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
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
TV presenter and historian Sir Tony Robinson is backing a campaign calling on people to rediscover, and bring back to life, thousands of miles of derelict historic canals that helped make Britain the world’s first industrial nation.
As part of the campaign we're publishing an online map, which will inspire people to unearth more of their local history and help save the canals that shaped where they live. The map enables people to find their nearest lost canals, explore their history and get involved with local restoration groups.
Over 200 miles of canals have been restored since the turn of the millennium and a new published report by the University of Northampton highlights the economic and social benefits a restored canal brings to a community.
The report shows how historic canals can once again bring prosperity to communities, boost property prices and help people to lead active, healthy lifestyles and the Trust, alongside the Inland Waterways Association, wants to see more people get behind their local restoration efforts.
At the height of the industrial revolution the nation boasted over 5,000 miles of waterway helping to transport goods and raw materials across the country. They were the envy of the world and helped to establish Britain as an industrial powerhouse. Sadly over time, with the growth of road and rail, sections of the network fell into decline and were almost lost completely but for the intervention of dedicated and visionary volunteers in the mid-1900s.
Sir Tony Robinson says: “The waterway network is part of the fabric of our nation but it’s easy to forget that not so very long ago some of our most popular canals were almost lost forever.
“The fact that we can still enjoy them now is thanks largely to the vision, dedication and sheer hard work of volunteers in the 60s and 70s. These inspiring men and women just wouldn’t take no for an answer and worked on the basis that nothing was impossible. We need to recapture that same spirit within our communities to support today’s volunteers in bringing more of these once proud waterways back to life.”
Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust adds: “Canals have played a major part in shaping the country we live in today and it’s alarming to think that we once almost lost them forever – just imagine Birmingham, or even somewhere like Bingley, without their canals.
“Sadly there are still too many miles of precious canal in need of restoration but the lesson from the canal restoration movement of the last 50 years shows just what can be achieved if enough people get behind an idea. We want more people to appreciate the importance of these historic canals and play their part in supporting and championing the heroic efforts of local canal restoration groups.
“In doing so more lives will be touched by canals, more communities will feel the benefits that rejuvenated canals can bring in terms of regeneration, jobs and leisure opportunities, as well of course as corridors for wildlife and that can only benefit everyone.”
Find out more about our restoration campaign
Pocklington Canal needs you
19 February 2018
North Wales and Borders canals are popular hot spots with boaters
16 February 2018
Plans submitted to transform Finsley Gate into leisure destination and community space
15 February 2018
New season of half term family fun at Standedge Visitor Centre
Pocklington Canal Amenity Society adopts section of Pocklington Canal
14 February 2018
Paddleboarding yoga group helps tackle litter on Nottingham's waterways
See the Nottingham Beeston Canal in a new light this February
12 February 2018
Newbury school helps us tackle litter on the waterways
9 February 2018