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 national survey to record all the weird and wonderful items people throw into their local waterway has uncovered some bizarre objects.
From a Mercedes A class car to open safes and a bag of bullets – discarded rubbish is a major nuisance to the Canal & River Trust.
Over the past five years we've hauled out an unexploded World War 2 hand grenade, a 16ft dead python, antique poison bottles, a Volkswagen Camper Van and a pizza delivery bike complete with a soggy pizza.
Other items include a headless Paddington Bear, a bus stop sign, bubble machine, hearing aid, a darts medal and an adult toy.
It costs us about £1 million each year to clear the dumped rubbish, funds that could be spent on improving wildlife habitats and ensuring the waterways are navigable for boaters.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of volume of rubbish. We often can’t recover every item which means it lies on the bottom of the canal bed out of sight and mind to many passers-by, causing problems to boaters and wildlife.
This winter, as part of our £45 million restoration and repairs programme, we conducted a four month survey to record the rubbish being removed from the canals and to reveal what lurks beneath the waterline.
The survey results found that a typical tennis-court-sized lock contains the following:
Every year thousands of plastic bags and fizzy drink cans are thrown into the waterways but just one of those cans can take up to 200 years to biodegrade and a supermarket plastic bag up to 20 years.
The rubbish is not only an eyesore but has a real environmental effect on the waterways. Tyres and other rubbish contain pollutants which leak into the water and poison fish and other wildlife. Often rubbish acts as a choking hazard and wildlife can become trapped amongst the litter.
Peter Birch, national environment manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “I’m constantly surprised at what people throw into the canal and the quantity of litter that we retrieve. Dealing with the problem is a big task and the money could be better spent enhancing the canals for people and wildlife to enjoy for years to come.”
As we come to the end of our winter restoration and repair work, we are calling for people to think twice about polluting their local canal or river with old plastic bags and litter.
Help us tidy up
If you're interested in lending a hand join one of our Towpath Taskforces
Lock gates replaced on Berkhamsted Canal
20 February 2018
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