Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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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
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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.
We've joined forces on a ground-breaking project to test the quality of wildlife habitats and biodiversity of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
The project, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is concentrated on a five mile section of the canal between Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham, which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
We want to assess the quality and quantity of the fish stocks so we can take measures to improve the wider health of aquatic plants and animals in the canal at this protected site.
Staff and research students from the University of Salford’s School of Environment & Life Sciences are employing cutting-edge science to test water samples using environmental DNA (eDNA) profiling. This should allow them to detect all the species of fish, crustaceans and semi-aquatic mammals present in the canal water at a particular spot.
At the same time, we have contracted MEM Fisheries to carry out a traditional fish survey using a boom boat which enables fish to be physically collected, counted and measured.
The first stage of the survey has been carried out this month while the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is in water but after Christmas, a couple of sections around Mossley are due to be drained for lock replacement works, enabling the environmental team to carry out a more detailed fish survey.
Tom King, our ecologist said: "We know that people who spend time by our canals are healthier and happier. Getting closer to nature and wildlife is one of the reasons people visit.
"By linking up with University of Salford on this eDNA survey, we’re hoping to get an accurate audit of fish which support all sorts of other wildlife including herons, kingfishers and even otters. The project could have far reaching benefits for everyone involved in managing water spaces."
Dr Chiara Benvenuto and Dr Allan McDevitt, lecturers at the University of Salford, are leading on the project. Dr Benvenuto added: "This environmental DNA testing technique has been around for a few years but elements of it are still being refined. This is why we are so pleased to be working with the Canal & River Trust on a real project with tangible outcomes for the health of the canal."
"If we succeed in not only accurately identifying all species of fish, crustaceans and semi-aquatic mammals that are present by taking a simple non-invasive water sample, but also to quantify abundances, it will be a great break-through for aquatic conservation."
Data from the fish surveys will be analysed and assessed by the University of Salford and a final report produced by research students towards the end of the academic year.
This initiative on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is part of our wider 12 month project, Making Special Places for Nature, funded by a £350,000 award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The project involves improving vulnerable wildlife waterway habitats across 10 key sites totalling 400 hectares – a combined area greater than the City of London.
The project spans reservoirs and canals in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Berkshire and mid Wales, and will benefit water shrews, voles, otters, bats, dragonflies and other rare fauna and flora.
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
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