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.
Martin Gillate joined the Trust as a volunteer in 2013. He now works as a lead volunteer in our Kennet & Avon Waterway.
Our lead volunteers are an inspirational group of people who give their time to lead and manage volunteer groups in their area. They play a major role in our work to breathe new life into our historic canals and rivers. Read Martin’s story to find out more about his role and what he gets out of volunteering for the Trust.
"The one common factor between all of us volunteers is love for the canals."
I was never a manager in my professional life, so being a lead volunteer has been an amazing experience for me personally. I hope I’m doing a good job. I’m always happy to get feedback. I love it. It’s given me so much confidence.
I spend part of every day managing volunteers, working closely with our volunteer leader. We have a boat which we use for maintenance and we get involved with all sorts of tasks, from lock keeping to vegetation clearance. I was at the Berkshire Agricultural Show in September. We had a stand and were promoting volunteering with the Trust.
I’ve got 38 volunteers in my team. Most of them were recruited as volunteer lock keepers, but some people come for that and then find that they enjoy maintenance tasks more. I always try to organise our work and build the team around what people like.
You’ve got to ask for input and then listen to what your volunteers have to say. It’s important to take the temperature all the time. I always think that volunteers are like customers in a supermarket – they can easily go somewhere else. It’s a delicate exercise sometimes. People have busy lives and lots of demands on their time. I’m a magistrate as well so I’m accustomed to dealing with human beings. The truth is people are unpredictable. We all have frailties.
The one common factor between all of us volunteers is love for the canals. We’re all interested and invested in the development of the Trust. We’re an enthusiastic bunch and most of all we want to see the canals flourishing.
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