Canal societies, volunteers, groups and trusts

Many canals and heritage projects have their own Societies, many with Society websites, dedicated to their study, promotion and/or restoration.

Saturn VolunteersFor instance, the preserved Steam Tug Kerne and the restored Shroppie Fly Boat Saturn (members photo left) have their own websites.


With the transfer of the canal system from the British Waterways to the independent Canal and River Trust it is intended that volunteers will play an increasing role in the everyday running of the canals and heritage facilities, and in the development and management of future policy. The work of the canal societies and trusts is seen as a model for future developments.


We list canal societies and all heritage groups free of charge, please go to our Listing Form and click on the Canal Societies tab.

Links to Canal Societies and their aims
Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals No information
Basingstoke Canal No information
Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust The B&MK promotes the development of a broad waterway linking the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse in Bedford through a series of Waterway Parks.
Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park  (USA) Built to link Central Massachusetts to the Atlantic.
Birmingham Canal Navigation Society No information
Boaters Christian Fellowship BCF was formed in 1995 and now has more than 650 members, with more than 300 privately owned boats, although owning a boat is not a condition of membership.
Buckingham Canal Society The Buckingham Canal Society are restoring the Buckingham Canal between Cosgrove and Buckingham Town.
Camden Canals & Narrowboat Association A not-for-profit organisation that runs skippered cruises on ‘Tarporley’, a historic Northwich, for community groups, private parties etc.  Based on Regent’s Canal, Kings Cross, London
CanalAbility With specially adapted canal boats, we provide a boating experience for those who may have mobility difficulties or impairments.  As a charity we make our boats available to those who will benefit from our facilities the most.
Canal Society of New Jersey (USA) Hear the mules pulling their barges!
Coombeswood Canal Trust Our aims are to promote the history, structure and beauty, including the restoration, improvement, enhancement, development, maintenance and conservation along the length of the Dudley Number 2 Canal.
Cotswold Canals Trust The Cotswold Canals Trust are working with British Waterways and the Cotswold Canals Partnership to restore the Stroudwater Canal and Thames & Severn Canal through the glorious Cotswold Hills.
Chelmer & Blackwater – Friends of The No information
Community Boats Association No information
Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society No information
Dorset & Somerset Canal Society No information
Driffield Navigation Amenities Association No information
Droitwich Canal Society No information
Foxton Inclined Plane Trust Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, exists to promote the restoration of the Victorian boat lift to full working order. We also run the award winning Foxton Canal Museum at the famous Foxton Locks.
Fourteen locks Canal Centre A newly refurbished cafe and heritage Centre at the top of South Wales historic Fourteen Locks Flight on the lower section of the Mon & Brec Canal. Open 7 Days a week.
Friends of Kennet Support group of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society Short Boat Kennet, which is being refurbished into an interactive museum to take heritage to the communities along the L&L Canal.
Friends of the Delaware Canal (USA) Nicely designed site with lots of regeneration information.
Friends of the Montgomery Canal The Friends of the Montgomery Canal are the membership section of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust. They try to encourage the public to take an interest in the canal with many social events and aim for full restoration of the canal taking all aspects into consideration.
Friends of President The coal burning steam narrow-boat President is owned by the Black Country Living Museum, and maintained and operated by ‘Friends of President’.
Grantham Canal Restoration Society No information
Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust No information
Heulwen Trust Heulwen Trust offers disabled people free trips along the “Monty” on weekdays and at weekends we also take the public.  Heulwen are the designated partner of C&RT to maintain our part.  Thursday work group needs volunteers
IWPS Bugsworth Canal Basin Bugsworth Canal Basin at the head of the Peak Forest Canal restored by IWPS volunteers
Kennet & Avon Canal Trust No information
Lancaster Canal Trust The Trust promotes the whole canal but its main objective is restoring to navigation, the length of the canal from Tewitfield, just north of Carnforth, to Kendal.
Lapal Canal Trust No information
Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society The L&LCS has a calendar of events on its web pages, at the moment mainly about Kennet our restored ‘short boat’, but we are happy to list other events. Contact details are on the page.
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust No information
Linlithgow Union Canal Society No information
Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society Restoring the canal through Bolton Bury and Salford to rejoin the national waterways network.
Melton & Oakham Waterways Society No information
Merseyside Maritime Museum No information
Narrow Boat President No information
National Canal Museum (U.S.A.) Based in Easton Pa., cradle of the U.S. industrial revolution.
Old Union Canal Society The Old Union Canals Society is dedicated to the promotion and protection of the Leicestershire & Northants Union and the ‘old’ Union Canals, Leicester to Norton Junction. It has its own moorings.
Packet-boat ‘Duchess Countess’ Trust The Trust aims to re-create the Duchess Countess, the famous last passenger packet boat, destroyed in the 1950s, as a skills-training in wooden boat-building, an educational facility and a tourist attraction.
Pocklington Canal Society No information
Pontypridd Canal Conservation Group The Society was formed in 2010 to campaign for the restoration of the very small length of the Glamorganshire Canal remaining in Pontypridd.
Railway & Canal Historical Society National organisation bringing together everyone interested in the history of transport to encourage research into the topic.
Ribble Link Trust No information
River Weaver Navigation Society The society is dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving the River Weaver from Winsford to its confluence with the Manchester Ship Canal.
Sankey Navigation Trust No information
Severn Navigation Restoration Trust No information
Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust The Trust promotes regeneration of the 25-mile canal line from Norbury Junction, on the Shropshire Union Canal, to Shrewsbury.
Shropshire Union Canal Society No information
Somersetshire Coal Canal Society No information
South West Herts Narrowboat Project No information
Southampton Canal Society The Society, through its regular monthly meetings of illustrated talks and canal outings, helps many waterways and associated organisations with donations and assistance with working parties.
South Pennine Boat club Private Member’s Boat Club, situated on the Calder & Hebble Navigation. It provides its Members with strictly non residential Moorings for inland Waterways Craft, a Dry Dock and an active Social Calendar.
Steam Tug Kerne No information
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society No information
Stratford Canal Society No information
Surrey Care Trust  Surrey Care Trust Our NCBA Accredited Training Centre two boats: Swingbridge1 is a 40′ long and 10′ wide canal boat equipped with a wheelchair lift, crewed by trained volunteers, and provides day trips for disadvantaged and disabled people in Surrey as well as educational courses including CBLP. Swingbridge2 is a 30′ long purpose built work boat, used as a base to carry out conservation work on and near Surrey’s waterways with both supported and unsupported volunteers. Swingbridge2 also takes supervised offenders on community punishment. Swingbridge delivers a range of training courses: CCBM, CCC, BHC, CBLP, in-house One Day Boat Handling/Environmental courses for young people with special needs, and OCN Units on environmental topics.
The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Museum The museum tells the story of the 87.5 miles and 200 years of the canal through inception, building, working, decline, reconstruction to present day. Acknowledged to be one of the best small canal museums in the country.
The Kennet & Avon Trade Association Representing the businesses on the Kennet & Avon. Holiday Canal Boat Hire, Passenger Trips, Supplies, Service & Maintenance, Boat Building & Brokerage, Boat Moorings & Marinas, Canal Visitor Attractions and Activities.
The Horseboating Society Horseboating is now rare. Some society members operate commercial passenger boats, providing 1-3 hour trips. The society organises journeys, of several days, keeping alive some tradition of long-distance horseboats.
The Old Middlesex Canal (USA) Ran from Lowell, Mass. to Boston, Mass.
The Pirate Castle The Pirate Castle is a community boat club on the Regents Canal in Camden Town. We offer canoeing, kayaking and trips out. We run canal cruises and trips can be for the day or for weekend or week-long canal holidays.
The Saturn Project Saturn is the only floating example of a horse-drawn Shropshire Union fly-boat. Restored to her former glory she attends north west waterway rallies and events, often still horse-drawn.
The Stover Canal Society The canal was built in 1792 by James Templer to transport clay to the Potteries, granite to London, Liverpool and other cities. It closed in 1939, restoration stared in 1999.
The Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre Visitor Centre at Burnley Wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that tells the story of the cotton industry and the canal in Burnley.
The Working Boat Project The Project Volunteers maintain and operate a fleet of eleven historic working boats , taking them to canal events, rallies and festivals throughout the midlands and further afield.
Wabash & Erie Canal Park (USA) The Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of the stretch of the Wabash & Erie Canal located in Delphi, Indiana, USA.
Waterways Craft Guild The Guild encourages, sets and maintains high standards of knowledge and practice in the traditional skills of those who lived and worked the waterways in the days of commercial carrying.
Waterways Experiences (registered charity) Nash Mills, Grand Union Canal, Hemel Hempstead. Day or residential crewed boat trips – charter only. All three of our boats are wide-beam and designed for wheelchair access.  We welcome new volunteers to help with crewing, marketing, IT etc.
Wendover Arm Trust Wendover Arm Trust are restoring the Arm from Bulbourne Junction, near Tring, Herts to Wendover, Bucks
Wey & Arun Canal Trust No information
Whitchurch Waterway Trust Whitchurch Waterway Trust owns and maintains the Whitchurch Arm of the Llangollen Canal, and works on extending the arm further towards the town.
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust No information
Wooden Canal Boat Society No information
Worcester & Birmingham Canal Society No information

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