Lend a Hand in 2014 and Help Restore Britain’s Derelict Canals
IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) runs a programme of unique week-long residential volunteering opportunities, known as ‘Canal Camps’ designed to restore the derelict canals of England and Wales to their former glory. Canal Camps give you the chance to do your bit for the environment whilst having a fun holiday.
WRG have 25 Canal Camps, two clean-up weekends and a Big Dig already planned for 2014 along with over 40 weekend volunteering opportunities, which will give you the chance to get involved in various activities such as:
1) Restoring a lock in the Cotswolds
Over Easter (12th-21st April) and throughout the summer (19th July -30th August) WRG volunteers will be working on three lock restoration projects on the Cotswold Canals – Inglesham Lock at the eastern end near Lechlade, and Ham Mill Lock and Bowbridge Locks at the western end near Stroud.
Volunteers will undertake a wide variety of activities, including removal of damaged brickwork and bricklaying to reconstruct the lock chamber wall. These will be busy, fun-filled camps that will keep both experienced WRGies and newcomers entertained! See WRG Canal Camp dates.
2) Building a new canal towpath on the Pocklington Canal
The Pocklington Canal is a charming rural waterway in East Yorkshire which acts as an important wildlife sanctuary. The canal towpath is in desperate need of attention and over the week (16th-23rd August) WRG volunteers will be carrying out towpath improvement work. It is hoped that the towpath works will create an amenity for the local community and improve access along the line of the canal.
Volunteers will be involved in vegetation clearance, towpath construction and there will also be the chance to operate small excavators and other machinery!
Find out more about the Pocklington Canal Camp.
3) Constructing a canal channel on the Lancaster Canal
Why not getting involved in a major bit of restoration work this summer and help the Lancaster Canal Trust reline a 225 meter section of the Lancaster Canal at Stainton (27th July - 9th August). Once complete, this new section will be re-watered and reconnected to a part of the canal that the Trust uses for its trip boats.
Volunteers will also be involved in towpath improvement work and vegetation clearance along the next section of the canal. Book now and join us in the beautiful setting of the Lancaster Canal this summer! Find out more about the Lancaster Canal Camps!
4) Helping clean-up a canal
As well as restoring derelict canals, WRG volunteers spend some of their time helping maintain the canal network which is still in use. The volunteers do this by organising annual clean-up events that help transform a section of the canal in just one weekend.
In the Spring (5th-6th April), WRG volunteers will get ready for a weekend of ‘treasure hunting’ on the Birmingham Canal Navigations at the Ashted Flight, Typhoo Wharf and Camp Hill Locks. Using grappling hooks, volunteers will spend the weekend pulling out rubbish from the canal and ensure that the route continues to be passable.
In the Autumn (4th-5th October), volunteers head to Manchester. Last year over 100 volunteers from IWA, WRG and Canal & River Trust took part in a large multi-site canal cleanup on the canals of Greater Manchester and pulled out in excess of 30 shopping trolleys, 6 bicycles, numerous road cones, fencing panels, scaffold poles and a motorbike. We hope 2014 will bring out even more volunteers!
5) Becoming a weekend volunteer
Not everyone can give up a full week – and that’s were WRG’s Regional Groups come in. A lot of voluntary work has to be done at the weekend, and between them WRG's regional groups ensure that almost every weekend there will be volunteers at work restoring the country's waterways
Find your local Regional WRG Group
Read what the Regional Groups have been up to recently:
- London WRG on the Shrewsbury and Newport
- WRG Bit in the Middle on the Wilts and Berks Canal
- WRG Forestry team on the Wey and Arun Canal
Volunteering with WRG is a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). WRG offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and restoration techniques! Each week costs £56 which includes food and accommodation.
WRG has lots more volunteering activities planned for 2014 - to find out more go to the WRG website.Back