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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
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Something for everyone
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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.
We’re pleased to announce that as part of our community adoption scheme, which encourages local community groups to adopt stretches of canal in their area; both Bridgwater YMCA and the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Association have recently taken on the task of helping to care for stretches of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.
The YMCA adoption group is made up of young people who are carrying out tasks such as litter clearance and vegetation management along a stretch of the canal from Taunton Road Bridge to Albert Street Bridge. The group will be getting out on the water using two rafts which will allow them to work both on the towpath and afloat. They will be able to access hard to reach locations and help the keep the canal in a good state of repair.
Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said: “It’s fantastic to see different groups from our community helping to care for the local environment through the Canal & River Trust’s adoption scheme. The activities being undertaken by the two groups can only help to improve the canal and ensure it remains a place for wildlife to thrive and for us all to enjoy.”
Nicky Parfitt, activities programme manager for the YMCA Bridgwater said: “The adoption is a way of helping the young people feel a sense of ownership over this stretch of waterway as well as developing their learning and team work skills. They will hopefully not only be able to take reward from their hard work but gain a sense of pride in their local environment.”
The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Association has recently adopted a stretch of canal in the Maunsel area, from Kings Lock to Outwood Swing Bridge. Chris Whitcombe, leader of the group, has been volunteering on the canal for many years and also runs the Maunsel Lock Canal Centre with his wife Val.
Chris explains: “The adoption is a great way to help make a practical difference to the canal. We are undertaking tasks such as painting, vegetation management and litter clearance as well as creating a wildlife garden, planting fruit trees and hedge laying.”
Waterway adoptions give communities the chance to work together with our local teams and partnerships to shape the future of their waterways. At a hands-on level they are able to get involved in activities specific to their waterway, from recording and improving wildlife habitats or maintaining a local towpath, to helping run educational events or helping combat anti-social behaviour. For some groups, adopting a canal is also a social activity, allowing them space for social events and for meeting and mixing with their neighbours.
Find out more about adopting a stretch of canal
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