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.
A dream to restore the Montgomery Canal, one of Britain’s most picturesque canals, took a giant leap forward today (3 July) with the start of a new £4 million project. A new nature reserve is to be created next to the canal near Oswestry which, together with work along the canal itself, means boaters could soon be returning to the area for the first time in 80 years.
The work is being carried out by us, and is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supported by the Montgomery Canal Partnership.
The canal on the Shropshire/Welsh border is currently only partly navigable and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Rare aquatic plants, including Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans, will soon be given a secure environment by the creation of a new three-hectare wildlife habitat within Aston Locks Nature Reserve. The site, which is expected to be complete by winter 2017, will also be home for a range of wildlife including damselflies, dragonflies, otters and water voles and attract a range of bird species.
Alongside the creation of the reserve, a further 1¼ miles of the canal, from Welshampton to Crickheath in Shropshire, will be restored to navigation. A dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’, will be created, enabling boats to return to the area for the first time since 1936 when the canal was closed. Around half of the canal is currently navigable and, with the help of Shropshire Union Canal Society volunteers, this latest major phase should be completed by 2020. The project includes access improvements to the canal and nearly five miles of towpath upgraded. A comprehensive programme of community events and activities is also underway.
Known for its outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and heritage, the Montgomery Canal runs for 35 miles between England and Wales. The canal has an abundance of rare aquatic plants and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest on both sides of the border. The whole length in Wales is also recognised as a Special Area of Conservation, showing that it is one of the most important sites for wildlife in Europe.
The project is also supported with funding from Powys County Council, Shropshire Union Canal Society, Inland Waterways Association, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust and the Friends of the Montgomery Canal.
Wendy Capelle, our waterway manager said: "The work starting today at Aston Nature Reserves is a huge step forward in restoring this beautiful canal. It is a testament to the dedication of so many people over several years who have kept the dream alive and we’re hugely excited to see the diggers on site. The Canal & River Trust want to continue the hard work of local volunteers in bringing the canal back to life and as a charity, the support of HLF is invaluable in enabling us to do so."
John Dodwell, chair of the Montgomery Canal Partnership comments: "I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and all the others who have contributed to making possible this stage of the restoration. This is a new step forward in the 10-year strategy to restore the Canal back to Welshpool – and then on to Newtown. The Heritage Lottery Funding award has re-invigorated the local community’s efforts to ensure further restoration of this magnificent canal."
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands said: "Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the restoration of the Montgomery Canal will see a real boost to Shropshire’s biodiversity, its nature reserves and waterways, and the strong community partnerships that have made this scheme possible."
We will be working with the 15 partner organisations which make up the Montgomery Canal Partnership. The Partnership aims to restore the canal fully within the next decade as a haven for people and nature. This work will bring canal boats back to Crickheath for the first time in over 80 years.
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
Pollington Lock gate replacement works enter final phase
22 February 2018
Boost for rare aquatic plants on Montgomery Canal
21 February 2018
Lock gates replaced on Berkhamsted Canal
20 February 2018
Pocklington Canal needs you
19 February 2018