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.
Britain’s canals and rivers are experiencing a new renaissance, thanks to significant public and private investment and the effort of countless volunteers. However, the proposed route of the High Speed Rail Network (HS2) will change the waterway landscape forever, affecting 17 canals, three river navigations and four waterways planned for restoration. It poses a real threat to the future use and enjoyment of the waterways.
With our responsibility as the guardian and champion of the waterways comes the duty to rigorously and robustly protect and promote their interests. In that capacity, we have responded to the Government’s recent consultation on Phases 1, 2a and 2b of its plans to develop Britain’s transport infrastructure by constructing the High Speed Two rail line (HS2).
In the past our canals and waterways formed a fundamental part of our transport infrastructure. Today as well as providing strategic sustainable transport routes, they are important for leisure, recreation and tourism. Much of the network dates back to the 18th century, and the Trust today cares for the third largest collection of listed buildings in the country.
Phase 1 (London to West Midlands) of HS2 now has Royal Assent and is due to start construction later in 2017. Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) and 2b (Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds) are currently in the consultation phase.
For further information please refer to the HS2 website
We recognise that new transport networks have always interconnected, just as Britain’s canal network did more than 200 years ago. However, the proposed route of Phase 2b crosses our historic waterways at various locations and we are seeking realignment to prevent this. We are also seeking to ensure that design and construction is carried out in a sympathetic and complementary manner.
The proposed route of Phase 2b includes potentially detrimental impacts if design and construction is not carried out in a sympathetic and complementary manner. We have spelled out our concerns in detail in our consultation response, which you can read here - Canal & River Trust consultation response
The following map of the UK shows the points at which the proposed HS2 route will intersect with canals.
Map of HS2
Last date edited: 7 April 2017