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.
We've started a major overhaul of our waterways this November, as part of a five-month, £50 million restoration programme of canals and rivers across the country.
Many of these projects provide a fascinating insight into how our canals were built and how we care for them and this year we have picked out 12 of the best projects which members of the public can visit free.
Vince Moran, operations director
The programme of essential maintenance will include the replacement of worn-out lock gates, brick work repairs, relining of channels and repair of aqueducts, reservoirs and other important structures. This winter, thanks to the support of May Gurney, a dozen projects will be opened up for members of the public to meet canal engineers and walk through the bottom of lock chambers.
Vince Moran, the Canal & River Trust’s operations director, explains: “The Canal & River Trust cares for a remarkable network of historic waterways which are still working just as they were designed to 200 years ago. Keeping them open and safe requires a huge amount of planning, investment and craftsmanship and involves a wide range of experts, from civil engineers and hydrologists to heritage experts and ecologists.
“Many of these projects provide a fascinating insight into how our canals were built and how we care for them and this year we have picked out 12 of the best projects which members of the public can visit free. We hope that by showcasing the repair works this winter, we can give people a chance to see the scale of the work we do to ensure that the waterways, which are at the heart of many communities, are preserved for today’s visitors and future generations.”
Over 100 lock gates will be replaced this winter, with new lock gates made in the Trust’s specialist workshops at Bradley in the West Midlands and Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire. Each lock gate is hand-crafted by a skilled team of carpenters and made from sustainably-sourced British oak. A single lock gate weighs on average 3.6 tonnes, can take up to 20 days to make and has a working life of 25-30 years.
To commemorate the launch of the Canal & River Trust this year, four of the replacement lock gates will feature lines of poetry carved into them by artist Peter Coates. The initiative, which is supported by the Arts Council England, is part of a programme to encourage people to take a fresh look at their local canal or river.
Eddie Quinn, framework manager for the Canal & River Trust at May Gurney stated: “We are incredibly proud to play our part in the Trust’s essential work to preserve the canals and rivers of England and Wales. Few people realise that many canal locks, buildings and structures are listed monuments and that the waterway network is one of the finest living references to Britain’s industrial revolution.
“Repairing and maintaining these waterways is a painstaking task, which requires traditional materials and methods to be used to preserve this vital part of our heritage. However, they’ve become more than just a historical monument; they’re now wildly recognised for being crucial for wildlife and are a well-loved leisure resource for millions of people every year.”
Find out more about the winter stoppage programme and the open days happening across the country.
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