Adopting your own stretch of waterway can mean signing up for simple tasks like regular litter picks, or creating a new green space for your whole community to enjoy. Adoption Agreements are a partnership with organisations of many differing types: residents associations, parish councils, sports clubs, health support services and many more.

Good Gym adoption group Good Gym adoption group

We work with many different organisations. Here are a few ways our partners are making their own stretch better for everyone:

  • keeping towpaths clean and clear
  • creating adventure trails for families to explore
  • helping improve habitats for local wildlife
  • planting trees and building community gardens
  • organizing events to bring local people together

So if you’re part of a community group looking to do get involved where you are, we’d love to talk to you. This is your chance to be a part of the exciting future of our canals and rivers.  

Finding your perfect fit

We'll help you figure out the perfect way to adopt and we'll give you appropriate support. We welcome all sorts of small and large organisations but we do ask that you are an affiliated group (for example a parish council or canal society) with a minimum of 6 people to volunteer.

Our three adoption types means there is something for everyone.

  • Community adoption
    Groups are asked to adopt one mile or more for a year and to volunteer at least once a month. This type of adoption best suits groups with more experience that are able to lead and manage their own activities.

  • Helping hands adoption
    Great for groups that fancy adopting a smaller area and might need a bit for help getting going. We ask these groups to volunteer about once a month for a year

  • Pocket adoption
    This is the mini adoption option, volunteering in the same area for five days in one go or over a few months. This adoption can be in a much smaller area and really suits people keen to sort out an area close to home. 

Can our company join in too?

Absolutely. Improving a stretch of canal or river is a great way to improve team building. It’s a way to put something back and your local community and the wildlife that live there will love you for it.

So if you want to talk about your company adopting a stretch of canal or river, get in touch.

If you are interested in talking about adopting a stretch of canal or river on behalf of your company please email

Last date edited: 15 December 2020