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The Trust & its Branches

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust – Powered by Volunteers! [volunteer handbook]

The Trust was formed in 1962 (having been an association since 1951) when the canal had become derelict along most of its 87½ mile length. Having prevented government plans to formally close the canal, the Trust set about restoring it. This was achieved by lobbying, fund-raising, millions of hours of volunteer work and partnerships with British Waterways and the local Councils. The passion was sustained for 28 years and the volunteers were finally rewarded when HM the Queen re-opened the canal in 1990. Work continued in close partnership with British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) to complete the work needed to assure the future of the K&A. With the aid of a £25m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this was achieved in 2003. The restoration has been a huge success and today the canal is used by all members of the community, including walkers,cyclists, anglers, canoeists, boat enthusiasts, and nature lovers.

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust now aims to ‘Protect, Enhance and Promote’ the canal.

Expressed in the language of the Charity Commission, we have 4 objects:

  1. promote, facilitate, and assist in the conservation, protection and improvement of the Kennet and Avon Canal and its associated watercourses, towpaths, structures and buildings;
  2. advance the education of the public in general of the significance of the Kennet & Avon Canal and its associated structures
  3. protect and conserve, objects, sites and buildings of archaeological, architectural, engineering or historic interest on, in the vicinity of, or otherwise associated with the Kennet & Avon Canal
  4. promote and facilitate recreational use of the Kennet and Avon Canal by a wide section of the community in order to improve conditions of life for the public

Our full Articles of Association are available HERE

Our audited accounts for 2017 are available HERE

Our Data Protection policy and procedures are HERE

Minutes of our Trustees’ meetings are HERE


The Queen‘s Award for Voluntary Service

In June 2013, the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust was honoured to receive The Queen‘s Award for Voluntary Service, for

“its leadership of the restoration of the canal and its buildings over the past half century, and for creating a landscape and amenity valued by the whole community”