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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
David Mould is a senior hydrologist with our water management team in Hatton. He leads his team’s volunteer engagement, encouraging and assisting colleagues as well as managing volunteers himself.
Our water-management team are a vital link in all that we do to breathe new life in waterways. They are able to achieve even more with the help of their well-trained and highly valued volunteers. Read more from David:
"We always need to be open to new ideas and suggestions. This allows our volunteers to have some ownership of their work too."
Our volunteers get involved with a wide range of tasks and work closely with the hydrology team in all aspects of our work. Volunteers have produced maps to explain water supply at different locations, they’ve built water resource management models, assessed our infrastructure and helped out in the field. One of our volunteers has been working on some very detailed data-processing for a complex data migration project. This uses information that underpins all of our decision-making, so it’s a great way to learn about what we do.
I volunteer myself outside of work. I’m a Scouting leader and have two sons currently in the Cubs. The positive impact that Scouting makes on young people’s lives is massive. I also volunteer organising a local beer festival which is great fun.
I currently have one volunteer reporting directly to me, he’s well-established in the role and can work autonomously most of the time. I have a great friendship with John, and I’ve learned a lot from him technically too. Thanks to my oversight role I get to know all of the team’s volunteers pretty well, which is a privilege. I also track the hourly contribution that volunteers make to our team. This adds up to a substantial figure every year.
Flexibility is key. We never know who is going to volunteer to get involved with a project, what additional skills they may bring and which direction the project may go in. We always need to be open to new ideas and suggestions. This allows the volunteers to have some ownership of their work too.
My primary piece of advice would be to have confidence in making difficult decisions during recruitment. Getting the right volunteer for the role is really important, so be prepared to say ‘no’ if that person might be better suited to another role or a different team. That’s not easy when people are offering their time for free, but it’s not going to benefit anyone if the match isn’t right.
Working with volunteers requires an up-front investment of time, but in most instances our experience is that this cost is outweighed many times over by the benefits and contribution that volunteers make. I recruited our first volunteer in September 2013, and volunteers have supplemented our team’s resources ever since.
Join our Towpath Taskforce teams
Our teams of regular volunteers meet up and down the country to help us care for their local waterway. Join us today
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
Last date edited: 5 October 2017