Waterway Recovery Group

Membership and Chairman

The Waterway Recovery Group operates two committees with specific roles and functions, one known as the ‘WRG Board’ and the other the ‘WRG Committee’.

The WRG Board has an appointed membership of people who have a particular knowledge/skill/interest in waterways restoration AND are involved in Waterway Recovery Group activities.  

WRG Committee meetings are open to anyone involved in Waterway Recovery Group activities, with no appointed membership. 

WRG Board members are subject to formal appointment by IWA's Board of Trustees. The chairman is appointed, and reappointed or replaced, by IWA's Trustees.

Term of office

WRG Board Member appointments will be reviewed every three years from date of appointment. WRG Board members have no restrictions on length of service.

New members of the WRG Board will be sought by advertisement in Navvies and by other WRG communications.  Speculative applications and suggestions by current Board members will also be accepted and discussed by the Board.  

Format and  frequency of meetings

The WRG Board/ Committee will meet 6 times a year.  

The WRG Board's minutes are only circulated to WRG Board, IWA trustees and senior staff.  The WRG Board’s role is to discuss sensitive matters regarding WRG’s finances, volunteer issues, driver authorisations and other private matters.  Members of the Trustee Board shall have the right to attend meetings as observers.  

The WRG Committee meeting is open to anyone involved in Waterway Recovery Group activities.  Minutes are circulated to WRG Committee mailing list and anyone else in attendance.  The WRG Committee’s role is to discuss general matters within WRG such as the election of Canal Camp Leaders, Canal Camp locations etc.

Additional meetings may take place by electronic means such as telephone calls, video conference call or by email.  Any electronic meeting must be properly structured, recorded and minuted.

See forthcoming Waterway Recovery Group meeting dates.

Right of attendance at meetings

WRG Board meeting will be a closed meeting for WRG Board members and invited persons only.  Members of the Trustee Board shall have the right to attend meetings as observers

WRG Committee meeting is open to anyone involved in Waterway Recovery Group activities.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • To be the national co-ordinating body for voluntary labour on the inland waterways of the British Isles and promote best practice in volunteer restoration by:
  • Adopting and promoting best practice in volunteer restoration in regards to health and safety, restoration skills and techniques, and plant operation.
  • Providing guidance on Health and Safety issues.
  • Acting as IWA’s lead partner in developing and maintaining a strategic alliance regarding volunteering with Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, and other similar bodies.
  • Publishing Navvies as a medium to report news amongst waterway restoration groups and interested volunteers and also to encourage debate and discussion on topics of interest to waterway restoration groups.
  • Providing advice on restoration works through visits to site from appropriate experts and visiting volunteers undertaking practical work on restoration sites.
  • Organising training activities for those undertaking restoration work to improve skills and knowledge.
  • Where appropriate, operating proper systems for proving competence for restoration activities (such as authorisation for use of mechanical equipment).
  • Providing specialist equipment for loan to waterway organisations
  • To undertake physical restoration of waterways and associated structures by:
  • Providing Canal Camps and centrally organised weekend work parties to undertake restoration.
  • Providing weekend work parties on restoration sites through regional groups.
  • Encouraging volunteers to attend events through regular articles and information in; Navvies, IWA Head Office Bulletin and Waterways as well as through targeted Press Releases and information on WRG/ IWA websites.
  • To promote the Association and its aims by:
  • Providing support and assistance at IWA sponsored waterways events.
  • Producing publicity materials promoting waterway restoration and encouraging involvement.
  • Producing advice and up to date guidance on good practice for restoration activities through IWA’s Practical Restoration Handbook, Navvies and IWA / WRG websites.
  • Ensuring good practice for restoration is promulgated to wide audience by holding training events and uploading information online for general consumption.
  • To lever & raise funds for waterway restoration work by:
  • Providing effort in kind (where appropriate to do so) to lever matched funding.
  • Organising fund raising activities, including collections of goods for resale or recycling.
  • Entering into appropriate sponsorship agreements related to WRG’s activities.
  • Supporting IWA’s national campaigns and appeals and, where possible, provide volunteer assistance to IWA led restoration projects.
  • To ensure that WRG’s operations comply with relevant financial and other legal legislations by:
  • Maintaining proper financial records.
  • Conducting regular Committee and Board meetings in line with the Association’s policies.


The Board of Trustees


Minutes – to be produced within a maximum of 14 days of meetings.

Current Members

Find out about current members of Waterway Recovery Group board.