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Volunteer Lock Keeper - River Weaver

Northwich, Weaver Navigation, Cheshire


A volunteer lock keeper poses on the Oxford Canal
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It gives me a warm feeling when a boater asks whether I will be there for the return journey.
Bill, lock keeper

What's involved?

Lock keepers have been a fixture on Britain’s canals for hundreds of years and are one of the oldest traditions of the waterways. As ‘the face of the waterway’, modern-day volunteer lock keepers play an integral part in the visitor experience. Their role is to provide a polite and friendly welcome to waterway visitors, assisting boaters through the locks and helping to maintain the area.

It’s a perfect opportunity for those who enjoy working in the outdoors and are perhaps looking for something different to do and want to help support the Canal & River Trust.
The key qualities we’re looking for are enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

Please note that our lock keeping season will be starting again in late March but we are currently recruiting and will be going through the onboarding process over February and early March. If you are interested, please click "join us" for more information and to be on our list for pre-season inductions and training. Thanks!

What skills are we looking for?

To carry out this role, you’ll ideally have an interest in the waterway and/or the local area, but this is not essential. The most important attributes are an ability to interact with and help others; a friendly manner and the ability to make a good first impression; a hands-on approach and can-do attitude, and flexibility to work on your own or with others. Ideally we are looking for someone who is locally based; and be available to work as part of a team. Full training will be given as these locks are significantly larger than normal canal locks.

What will you get from us?

• Spending time outdoors in nature
• Improving your health and wellbeing
• Learning new skills and gaining experience
• Keeping fit. Most of our locks need a degree of fitness to walk up and down them, push the gates and open the paddles
• opportunity to use your skills if you are already a boater or canal user, and want to support the Trust
• Meeting other volunteers and forming friendships, connecting you to others in your local community
• Making a difference to the canals and the environment in your local area

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Help protect nature & wildlife

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With your help we can conserve our green and blue spaces, helping the wildlife thrive and offering people health, happiness and wellbeing on their doorstops.