We’re All Going on a ‘Working’ Holiday

2019 IWA Canal Camps Successfully Underway

7 August, 2019

This summer, while some of us have been relaxing and taking things easy, close to 170 volunteers have been working hard on canal restoration projects around the UK.  Starting with the Easter camp and continuing through until October, volunteers from The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) have already spent over 8,000 hours helping to restore derelict canals across England and Wales. So far, these have included the Lichfield Canal, Grantham Canal, Wey & Arun Canal, Derby Canal, River Waveney, Lancaster Canal and Cotswold Canals.

Volunteers, from across the UK and abroad, have been working on canal restoration sites helping to clear vegetation, excavate canal channels, repoint and rebuild heritage brickwork including a towpath wall on the Lichfield Canal and, in the case of the Grantham Canal, to support the work of Grantham Canal Society in their final push to restore Lock 14.

Some volunteers have taken part in Canal Camps before, but many are first time volunteers who were keen to give their time to canal restoration and to learn new skills and meet new people.

Nigel, who joined the Lichfield camp in July said, “It was a great week and I was delighted to work with such an enthusiastic group of volunteers both new and experienced. It was really inspiring to see what a difference we made in a week. I felt very proud of our achievements.”

Alex Melson, Volunteer Coordinator with the Inland Waterways Association and a volunteer leader for Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camps, said, “Huge progress has been made by WRG in restoring various canal sites this summer. We are committed to helping return these canals to their former glory and preventing the loss of our industrial canal heritage.”

If you are interested booking a Canal Camp, please visit www.wrg.org.uk to view a full list of the remaining camps and dates. To find out more, please call us on 01494 783453 and speak to Alex Melson on Ext 607.


For further information please contact Jo Henderson, Inland Waterways Association, by emailing jo.henderson@waterways.org.uk or phoning 01494 783453 ext 618.

Summer canal camp 2019 group

Notes to Editors

•   For 2019, Waterway Recovery Group has 25 Canal Camps based at 11 canal sites around England & Wales. Plus there are three Family Camps for children aged 6-14 and several weekend camps.

•   In 2018, almost 400 volunteers gave 18,500 hours to help WRG restore UK’s canals.

•   WRG has been operating since 1946, and since then its volunteers have restored many hundreds of miles of canals back to navigation.

 Summer Canal Camp volunteers