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.
A mini-forest made of real trees and soil planted onto a converted canal hopper will travel the canals of Birmingham and the Black Country from August to October.
'The Rootless Forest' is a living sculpture which moves at walking pace along the canals.
Beth Derbyshire, Wheatley Fellow at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, is the artist behind The Rootless Forest (2012). When fully constructed, The Rootless Forest will weigh 15 tonnes, with 100 trees up to 3 metres tall planted along its 16 metre length.
During the journey the boat will broadcast a soundscape, crafted by Beth Derbyshire and Dr. Tara McAllister-Viel, consisting of verbatim stories from people affected by the current Afghan conflict, including UK military personnel who have served overseas and Afghans who have settled in Birmingham as a result of war in their homeland. As The Rootless Forest moves slowly along the water, its continual motion poetically echoes these accounts of displacement and relocation.
The Rootless Forest reflects upon the upheaval experienced by communities, individuals and landscapes in times of conflict. Inspired by the moving forest of Birnham Wood in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the trees are a motif for both camouflage and combat, a habitat for multiple voices and a transitional space between past and future. In 2011, 70,000 trees were planted in Afghanistan by American troops working alongside Afghan communities.
The Rootless Forest bears reference to Birmingham’s rich history as a military city. As a centre of industry the city was heavily bombed during WWII; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak is now home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, the main receiving unit for all military patients injured overseas. Birmingham is considered to have the largest population of Afghan people outside of London, many of whom have been displaced by war.
Audiences encountering The Rootless Forest from the towpaths of Birmingham will see an arc of young trees set against the backdrop of the historic industrial waterways. The trees - all native to the UK, including alder and birch - will be re-planted in Walsall Arboretum once the project is complete, becoming a lasting monument to those affected by conflict.
Beth Derbyshire, lead artist of The Rootless Forest, said: “The Rootless Forest is a living sculpture which moves at walking pace along the canals. Although it will be a spectacle in its own right, it is also an artistic act of remembrance for those affected by conflict. As the UK is due to withdraw from Afghanistan imminently, I see it as a memento of hope for the British public and newcomers to Britain.”
The Rootless Forest is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, The Canal & River Trust, Centre for Fine Art Research, Ikon, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall Council and The Wheatley Bequest Fund.
Other partners include Afghan Action, Birmingham City Council, Brush Strokes, Canal Boats Birmingham, Edible Eastside, sampad South Asian arts, The British Legion, Tree Design and Action Group.
For more information and full schedule please visit www.therootlessforest.com
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