Friday, 14 January 2011


As people make their New Year’s resolutions this January to get fit, make new friends and get out and about more, British Waterways is hoping that their new volunteering scheme on the Kennet & Avon Canal will give local residents the perfect opportunity to make a difference to their environment as well as achieving some personal goals.

British Waterways’ new volunteering scheme is looking for people to give up a few hours a month to help maintain the much-loved, 200-year-old waterway. The scheme is being set up ahead of the organisations move to become a charity in April 2012.

Mark Stephens, British Waterways’ waterway manager explained: “The Kennet & Avon Canal is a beautiful stretch of waterway, unfortunately British Waterways has limited resources to be able to keep the canal looking as good as we would like. We hope that local people will join us to help with tasks such as cutting back overgrown vegetation so the towpath is kept clear, as well as painting lock gates and clearing litter from the canal.”

Monthly working parties are being set-up at locations along the canal including: Reading, Aldermaston, Newbury, Kintbury, Crofton, Bedwyn, Devizes and Bath. Each session will run from 10am – 3pm and volunteers will be supplied with all the safety equipment needed for the towpath tasks. The working parties will be starting in February, and running throughout the year.

Karen Fishwick, British Waterways’ volunteer co-ordinator said: “There is already a brilliant volunteering spirit on the Kennet & Avon Canal, especially with organisations such as the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. We hope that these working parties will encourage even more people to get out and about on the waterway, meet new people and find out more about their local environment. It’s quite a flexible scheme, as some people may only be able to do a few hours, whilst others might want to take part at more than one location, several times a month.”

Anyone wishing to take part in the volunteering scheme should contact Karen on 07917424590 or email for further information. There’s more information about volunteering with British Waterways available at

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