thanks to this fantastic support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ll be able to run volunteer hedge laying and planting days along our canals and begin to reinvigorate our hedgerows.”
Many stretches of hedgerow are the canals oldest established habitat originally planted by 18th century canal builders to protect the towpath from cattle and other livestock. Changes to farming practices in the UK saw traditional hedges removed or replaced with barbed wire fences.
However, the survey also revealed good progress in recent years with over half the hedgerows across the country recorded as good condition and 25% of hedges recorded were thought to be less than 10 years old.
Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, comments: “The canals are such an important part of our national identity, so I am delighted that players of People's Postcode Lottery are able to support this important project and ensure that the nation’s hedgerows are looked after.”
Find out about volunteering
Whether you want to help wildlife, learn more about canal heritage, meet new people or gain work experience through an office-based role, we're likely to have something right up your street
Lock gates replaced on Berkhamsted Canal
20 February 2018
Pocklington Canal needs you
19 February 2018
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