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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
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Download your free guides
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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
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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.
Thousands of fish are being moved from Caen Hill lock flight on the Kennet & Avon Canal to a stretch of the Erewash Canal in Nottinghamshire this week. The operation will benefit aquatic wildlife on the Kennet & Avon Canal and re-populate a stretch on the Erewash following a pollution incident in 2012.
The fish, mainly roach, perch and bream, will be temporarily stunned with a low electric pulse from a probe, before being carefully netted and transported to Nottinghamshire by vehicles with specially oxygenated water tanks, where they will be released in to their new habitat.
Caen Hill traditionally sees high levels of fish, because water quality and living conditions are good, and so management of fish levels is required periodically to maintain an ecological balance which is important for dragonflies, damselflies and aquatic plants.
Oda Dijksterhuis, ecologist at the Canal & River Trust, explains: “Species like roach and perch are already in good numbers on the Kennet & Avon Canal and this activity will not only help to restore the fish population on the Erewash Canal following last year’s serious pollution incident but will also help to maintain biodiversity at Caen Hill.
“We have carried out similar relocation projects in the last three or four years at Caen Hill. The results have been fantastic for other aquatic wildlife, with water clarity improving significantly and various rare and special water creatures as well as aquatic plants, such as potamogetons and hornworts, returning that we haven’t seen in the canal for years.
“We’ll take great care of the fish throughout the operation. Our specialist fish rescue contractors use a low electric pulse which stuns the fish, they will then be netted and sensitively transferred to their new home.
The fish are taken from the side ponds on Caen Hill, which were originally designed 200 years ago as ‘holding tanks’ to store the water needed to operate the flight, due to the steepness of the terrain. Together, these side ponds represent one of the largest stretches of open water in this part of Wiltshire and their grassy banks are great wildlife habitat for species including grass snakes, various birds and water voles.
Contractors will introduce the fish to the Erewash Canal in Long Eaton. The canal suffered a serious pollution incident in September following a major fire at the Stanton Ironworks in Stanton-by-Dale. Pollutants from the works leaked into the canal causing oxygen levels to decline suddenly.
We rescued around 90% of fish in affected areas – over 5,000lbs – and relocated them to other parts of the canal untouched by the pollution. The fish now being put into the canal will restore and enhance the fish population and ensure a more even spread of fish along the length of the canal.
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
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