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 created a new welfare officer post to help support boaters in need.
The role, which is currently being advertised, will cover developing policy about boater welfare and establishing a network of external organisations that can provide local support, as well as acting as a point of contact for staff who are concerned about the wellbeing of particular boaters. The post forms part of our strategy to support vulnerable boaters.
We estimate that around 7,000 boats on our waters are currently used as homes. A small proportion of their owners suffer from physical or mental health problems, alcohol or drug addiction, or other difficulties, which make them more likely to come to the attention of enforcement officers for breaches of licensing rules. These cases are often complex and benefit from support from relevant organisations such as councils, social services and other agencies.
We have acknowledged the need to expand the capability of our own front line staff to handle the growing needs of an aging boating population, as well as other vulnerable boaters, and the new welfare officer role addresses this.
Operating on a confidential basis the welfare officer will help vulnerable boaters find the right solutions for their issues and particular set of circumstances. This will be done in partnership with a network of external organisations to provide welfare assistance and advice to boat dwellers who need such intervention and support.
They will also offer expert advice for staff, volunteers, and stakeholders on matters involving vulnerable boaters, and in particular with enforcement cases where the boat owner is discovered to have welfare needs. The role will also help establish our policies on vulnerable boaters and assist in our compliance with relevant legislation, for example the Equality Act.
Alongside this, in June we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Workplace Matters, the organisation which supports the Waterways Chaplaincy service. We will be providing a grant of £16,000 to Workplace Matters to help maintain the waterways chaplaincy, a service which helps boaters who may be struggling, and have also pledged expert assistance with fundraising for the longer term. Workplace Matters has also been able to secure some funding from its own sources.
Dean Davies, interim head of customer service at Canal & River Trust, said: “Many people see boats as a way to lead a simple, cost-effective way of life. While most boaters take to living aboard like ducks to water and feel the benefits of joining a very supportive community, some people run into trouble.
"We need to do more to make sure that vulnerable people don’t fall through the gaps. In creating the new role of welfare officer we are taking a big step forward in developing a robust welfare policy, and ensuring we are doing all we can to support those boaters who are struggling. It’s something we’re taking very seriously and we have to get it right.”
The Welfare Officer role is being advertised on our website and on TPP Not for Profit, CharityJob, Rightsnet.org.uk and Jobsinadvice.org.uk.
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
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