Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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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.
Elvers – juvenile eels – are making an incredible journey that ends in London. In one the world’s greatest known animal migrations, elvers enter the UK’s rivers every spring, having travelled over 7000 km in their journey from the Sargasso Sea to the European coast. Research shows that elvers will be able to mature in their spiritual home in the East End’s River Lee.
Confirmation that elvers are migrating into the River Lee is extremely exciting.
The construction of special passes that allow elvers to move past river barriers that would otherwise obstruct their upstream migration has been identified as one of the measures necessary to contribute to the recovery of the Critically Endangered European eel.
We have made a number of improvements to the River Lee Navigation to encourage the passage of elver and enhance their watery homes, as part of a series of works on the waterways ahead of the Olympics. Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, we've built passes at Lea Bridge Weir, Bow Locks and on the Three Mills channel. Funding was secured by the Environment Agency to build the passes and we will manage them into the future. We have also separately installed elver passes at Three Mills Lock which will help with future monitoring.
This work has given elvers a helping hand to pass the barriers separating the river from the tidal Thames, leaving them free to migrate upstream. The elvers that make this journey will live for many years in the River Lee, slowly maturing before returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.
Researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have confirmed that elvers are using the newly installed pass at Bow Locks to access the River Lee. Thirteen elvers were recorded this year. With funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, ZSL has been working with volunteers from Thames 21 to monitor the pass at Bow Locks for the migrating elvers. This monitoring programme will be extended in 2013 to include the other elver passes in the Lee catchment.
The Lee was historically an industrial river and suffered from heavy pollution. We are committed to continual improvements to the Lee and have already put significant investment in to recent works including installing two kilometres of reed beds, dredging the river and managing invasive plants to improve water quality and habitat for all wildlife.
Leela O’Dea, environment manager at the Canal & River Trust, says: “Confirmation that elvers are migrating into the River Lee is extremely exciting. The Canal & River Trust has really invested in transforming the Lee from a heavily polluted waterway into the important wildlife habitat it is today, and having elver in the river really is the icing on the cake. What an incredible journey they’ve undertaken, travelling all the way from Bermuda to their spiritual home in the East End!”ZSL’s Joe Pecorelli, says: “It has been fantastic to work with the Canal & River Trust and Thames 21 this year on this important project and we look forward to working with them to improve the River Lee for eels in the future.”
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