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The Canal & River Trust (acronym CRT or C&RT) is a charitable trust set up to manage the navigable waterways of England and Wales. Transfer of 'ownership' from British Waterways (the previous government-owned operator), took place on 2 July 2012. Those navigable inland waterways [which are] currently managed by the Environment Agency were scheduled for transfer to the trust in 2015but this has been postponed indefinitely.
The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales. We are among the largest charities in the UK, maintaining the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, navigations and hundreds of important wildlife sites.
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The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of a 200-year old working heritage, a remarkable legacy of the Industrial Revolution, and a nationally important wildlife corridor. It is responsible for an enormous network of bridges, locks, embankments and reservoirs and for maintaining them for the benefit and safety of our millions of visitors and neighbours.
The Canal & River Trust is here so you have a place to escape. A place where you can step off the pavement, onto the towpath and breathe.
We are a charity, and we are entrusted to care for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.
We all live in an increasingly fast-paced and crowded world. Our historic waterways are the antidote to this. They provide an unfenced, ‘no turnstiles’ opportunity to interact with history and nature next to soothing water.
Many people don’t realise that our waterways are only here thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers and the generous donations you give.
Over 200 years old
On top of maintaining 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, which are often over 200 years old, we are responsible for an enormous network of bridges, embankments, towpaths, aqueducts, docks and reservoirs and more.
From improving towpaths for cyclists and creating new wildlife habitats to maintaining our distinctive infrastructure, we are constantly working to make our canals and rivers the very best they can be.
And thanks to our waterways millions of children have the chance to experience local wildlife - even to see a kingfisher or an otter close up. Those struggling with the pressures of day-to-day life have somewhere to rejuvenate themselves. And many of us have a place on our doorstep where we can simply stretch our legs and soak up 200 years of history.
Our waterway network is a national treasure. It makes people’s lives better. We’re here to ensure that it is protected forever.