Canal & River Trust reports record year for volunteering

THE Canal & River Trust has published its 2017/18 Annual Report & Accounts charting a further year of progress.  In particular it has been a record year for volunteering on the waterways with active volunteers now significantly exceeding the number of employees.

In addition to volunteers clocking-up more than 600,000 hours, with a 96% satisfaction rate, the overall condition of the Trust’s waterways continued to improve year-on-year with core spending on waterway infrastructure, maintenance and repairs rising to almost £132 million.

Richard Parry, chief executive, comments: “We have seen another strong year as the Trust works towards its vision of transforming places and enriching lives.  Our continued growth in volunteering complements and enhances the vital work that our experienced and skilled colleagues deliver.

“Our work across the network has been underpinned by an increase in the number of boats together with strong investment and income performance which now sees the Trust generate more than £150 million each year in addition to our £50m Government grant.  This means we can continue the underlying increase in spend on the care and repair of our waterways.”

The success in volunteering is in addition to community ‘adoptions’, and this year the Trust reports 225 community groups working alongside the charity with local people participating in the care of their local stretch, introducing their creative ideas and taking pride in where they live.

Highlights in the 2017/18 Annual Report & Accounts include:

  • Volunteering exceeding 600,000 hours, with 96% satisfaction amongst the Trust’s volunteers
  • 225 community adoptions, empowering local people to get involved
  • An improvement in the overall condition of the waterways and a rise to £131.6 million in core spending on waterway infrastructure, maintenance and repairs
  • Strong investment performance which, together with our sources of income, generated over £200 million
  • A rise in boat numbers to over 34,000 with the lowest ever licence evasion
  • A 15% growth in Friends to 24,000 with donations up to £6.1 million, including from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery
  • A further reduction in unplanned closures to navigation
  • An improvement in towpath user satisfaction with 372 million visits to the Trust’s waterways and visitors to the Trust’s museums up 39% to 48,000
  • Engagement with 80,000 children through the Trust’s Explorers education programme
  • Green Flag status awarded to 160 miles of waterways
  • Publication of the Trust’s Outcomes Measurement Framework to capture and quantify the benefits that waterways and the Trust’s work make to society
  • A relaunch of the Trust’s brand position to reach new audiences and better reflect the ambition to be a charity for the waterways and wellbeing


To view the Trust’s 2017/18 Annual Report & Accounts visit:


The Trust will be holding an Annual Public Meeting on Wednesday 26 September at Austin Court, Birmingham.  Places are limited, so to register your attendance visit: