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Penny Smith supports volunteer lock keepers

The Canal & River Trust and TV’s Penny Smith are inviting people to take up the challenge to become a volunteer lock keeper this summer working at some of the country’s most popular historic canal locks.

Last year 380 volunteers took up this important waterways role to help keep the nation's canals flowing over the busy summer months.This year several new sites have been selected around the country and we are looking for more volunteers to get involved.

Ideal candidates will enjoy spending time outdoors while meeting people in their local community. The roles cover the main boating and visitor season from March to October and each volunteer commits to one or two days a week. No previous experience is needed as full training is given and each volunteer wears a Canal & River Trust uniform to identify them to visitors and boaters.

Fascinating and calming

Penny Smith, who is backing the campaign, says: “I am a huge fan of Britain's canals - they're fascinating and calming in equal measure. My third book Summer Holiday is a love story where two people find love while volunteering to clean the towpaths. But my local canal is more than just a source of inspiration for my books; it's a very special place for moments of contemplation or to simply watch the world go by. I am very happy to support the Canal & River Trust in all their work preserving our heritage.

“As someone who is indoors a lot either in a studio at 6am when presenting my breakfast show on BBC London or working from home, I see the work of the volunteer lock keepers as a great excuse to get out into the fresh air, meet the locals, get fit and make new friends. You might fall in love....even if it's only with a heron!"

Friendly face

Lock keepers have been a fixture on Britain's canals for over 200 years and today's volunteer lock keepers provide a polite and friendly face on the modern waterways assisting boaters through the locks, maintaining the area on the towpath around the lock and answering questions from visitors and inquisitive tourists.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer lock keeper

Last Edited: 20 February 2014

photo of a location on the canals
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