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.
"My job is definitely better than any office job! I've worked here for 15 years, and it still keeps my interest because it's not just the same thing every day. I'm involved in all the maintenance on the hire fleet here at ABC Boat Hire in Worcester, and in any day my job might be anything from repairing a mechanical breakdown to showing a customer to their holiday hire boat. I love it, and all the hands-on stuff. There's not much I haven't come across on boats - the problem is if anything goes wrong, it's all my fault!
I'm part of a team of three, and we do everything to keep the hireboat fleet running smoothly. We'll sort the boats when they come back from hire, hand them over to customers before they go out and train people to drive the boats if they need to learn the basics before they set off. You have to gauge how experienced each customer is, but most people learn quite quickly and get the swing of it. I generally say to people, "Don't think about it too much". If, like me, you think too much about which way to turn the tiller, you start getting confused!
We'll go out in vans to do repairs if needed, and that means travelling anywhere on the waterways routes where customers get into trouble on their hire boats. You really never know what you're going to be doing any day!
When I was still at school I didn't plan to work on boats when I grew up, but boating has been a constant part of my life. My Mum and Dad always had a boat when we were kids. They started way back in the '60s and '70s with a fibreglass boat and then later they had their own narrowboat.
Straight after school I initially went into electrics, but I got laid off 12 months into my apprenticeship. So then I chose to go into welding and fabrication - painting and anything to do with steel work, wrought iron, forging and everything. I had a mate who started a boat-building business and when he asked me to help, that led me into working with boats. I was there for about three and a half years until I got a job with ABC Boat Hire. For the first few years with this company, I was based in Alvechurch working on the boat building, and then I moved to the Worcester base.
Even though I work with boats, I still love boating for fun. For good customer service it makes a difference if we know the routes our customers cruise - so we go out in boats ourselves whenever we get the chance. The Shroppie and the Llangollen Canal are probably my favourites, but I like the stretch from here to Birmingham, and the Staffs & Worcs Canal too. If I had to pick a highlight in my 15 years though, I think it would have to be the restoration and reopening of the Droitwich Canal – it was a highlight for everyone!"
Paul, Lowesmoor Wharf, Worcester, Worcester & Birmingham Canal