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.
I've lived in the lock house for thirteen years, and when we first arrived here I started running the trip boat 'Maunsel Lady' along the Bridgwater & Taunton.
How I became a canal man is a story of coincidences really. I used to be a bench joiner making bespoke furniture out of old cider vats from local Taunton cider companies. My wife used to say I came home cidered up! The old oak was 15ft high, and that's a lot of timber! The wood was probably over 100 years old and the acids in the cider had reacted with the tannin to create a black appearance. So, until you cleaned it all off you didn’t know what amazing colours there were in the wood. Sadly the firm I worked for collapsed and, as I was made redundant, I had to find a new plan for my life.
My wife and I had been on holiday on the Mon & Brec Canal in Wales the year before, so strangely that gave us the idea to start planning to move here. The lock house used to run tea rooms but we weren’t sure we’d get permission to continue to run them. We did the deal on buying a trip boat first, because we thought if we didn’t get the ‘ok’ for the tea rooms, we could run the trip boat anyway.
Today our tea shop is in a building opposite the lock house and we’ve been running both the tea shop and the boat for 13 years. Sadly we’ve recently had to take the boat off use because of rising costs but the tea shop is doing really well.
The majority of people on the canal here are walking or cycling rather than boating. We’ve had 18,600 people since April just in the tea shop! I suppose we’re a very important place for the canal. We’re open all year and a group of canal volunteers use it as their base too. We have leaflets about the canal in here and there’s talk of a new Canal & River Trust welcome station so we might have that in here as well.
The footfall is fairly accurate and may be double for the canal itself as not all visitors come in for tea and cake!
Chris, Maunsel Lock, Bridgwater & Taunton Canal