Something to read on the train (or boat!)

Oscar Wilde inspires me to take a look into the variety of volunteering opportunities available.

In his 1895 play The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde wrote: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” I have to admit I’ve never really been one for writing a diary – I’ve often made keen starts and then it’d tail off within about a month and that’d be the end of it, and anyway I’m not sure my life would provide the sensationalism Wilde refers to!

So in the absence of a journal to keep me amused on my train journey to Birmingham this week I settled for the writings of my fellow blogging colleagues. Whilst perusing the latest additions to the site, I was struck by the wide variety of roles that we all have here at Canal & River Trust. And of course it’s the same for our volunteering roles. From our Heritage and Engineering volunteers supporting teams in our offices, to our Environmental surveyors out on the bank with the team, no role is like another, and that’s just the way we like it!

Terrapin catchers needed

You may remember last month that Amanda mentioned an exciting upcoming opportunity – well I can now reveal that we are looking for terrapin catchers in the Newark area! It’s not every day an opportunity like this comes along, and as it’s so specialised we are looking for a certain kind of person to fill the role – we’re currently in discussions with the local chelonia society to find the right people for the job. It’s all part of our work to try and rid our canals of invasive species.

If catching errant reptiles isn’t quite your cup of tea, how about joining in with our seal survey up at the Tees Barrage this summer? We’re looking for volunteers based near the barrage to spend an hour a day counting how many seals they see at certain times of the day. 

Hedgerow surveys

Or if you’re more of a vegetation person, we’re putting together the final pieces for our hedgerow survey to be carried out over the summer – keep an eye on the volunteer opportunities page for further details.

Speaking of tea, Amanda and I hosted a gathering for our Technical Team volunteers on Friday at Stoke Bruerne. The sun shone and it was a great opportunity for us to thank and celebrate the volunteers who give so much of their time and expertise to our teams. Volunteers enjoyed a trip along the canal on Charlie and tea and cake in the sunshine, whilst finding out more about each other’s work and sharing their experiences.

The sun really has got his hat on here in Yorkshire at the moment, and if it has you inspired to get your paints out, and capture some of our beautiful wildlife you might be interested in our volunteer artist opportunity. I’m not even going to pretend to have any kind of artistic ability, although according to my colleagues I can wield a pastry brush fairly well, so I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of this opportunity.

I do hope this weather lasts so we can all get out and about on our waterways this summer, I’m certainly looking forward to exploring more – I’ll update you when I see you again in September.


Last date edited: 16 March 2016

About this blog

Volunteer coordinator

Amanda is a volunteer coordinator for the Technical Team within the Trust. Whether it’s finding a student for a long-term placement with the environment team or assisting the hydrology team with a team of volunteers to count boat movements, she can be counted on to find the right people for the role. Amanda joined the Trust in July 2012 and previously worked as the Volunteer Leader in the East Midlands. She has worked at other charities in people engagement roles, but is at her happiest besides the water.

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