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.
Our 2016/17 Annual Report, published today (Monday 24 July), records the highest levels of public support and investment in its 2,000 miles of historic waterways since they were transferred from state control five years ago.
A strong commercial performance during the year, including a further rise in the number of people donating to our work, was underpinned by a significant growth in volunteering which reached over half a million hours for the first time.
The year saw us increase the money we are able to spend on charitable activities by 6% to £157m. This included our biggest ever programme of lock repairs and gate replacements, as well as hundreds of thousands of minor repair and maintenance tasks such as vegetation management, servicing of bridges and vital inspections of embankments and hidden culverts.
Amongst other things, we made improvements at our museums, invested in flood remediation work and completed dredging across 22 priority sites. It delivered a series of major towpath upgrades across the country and fixed the damage caused during the 2015 Boxing Day floods including major repairs of a breach and land slip in the Calder Valley and the complete dismantlement and reconstruction of the Grade II listed Elland Bridge.
Overall, we improved the availability of the waterways and saw an increase in both boater and visitor satisfaction.
Allan Leighton, chair of the Canal & River Trust, comments: "Five years ago, the creation of the Canal & River Trust was a huge endorsement for the charitable sector. We were given responsibility for a national network that has the power to make such a positive impact on so many peoples’ lives.
"In that time, we’ve seen a charity that has gone from strength to strength, and this year’s Report highlights many of those successes. The Report also reminds us of the potential of our waterways to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. With 25 million people, from all backgrounds and demographics, right on our doorstep – and around 4.3 million regular visitors each fortnight – we are uniquely positioned to make a powerful impact across the country. I look forward to working with colleagues, friends and partners to make that happen."
Richard Parry, chief executive, comments: "It has been another successful year for the Trust and I’d like to thank everyone for their support and hard work.
"We have been able to increase the amount of money we can spend on the waterways which has seen a huge output by staff and volunteers alike. Accordingly, we beat our target for unplanned navigation closures with a further reduction year-on-year and I am pleased with the improvement in both boater and visitor satisfaction which grew to 76% and 85% respectively.
"Our education teams continue to introduce the next generation to the waterways with 92,700 children reached by the programme last year. We have also been building a high-quality STEM learning programme which reached 3,000 secondary school children to inspire a new generation of engineers and waterway supporters.
"The Annual Report show how canals and rivers can create a strong sense of place and have a vital role in contributing to community wellbeing. As such, we have commenced a project with leading academic and professional bodies that will, going forward, help to better quantify and measure that important contribution."
Since launching in 2012, the Canal & River Trust has made a valuable input to the waterways and communities it serves. Successes include:
Our Annual Public Meeting will be held at the Bond in Birmingham on 21st September 2017, 10am to 1pm. A limited number of places are available to book, please visit Annual Public Meeting 2017 for more information.
Our 2016/17 Annual Report
Come and view our 2016/17 Annual Report here.
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