We are the Guardians of the Basingstoke Canal

The Society promotes and campaigns for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation and public amenity. 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.

Our Latest News has the results of the recent Society survey as well as the launch of the “Canal Watch” initiative. Please also see our Latest Bulletin, available to everyone for news about the canal and society.

The latest Basingstoke Canal News publication is now available to Society Members. To find out more and read the issue, please click here.

We are currently running a campaign to fund various projects to improve the Canal. Click here to find out how you can support our appeal.

Following the update to the COVID-19 rules on 14th June 2021, the arrangements for boat trips has also changed. Please click here for detailed information. All bookings will be subject to current Covid19 restrictions, which may reduce our passenger numbers.

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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