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.
The number of volunteers who help keep the canal system in good shape in the North West is rising…
For the number of volunteer hours has increased by 13.75 per cent over the past 12 months to a staggering 70,777 hours – or 10,111 days - in the Canal & River Trust’s North West and Manchester & Pennine Waterway areas.
This includes the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Lancaster Canal, Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal, Macclesfield Canal and Peak Forest Canal.
Canals and rivers offer a unique opportunity for local people to get involved to help create a real community asset and to make their waterway a great place to take time out away from the hustle and bustle of every day life and enjoy the rich flora and fauna.
Volunteers take on a huge range of tasks that are integral to the upkeep of the canal system, including helping to keep towpaths clean and tidy, cutting back the vegetation that grows along the canal and river banks, being volunteer lock keepers and looking after people visiting the North West on boating holidays.
Groups of volunteers, organisations and local businesses are also helping out by adopting sections of the canal, with 33 sections of canal in the region now being formally adopted and making a positive difference.
Over 75 different groups of all ages and interests ranging from Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, Crooke Village Residents Association, Victoria Anglers, local businesses to ‘Can we Dig it’ a local hospital group whose patients volunteer as part of their recovery programme, are now working with the Trust, ensuring that the region’s historic canal system is maintained for future generations to enjoy.
Canal & River Trust waterway manager Chantelle Seaborn said: “We are very grateful to everyone who volunteers with the Canal & River Trust. They make the waterways a nicer place to visit, including providing a welcome friendly face for everyone using our wonderful waterways.
“Volunteers help with a wide range of tasks, from painting fences and clearing rubbish, assisting boaters through locks to collecting data that helps us look after many much loved and endangered wildlife.
“There are all sorts of opportunities to get involved, including some office-based roles. I know volunteers enjoy the social side of the role and the chance to get outdoors and meet people. It’s a lovely way to spend your spare time.
“Many years ago volunteers saved much of the canal network from closure and have underpinned its survival in recent decades by continuing to support them. In recent years there has been an explosion of new people coming to volunteer on the waterways and this is a fantastic springboard to securing the canals’ future.”
One of volunteering successes is Amy Irvin who lives opposite the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Netherton on Merseyside and was the driving force behind the community adoption of a section of the canal when she was 18 – making her the youngest person to ever adopt a canal.
In March Dylan Manning from Burnley Towpath Task Force won the Canal & River Trust’s Young Volunteer Award to recognise the growing contribution and commitment of younger volunteers.
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