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.
Visitors to towpaths across the nation are being urged to be considerate to other members of the public when enjoying the UK’s great outdoors, as a new poll shows the nation could do with brushing up on its outdoor manners.
"We can all make a difference to someone else’s day, and ultimately the overall experience people have when on the towpaths."
Dick Vincent, national towpath ranger
The poll, commissioned as part of our Share the Space, Drop your Pace campaign, asked people what irks them when in public places and whether they themselves are guilty of a few when out and about. The research reveals what the public believe constitutes common courtesy in 2016, including ‘modern manners’ such as not invading other people’s personal space and not having your music too loud on headphones.
Visit our Share the Space, Drop your Pace pages.
Amongst the top bugbears were cyclists speeding past people when they’re walking (23%), pet owners not cleaning up after their dogs (56%), people taking up too much space on footpaths and walkways (25%), not having an awareness of personal space (19%), and people not concentrating on where they’re going because they’ve too busy looking at their phones (27%).
However, many of us admit to being guilty of the things that annoy us, with only one in five of those surveyed saying they never use their phone while walking on a public walkway (18%), while more than one in five admit they’ve bumped into people or had a near miss because they been looking at their phone while walking (21%).
The findings also point to a national tendency for ‘manners mirroring’ with more than three quarters of the public admitting they are only polite to a person if that person is polite to them first (77%). With 1 in 3 people (33%) believing that general politeness is at an all-time low, we want to make the towpaths a haven for good manners. We asking people to take the lead and set the example for good manners by pledging to improve the harmony and politeness on the nation’s waterways. Simply make a pledge to change your manners for the better and share on social media using #SharetheSpace.
Dick Vincent, national towpath ranger, explains: “For many people our towpaths are among their most precious green spaces, antidotes to the pace and stress of the modern world and places to relax and unwind. They are ‘super slow ways’, providing a slice of peace and calm through the centres of our busiest cities.
“With so many people enjoying our towpaths, it’s important that we all make an effort to be considerate towards one another to keep them the special place they are known for. We can all make a difference to someone else’s day, and ultimately the overall experience people have when on the towpaths.
“Don’t wait for someone to be nice to you before you are nice to them! Whether cycling, running, walking, mooring your boat or fishing, please help by being considerate of others, slowing down and remembering we are all there to enjoy the space in harmony. If you’re in a rush, the towpath is not the best place for you so please choose a different route.”
During 2015, 385 million visits were made to our towpaths by walkers, cyclists, boaters, anglers and runners, a huge number considering they were originally built for horses to tow boats laden with goods.
To help remind people to improve their manners, messages have been sprayed onto the towpath in the busiest areas around England and Wales to encourage people to ‘smile and say hi as you go by’ and to remember that they are entering ‘a hat tipping zone’, a nod to times past when people tipped their hats or doffed their caps as a sign of respect or merely as a greeting. Visitors will also be able to soak up wise words from Canal Laureate Luke Kennard who has penned a poem to help tackle towpath troubles.
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