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.
We caught up with Matt to find out how he’s enjoying his role and where he hopes it may lead.
"I hoped that I would meet people and build up my network of contacts. I also wanted to broaden my range of experience and get used to spending time in a professional environment."
Matt studied geography at Durham University. He has always been passionate about the environment and knew from an early age that he wanted to work in this sector. However, after graduating Matt felt that, for all his academic expertise, he needed some more vocational experience before he could become a serious contender in today’s competitive job market.
How did you first come into contact with the Trust?
I started volunteering with The Conservation Volunteers and on my very first day with them I was lucky enough to meet Gavin Beat, Senior Environmental Scientist with the Trust. We started talking and Gavin advised me to send in my CV, and it all went from there.
So what does a volunteer Environmental Assistant do?
I work here around one day a week, usually in the office but sometimes from home. It’s very flexible. I’ve been looking into invasive weed species with Chris John (National Ecologist), mapping the spread of the different weed species across the country and then putting a report together. When I first started working on this project my role was going to be limited to the mapping, but then I was given the chance to put the report together as well. It was 60 pages in the end and really good experience.
Have you put your degree into practice?
At university I deliberately chose modules that involved using GIS as it’s something that has always interested me. It’s great to get the chance to put those skills into practice, otherwise it’s so easy to start forgetting things. When I first started here Matt Shepherdson, GIS Specialist, spent a few hours with me making sure I knew my way around GIS, and I know I can always contact him for advice.
What have you most enjoyed about volunteering with us?
I’ve enjoyed using my degree and putting into practice all that I learned in a more academic setting. I’ve also enjoyed meeting new people. Once I had the opportunity to go out on a site visit with Chris John which I really enjoyed. It was good to see the canals as a real place rather than just a blue line on my computer screen.
What did you hope to get out of it?
Many things. I hoped that I would meet people and build up my network of contacts. I also wanted to broaden my range of experience and get used to spending time in a professional environment. When you’re unemployed for any length of time there’s a risk of loosing your confidence and self-esteem. Through volunteering here I know that I’m doing important work and that the work I do is valued.
Have you achieved all this?
Yes and more. I would definitely recommend volunteering here to anyone.
Find your perfect volunteering opportunity
Whether you want to get stuck in at your local canal, help the environment or gain professional skills to enhance your career, we may well have a volunteer role for you.
Last date edited: 10 July 2015