News article created on 7 February 2018

February news update

Hello and welcome to the first edition of our new-look monthly newsletter! With Christmas and New Year now a distant memory the waterway is a hive of activity, with our volunteer lock keeper recruitment in full swing and a full programme of Towpath Taskforce events coming up in February.

London volunteering team London volunteering team

We hope you enjoy our newsletter and its new look, please do let us know what you think and if you have any thoughts or ideas of what you would like to see in future editions let us know.

Meet the team

In recent months we’ve had two new additions to the London Volunteering Team. Linzi-Joy MacDonald joins us in a new role as apprentice volunteer development coordinator and will be working on all things related to volunteer recruitment and promotion. Ross Fogden joins us as volunteer team leader for the central and east London area, covering from the Islington Tunnel on the Regent’s Canal up to Tottenham on the River Lee. Ross was previously a member of the Customer Operations Team so brings loads of experience and knowledge to the role. Ross joins our existing volunteer team Leaders - Jack Newman who covers central and west London from the Islington Tunnel to Rickmansworth on the Grand Union and Sandile Mthiyane who covers the River Lee north of Tottenham and the River Stort.

Photo (above) – from left to right – Ross Fogden, Linzi MacDonald, Debbie Vidler, Jack Newman, Sandile Mthiyane

February Towpath Taskforce dates

Towpath Taskforce, courtesy of Tony O'Dell Towpath Taskforce, courtesy of Tony O'Dell

Join us at Towpath Taskforce to help blow away those winter cobwebs and breathe in that spring air!  We’ll be out at Clapton, Hoddesdon and Hayes among others, helping to get our towpaths looking their best.  More information on each of these events can be found by clicking the links below.

Details of the March events can be found on the London Volunteering page. All tools, equipment and instruction will be supplied, please wear old clothes and hard-soled footwear and if the weather forecast is looking wet, don’t forget the waterproofs!

Saturday 10 February, 10am- 3.30pm – Walking litter pick and vegetation cutback on the Lee Navigation at Lea Bridge. Meet us by The Princess of Wales Pub, Lea Bridge Road, E5 9RB. Nearest stations are Clapton and Lea Bridge.

Saturday 17 February, 10am- 3.30pm – Picking litter, cutting back vegetation and collecting flytipping on the Lee Navigation at Feildes Weir.  Meet us by Feildes Weir Lock, Rattys Lane, Roydon, EN11 0RF. Nearest station is Rye House.

Wednesday 21 February, 10am- 3.30pm – Litter pick and vegetation cutback on the Grand Union Canal in Hayes. Meet us on the towpath by Station Road Bridge, Hayes, UB3 4BG. The closest station is Hayes and Harlington.

Wednesday 28 February, 10am-3.30pm – Repairing and back filling the collapsed piling at the towpath edge in Ponders end. Meet us on the towpath by Ponders End Lock, nearest access is from Wharf Road, EN3 4XX. The closest station is Ponders End Station.

Volunteer Lock Keeping 2018 – recruiting now!

Our volunteer lock keepers play a crucial role on the London waterways and help keep age-old traditions alive. In 2017 we had over 100 dedicated volunteers assisting boaters, greeting towpath users and carrying out maintenance work at locks across London. This year we’re looking to recruit more people to join the team, including forming a new team of ‘roving’ volunteer lock keepers based on the upper River Lee and Stort. Recruitment is now underway and the closing date for applications is Friday 16 February.

Find out more about being a volunteer lock keeper, opportunities in your area and how to apply

Aidan’s Weekday Wonders Need You!

We’re looking for more volunteers to join our weekday work team (affectionately known as ‘Aidan’s Wonder Team’!). This is a great chance to get outdoors, learn new skills and be part of a team making real improvements to London’s canals.   

The group goes out on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the Regent’s Canal and Lower River Lee, led by Aidan Slater from our Operations Team.  Often working from a boat, they tackle whatever jobs need to be done that week. For the past few months they have been removing invasive buddleia on the Regent’s Canal, and in the coming months they will be focusing on lock maintenance and graffiti removal. We’re looking for volunteers who are happy being outdoors, enjoy practical work and are able to volunteer at least two days per month.  If this sounds like something you might enjoy please contact Debbie Vidler –

Docklands Taster Day

The 25th of January saw a hugely successful volunteering taster event at in London Docklands.  The morning was spent collecting litter and clearing vegetation from a busy walkway, to make it a more welcoming area for children to walk to school.  We had a great mix of regular volunteer and new faces, including a group of pupils from Canary Wharf College who plan to adopt this space and together with the Trust improve it for the community! In the afternoon volunteers went on a ‘plastic fishing’ tour of the Docks aboard Poly-mer; a boat made from 8,000 plastic bottles!  The most interesting items we found were a hard hat and a pair of sandals! All in all, a fantastic and productive day, thank you to all those who took part.  We are very keen to bring more volunteering opportunities to the Docklands area, if you would like to get involved in future events please contact Linzi MacDonald –

Meet the Volunteer

Katy, volunteer lock keeper in London Katy, volunteer lock keeper in London

We have a brilliant team of volunteers across London in a diverse range of roles, there’s so much going on it can be hard to keep up.

We wanted to find a way to showcase and celebrate the wonderful work you do and give you a chance to see what others are doing too. So welcome to ‘meet the volunteer’. Each month we hope to feature a different volunteer covering a range of roles and locations across the London Waterway.

This month we kick off with Katy, volunteer lock keeper at Old Ford and Carpenters Road Locks. Katy tells us a bit about her role, what she enjoys about volunteering with the Trust and why everyone should do it! If you volunteer with us and want to be part of the meet the volunteer instalment, please contact us

Events diary

Please click on the date for more information of these events:

  • Sunday 25 February - Lower Regents Coalition- Canoe litter picks with Moo Canoes on the Regents Canal.
  • Sunday 25 March - Lower Regents Coalition- Canoe litter picks with Moo Canoes on the Regents Canal.
  • Saturday 28 April - Friends of Slough Canal- Big clean up on Slough Canal.

About this blog

London volunteering team

Debbie Vidler is the volunteer development coordinator for London. She works with the London team to recruit and support volunteers and celebrates the amazing work they do. Every month she gives a roundup of volunteer events and opportunities coming up across London.

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