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're going to plant 20 new apple and pear trees on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal this week, joining a movement aiming to reverse a trend that's seen a 75 per cent decline in orchards across Gloucestershire over the last 50 years.
Over the past two centuries Gloucestershire’s canals have reflected the region’s cider producing heritage, with fruit trees being a common part of the landscape. Now the towpath orchards that flourished in the days of early working boatmen are being replenished, with the new trees being planted at Parkend on Friday 22 March.
Volunteers will join staff from the Trust and local expert David Kaspar to correctly space the trees, which should live for more than 300 years. It is hoped that in the future it could become a site for budding scrumpers.
Laura Plenty, Canal & River Trust ecologist, said: “There has been a sharp decline in orchards across this region over the last five decades, which is such a shame given the strong cultural association they have with Gloucestershire. An example is Purton, with the village’s name coming from an Olde English, pre-7th Century, word 'pere' meaning pear, and 'tun', an enclosure or orchard.
“The canal itself has historically been a haven, with small orchards sited at lock and bridge keepers’ houses, which were planted and used as a free larder by generations of bargees. When the trees mature, we hope they will be enjoyed in just the same way by today’s boaters and visitors.
“There is a growing movement to get orchards flourishing in Gloucestershire. We want to do our bit to support this and what better way than to restore some of the waterway’s traditional fruit trees. We’ve put together a team of volunteers and local experts to get the planting under way, and I’d encourage anyone interested in helping us manage the trees and help with other orchards in the future to get in touch.”
Agricultural changes, lack of demand, foreign competition and supermarket policies have all caused the demise of local orchards and varieties of fruit trees.
Tree surveying, following the 1987 Great Storm, led to a realisation that remaining orchards were under great threat and local interest in them began to be rekindled. To stem this decline, local varieties have been located, identified, grafted or budded over the last 10 years. We hope to work alongside other groups in the region to continue this work.
Fruit trees have many advantages for the canal, they mature quickly, require little on-going management and support a wide range of wildlife, such as insects and bats.
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
We're calling for boaters to take part in our 'boat owners views survey'
9 March 2018
Take a 'lock' behind the ‘Seends’ of the Kennet & Avon Canal
Gender pay gap statement published
8 March 2018
We're announcing changes to boat licensing
6 March 2018