Canal & River Trust: the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways “because we believe that life is better by water”

Research shows that spending time by water, whether it be your lunchbreak, daily commute or just a weekend stroll, really does make us feel happier and healthier.

With ever increasing rates of obesity, stress and declining mental health in the UK, The Trust is uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to improving the wellbeing of millions of people. Our canals and rivers run through some of the most heavily populated communities in England and Wales, providing accessible green and blue space where it’s needed the most.

The Trust are working with volunteers and communities across England and Wales to transform canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better. We know this will bring wellbeing opportunities to millions.

Our work involves not only looking after our waterways but promoting them widely to the eight million plus people who have waterways on their doorstep so that many more people benefit from our free, accessible and local source of wellbeing.

What does Canal & River Trust do?

  • Create new routes to work, places to enjoy and spaces where people want to be
  • Build stronger communities by giving people the chance to protect and improve the places that matter to them
  • Help thousands of people young and old develop their confidence and learn new skills
  • Champion the many benefits that our waterways offer and encourage more people to use and enjoy them
  • Care for a 2000-mile long ‘green-blue ribbon’ that connects hundreds of wildlife habitats, helping people to get closer to nature wherever they live
  • Protect our precious heritage so our children, and their children too, can connect with the waterways rich history
  • Make sure that 2,980 bridges, 1,580 locks and 335 aqueducts are open and ready for use all day, every day

Waterways can be used by many people in many different ways. Their multipurpose nature in terms of:

  • how they are being used by others for a wide range of activity
  • the difference that our activities are making to local people’s lives
  • the contributions they are making to the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the nation

We measure how we make a difference to people lives with a yearly outcomes report. This looks at how we improve health, wellbeing and happiness, protect the environment, enhance learning and encourage prosperous local communities. Our Outcomes report: Waterways and Wellbeing demonstrates that we are building a robust evidence base to show how our waterways are transforming places and enriching lives.