We are the Guardians of the Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal Society has been promoting and campaigning for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation and public amenity since 1966. Through the John Pinkerton Canal Cruises operation, it also raises money which is used to fund the maintenance and improvement works undertaken by more than 250 volunteers.

Within the pages of our website you will find our various publications, including our latest news, bulletins and newsletters. You can also purchase boat trips and items from our shop, or make a financial donation to help fund our work.

Becoming a member of the Society and volunteering can be very rewarding and has many benefits. There are a number of practical and administrative volunteering roles available. Click to find out about becoming a Member, Friend or Volunteer to contribute to the future of the canal.

Please see our Latest News and Trip Status pages about the 2022 Boat Trip Season
Click here for further information.
Cotswold Outdoors have renewed our Membership Discount for a further year and increased it to 15% at any of their stores or online!
Click here for details or go to the Shopping Discounts menu in your membership account.
Thanks to your generous donations we successfully raised £12,447 (+ est. £2180.50 in Gift Aid) with 196 supporters in 42 days towards our fundraising target to replace our trip boat Kitty with a new all electric boat. Find out more about the campaign by visiting our Crowdfunding page.
You can still donate by clicking here.

The Society was originally formed in 1966 to save the privately owned waterway, and campaigned for its restoration under public ownership. This was achieved in the early 1970s when Hampshire and Surrey County Councils purchased the then derelict canal.

In partnership with the local authorities, the Society organised voluntary working parties, managed work training schemes and employed a full-time team to restore the Canal. After nearly 20 years effort, thirty two miles of the waterway, from the Wey Navigation junction to the Greywell Tunnel, were formally reopened in May 1991 by HRH The Duke of Kent.

The Canal is now managed by the Basingstoke Canal Authority, and is financed by the two county council owners and neighbouring borough and district authorities, with a significant contribution of both cash and value-in-kind from the Society. The Basingstoke Canal Society was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which was presented by HRH The Duke of Kent on a return visit to the Canal in November 2018.

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