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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.
The Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, has written a poem to celebrate the special bond between Yorkshire people and the county’s historic waterways, reflecting on the role that local communities have played in improving them for people and wildlife.
The poem, launched last night at the Tetley in Leeds, recognises the Herculean efforts of volunteers in dealing with the impact of the Boxing Day floods, marks the bicentenary of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and hails the efforts of communities across Yorkshire in making their local waterways special, more enjoyable places to visit.
The piece, titled Words on Water, was launched as part of the annual meeting of the Canal & River Trust’s North East Waterway Partnership. In 2013 the partnership launched its ten-year strategy for improving Yorkshire’s waterways and the poem sets out what’s been achieved over the first three years of the plan.
In it Ian reflects on the major role that local people played in the aftermath of the Boxing Day floods after they gave more than 8,000 hours to help clear mud and other debris, rebuild canalside walls and reconnect communities by repairing 14km of towpath.
He also refers to a project at Mirfield where the local community has improved their local stretch of the Calder & Hebble Navigation by improving the towpath surface, planting trees, creating new flowerbeds and seating areas, improving flood defence walls and repairing crumbling dry stone walls.
A project to improve wildlife habitats and historic bridges on the Pocklington Canal gets a mention as does ongoing work to restore 200 year-old workshops at Naburn, near York, for use by the community and visitors to the town. Historic boat Kennet which recently lead the celebrations of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal’s bicentenary is included and there’s also a hint of the potential for Yorkshire’s waterways to carry more freight.
Ian McMillan said; "The work of the Canal & River Trust goes from strength to strength and I hope that my poem can be part of the celebrations, illustrating the Trust’s voyage through the tunnel of history to the lock gate of the future".
Mark Penny, chair of the Canal & River Trust’s North East Waterway Partnership, said; "We’re delighted with Words on Water. We’ve worked with communities across Yorkshire over the past three years and the poem is a great reflection of the role that local people have been playing.
“It’s a tremendous tribute to all the hard work, creativity and genuine affection that communities across Yorkshire have brought to their local canal or river over the past three years.
A canal is a mixOf fragility and strengthOf ancient locksUp and down the lengthAnd breadth of the NorthAnd, for what it’s worth (they soon dry, wring ‘em out)Pairs of soaking socksOh yes,Pairs of soaking socks.
A lot of people lendWilling brains and hefty brawnA helping handIn a flooded dawnIn all the pouring rain;And in Pocklington (or Mirfield, or Naburn)Loads of great ideasOh yes,Loads of great ideas.
A canal is a roadFor a lot of freight to ride,Landscape to readTwo centuries wide.Kennet in the sunWorkshops growing strongAnd, to top it off (and here, and now)Waterside restoredOh yesWaterside restored.
A lot of people loveThe canals and what they meanTo work and liveBy the water’s gleam;They will have their dayThen everyone will say (or sing, or shout)Canals are back for goodOh yesCanals are back for good!
More about North East Waterways
This diverse waterway links major urban city centres with the tranquility of the countryside, and wonderful hidden gems of our canal history
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