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The charity making life better by water

A family walking along the towpath

Give regularly as a Friend

Join us as a Friend from just £5 a month. Your support will help make canal spaces better, bringing nature back to our towns and cities and delivering health, happiness and wellbeing to millions of people.

Our canals are special spaces. From helping us all get active by water, to providing space to relax or feel closer to nature, being next to water can bring us peace, calm and relaxation.

Play your part in transforming blue and green canal spaces in our towns and cities, making urban living better for everyone.

Discover and explore today

For as little as £5 a month you can enjoy free entry to all our museums and attractions.

Exclusive WaterfrontFree entry to Anderton Boat Lift and Friends card

Three ways your Friendship can support

Together, as a community of nearly 30,000 Friends of the Canal & River Trust, we can make life better by water. From helping us fight plastic pollution in our waterways to protecting the future of our historic network of navigations, your monthly gifts will make a big difference.

  • Read the video transcript

    It’s funny, really I thought the Canal & River Trust initially was a government-owned institution, and perhaps I was surprised to find out that it isn’t. It’s a charity. I became a friend of the Canal & River Trust in order to play a part, in order to help maintain the canals, really, to help the canals, in a way, come to life.

    They’re a piece of history, but the canals are more alive than they’ve ever been today. There’s more people using the network, and the costs of running the canals are going up and, being a Friend, it just gives you that feeling that almost you’re part of the canals. You’re part of the heritage of this country.

    You almost feel like you own a bit of the canals in a way. You almost feel like it’s your canal network, and that’s a really important feeling for me. Being a Friend is just a way of being able to give something back, and it’s good. It feels good to be able to do that.

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Being a Friend is a way to give something back, and it feels good to be able to do that.
Alex Matthews

Canals and rivers that shaped our local heritage

Canals helped to build industrial cities and towns, leaving a fascinating history behind. Our historic 2,000-mile network of navigations includes the third largest collection of listed buildings and structures in the UK.

Help #KeepCanalsAlive

In July 2023 Government announced a new funding settlement, spanning from 2027 to 2037, to follow on from our current grant agreement. Whilst we welcome this further long-term commitment to the nation's historic waterways, the amount awarded represents a steep reduction in funding of over £300 million in real terms over a ten-year period. A reduction that will have devastating consequences on our canals and the people and wildlife who rely on them.

Such a steep reduction will inevitably result in a decline in the overall condition of our waterway network, and, alarmingly, the possibility of canal closures. It puts at risk invaluable natural habitats, historic infrastructure and cherished public spaces.

We're reaching out to you, our passionate and engaged community, to join us in our mission to #KeepCanalsAlive.

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