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 launched a new policy promoting safe, considerate use of the nation’s 2,000 miles of towpath.
‘Better Towpaths for Everyone’ sets out how we intend to encourage safe, responsible use of the nation’s towpaths by the millions of people who visit each year. The policy advises that priority should generally be given to the slowest and those using the waterway, and also outlines the simple ways in which people using the towpath can play their part by being careful and considerate to others.
The policy has been shaped by a two month consultation in spring 2014, which saw over 2,000 people, from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, giving their views. The consultation, which included an online survey and workshops with stakeholder groups, encouraged people to give their opinions on how shared towpaths could remain enjoyable, relaxing places for a wide variety of activities. It sought their views on everything from signage and behaviour to suggestions for access and surface improvements.
As well as setting out nine simple principles of towpath use, the policy identifies three key areas of focus:
The policy also includes a new Towpath Code based around the three elements – ‘Share the Space, Drop Your Pace, and It’s a Special Place’ to reflect the unique character of the canalside environment.
The policy is supported by a wide range of waterway, cycling, walking and angling organisations.
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust, said: “Towpaths were built originally to support the use of boats on the water, and 200 years later, this important function remains. Today, towpaths also provide enjoyable walking and cycling routes, angling, or simply a place to spend a relaxing afternoon.
“All of these different uses, each important to the health and vitality of our waterways, can sometimes lead to potential conflicts as users seek different experiences, and sometimes the behaviour of a few can spoil it for others. We want to promote a culture that recognises and respects others’ use, to reduce this potential for conflict, so that people can feel safe and secure when they use their local towpath.
“This policy is an important step in that process and I would like to thank all the individuals and partner organisations that helped shape it. The policy sets out very clearly the things that we’ll be doing but we really need the active support and cooperation of all the different people using the towpath. I’m confident that together we can ensure that our towpaths are calm, enjoyable places - wherever they are - for us all to escape to.”
Initial findings from the consultation, including verbatim comments, were published in October with the full document being launched now ahead of the busy spring period.
Download a copy of Better Towpaths for Everyone
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
15 March 2018