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.
In a bid to encourage better behaviour on the most popular stretches of the nation’s towpaths, we're calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace.
Built at the time of the Industrial Revolution for horses to tow boats laden with goods, towpaths are now more popular than ever. Walkers, cyclists, boaters, anglers and runners all share the often narrow waterside paths.
During 2015, 385 million visits were made to our towpaths prompting us to call on visitors to help protect the special atmosphere which has made these spaces so popular.
We're introducing special zones for people to embrace good old-fashioned manners across the busiest stretches of towpaths as a means to remind people to be courteous and friendly towards one another.
Within these polite zones, messages have been sprayed onto the towpath 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.
Dick Vincent, Canal & River Trust’s 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.
“Today they are more popular than ever, with more investment in improvements and better signage, but with that success there are also problems. As we move away from towpaths of old, we also seem to be moving further away from remembering our manners – we want to remind our visitors that old fashioned manners still have a place on our modern towpaths.
“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. If you’re in a rush, the towpath is not the best place for you so please choose a different route.”
In 2015, we secured more than £10m of funding to improve our towpaths, and we're planning a further £10m investment in the next 12 months.
Find out more about sharing towpaths
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water we asked you to help us develop a towpath code
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