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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
At an annual cost of £1 million to clean up after litter-happy Britons – from blow up dolls to shopping trolleys - we are saying enough is enough.
This winter we have uncovered some very unusual items from the bottom of our canals and rivers, from an adult blow-up doll and golf buggies, to a pogo stick, a pair of walkie talkies and a garden fork. Empty safes, motorbikes, countless shopping trolleys, tyres and mobile phones were also part of the winter haul and we remove thousands of cans, bottles, wrappers and plastic bags every year.
In a recent survey we commissioned, 96 per cent of people said that they didn’t think it was acceptable to drop litter, but 66 per cent still admitted to doing it. Most of the discarded rubbish on the waterways sinks to the bottom of the canal or river bed, causing an invisible hazard to the environment and boats. 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 in it.
When asked, 80 per cent of people said that they were concerned about the amount of litter in their local area and the issue could leave a dirty legacy for generations to come. Every year thousands of plastic bags (which take up to 20 years to break down) and drink cans (which can take up to 200 years) are thrown into the waterways.
Peter Birch, our National Environment Manager, said: "Rubbish being thrown into our canals and rivers is a problem that is not going away. We are asking members of the public to join the fight against litter. We should be protecting these special places not damaging them. Our excellent army of volunteers help us to clear rubbish but the funds that we have to allocate to it could be better spent."
What lurks beneath
Come and find out more about the rubbish which lurks beneath our waterways.
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