Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
We're searching for new volunteers to take-up the most iconic waterway role – the lock keeper.
We're on the lookout for people interested in volunteering at sites along the Grand Union Canal, Regent’s Canal and River Lee. The role includes helping passing boaters, welcoming visitors and giving a hand to the Trust’s teams in maintaining the canal.
The volunteers will help to keep the historic tradition of lock-keeping alive in the capital, where lock keepers have been part of waterway life for hundreds of years. It comes at a time when London’s waterways are more popular than any time in living memory, with more boats than ever before and over 60 million towpath visits per year.
Full training is provided and adults of all ages and experiences are encouraged to apply. Volunteer lock keepers work on a shift basis throughout the year, with busier periods typically expected between April-October.
Debbie Vidler, our volunteer development co-ordinator, said: "The canals are enjoying a new golden age, with more and more people boating and using the water and towpath. The lock keeper is probably the most iconic role on the waterways and we’re on the lookout for people to come and help everyone who is using the canals. It’s a great role for anyone looking to work outdoors and meet plenty of people. In many ways the lock keeper is the friendly face of the canals. It can be hard work, but hugely rewarding. You don’t need any previous experience so I’d encourage anyone looking for a new challenge to get in touch."
Freda Pashley has worked as a volunteer lock keeper in Camden for three years. She is one of a team of three who work there once a week. She adds: "Working as a lock keeper is great fun, especially at Camden as it’s one of the busiest locks around. A typical day will see us help up to 30 boats through the locks, but we’ll also litter pick and we get plenty of questions from tourists and other people visiting the area. We also keep a lookout for the local wildlife, like the geese and ducks, we’ve even had to rescue a mother and her chicks from the lock. I didn’t have any prior knowledge about canals before starting, it was pretty daunting to be honest, but with the help of the other lock keepers I picked it up pretty quickly. It’s physical work but a good way to keep fit. In the winters we’re wrapped up in lots of layers but come the summer there can’t be many places better to work - you can get a great tan. It’s not long before you know everyone on the canal, and everyone knows you. There’s plenty of characters around and a great buzz out on the water."
Applications for the role are open until now, with training and induction beginning in March.
Volunteer Lock Keepers
Come and find out more about the volunteer lock keeper role here.
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