News article created on 15 June 2018

June news update

Hello and welcome to the June news update from the London volunteering team. You may be aware that the start of June is Volunteers' Week, so it seems like the perfect time to say a huge thank you to everyone who volunteers with the Trust to help make life better by water.

Volunteers from Accenture at Lea Bridge Volunteers from Accenture at Lea Bridge

Whether you give a few hours, a few days or a few weeks a year, all your hard work is truly appreciated so thank you. Stay tuned for next months edition to find out how we celebrated.

Practical lead volunteers

We are looking for volunteers to work alongside our team to plan and deliver practical volunteering activities on London’s waterways. This could include supporting a corporate team event, preparing and leading a towpath taskforce or providing practical guidance to one of our community adoption groups. In return for a regular commitment you will be given ongoing training and support and be given the chance to develop your skills and put your experience to good use. Your support will enable more people to help look after their local waterway and make our canals and rivers even better. Find out more about the roles covering the Lee & Stort, East & Central London and West London.

Towpath Taskforce

Towapth Taskforce volunteers at Haggerston by Tony O'Dell

Join us at Towpath Taskforce to enjoy the sunshine. In the coming weeks we’ll be out at Hanwell, Broxbourne and Limehouse among others, helping to get our waterways looking their best. More information on each of these events can be found by clicking the links below.  Details of the rest of the July programme can be found here. All tools, equipment and instruction will be supplied. We are trying to reduce our use of single use plastic, so where possible please bring your own refillable bottle of water with you to these events. Please wear old clothes and hard-soled footwear and don’t forget the sun cream and sun hat.

  • Saturday 16th June, 10.30 - 3.30pm – Continuing the resurfacing the towpath, cutting back of vegetation and litter picking at Carthagena Lock on the River Lee. Meet us at Carthagena Lock via the towpath from Old Nazeing Rd, EN10 6TA. Nearest station - Broxbourne.
  • Wednesday 20th June, 10.30 - 3.30pm – Cutting back vegetation, painting locks and litter picking at Cowley Lock on the Grand Union Canal. Meet us on the towpath by the Malt and Shovel pub, Iver Lane UB8 2JE. Nearest station - Uxbridge.
  • Wednesday 27th June, 10.30 - 3.30pm – Clearing vegetation and buddleia, tidying the towpath and litter picking including a floating litter pick with Moo Canoes and London Canal Volunteers on the Limehouse Cut. Meet us at Poplar Union, 2 Cotall St, E14 6TL. Nearest station - Poplar.
  • Wednesday 4th July, 10.30am – 3.30pm - Continuing the resurfacing the towpath, cutting back of vegetation and litter picking at Carthagena Lock on the River Lee. Meet us at Carthagena Lock via the towpath from Old Nazeing Rd, EN10 6TA. Nearest station -Broxbourne.
  • Saturday 7th July, 10.30am – 3.30pm - Lock painting, litter picking and vegetation cutback on the Hanwell Flight on the Grand Union Canal. Meet us at Norwood Top Lock (Lock 90) off Havelock Road, UB2 4PL. Nearest station - Southall.

Islington Canal and its Heritage

The Young Actors Theatre Islington is looking for people to help with a new heritage project exploring Regent’s Canal in Islington. The group are looking for people who have grown up near Islington and who can share their memories and stories of the canal. These stories will feed into a play which will be performed by school children on a floating stage, as well as exhibitions, an Islington canal quiz, heritage map, podcasts and more. This work will also form part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Regent's Canal in 2020, so it is well worth taking part if you can.

The group is also looking for a volunteer to help with the gathering of information (research, archives, oral histories etc). If you are interested in volunteering or if you have some stories to share, then please email

Towpath ranger walks

Towpath ranger on the River Lee by Giles Williams

If you enjoy walking London’s canals and would like to help make them better, then Towpath Ranger walks are for you. The walks are led by lead towpath ranger Giles and the team. They venture out on Thursdays at various locations in east London. Details of the June and July walks are below.  Please meet at 11:00 to begin walking at 11:10 and dress for the weather including sturdy footwear and Canal & River Trust clothing if you have it. The walks typically take between one and a half and two and a half hours depending on the number of activities along the way which could include foliage cutting, graffiti removal, signage improvement and public engagement. If you haven’t been on a ranger walk before please contact Darren Starling – to let him know you will coming along.

• Thursday 14th June – Waltham Town Lock to Ponders End Lock
• Thursday 21st June – Old Ford Lock 19 (River Lee) to Tottenham Locks
• Thursday 28th June – Tottenham Locks to Ponders End
• Tuesday 3rd July – Clean Up at Lea Bridge
• Thursday 5th July – Old Ford Lock 19 (River Lee) to Tottenham Locks
• Thursday 12th July – Limehouse Basin to Old Ford Lock 19 (River Lee) via the Limehouse Cut
• Thursday 19th July – Stonebridge Lock to East Wick
• Thursday 26th July – Stonebridge Lock to Ponders End

Festival fever

Our busy summer of waterway events continues and we are still looking for volunteers to help out to ensure festival goers have a fantastic time and leave with a greater understanding and affinity to the waterways.  If you are able to help at any of the below please contact Debbie Vidler -

Meet the volunteer

This month we meet Joe Green, volunteer lock keeper at Stonebridge Lock. Hear what Joe has to say about his typical day, how he benefits from volunteering with us and how to operate an electric lock. Keep an eye out for a group of signets and their parents having a snack.

Dates for your Diary

  • 16 June – Bishop’s Stortford Carnival
  • Wednesday 27 June – Lower Regent’s Coalition and Moo Canoes clean up at Old Ford on the River Lee
  • 1 July – Friends of Slough Canal monthly litter pick
  • 1 July - LIMEfest @ Limehouse
  • 6 -8 July – Ware Boat Festival
  • Wednesday 25 July – Lower Regent’s Coalition and Moo Canoes clean up at Old Ford on the River Lee

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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