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About the Inland Waterways Association

We are the charity that works to protect and restore Britain’s 7,000 miles of inland waterways.

We are passionate about protecting and restoring Britain’s network of canals and navigable rivers for everyone to enjoy.

The waterways are special outdoor places – sometimes tranquil and sometimes bustling – whose unique heritage and habitats are under threat from lack of funding and inconsiderate planning.

We campaign locally and nationally for the waterways – supporting restorations, lobbying parliament, championing regeneration and raising waterways users concerns. We’re also prone to rolling up our sleeves and giving the waterways a bit of TLC.

Our members and volunteers are waterways-lovers from all walks of life who want to preserve and improve the network for future generations.


How the charity is organised and governed.


Our work

We work to protect and restore the waterways.

IWA sign

Contact us

Get in touch with our team.

IWA at 75

This year, is a very special year for the Inland Waterways Association, marking 75 years of campaigns to save, restore and protect our canals and rivers.

Follow our photographic journey, which celebrates the work of volunteers and campaigners across the country who saved the waterways and helped to make them what they are today.

Waterways affected by HS2

We’re campaigning to protect canals and rivers from the damaging effects of HS2, especially where the tranquillity of the waterways is under threat.

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.

Waterway businesses

The government needs to intervene at the earliest possible opportunity to save this vital sector of the British economy and what could be a core element of the British stay-at-home leisure and holiday sectors in the coming years.