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Volunteer 2012 ...and help restore the waterways



Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless

About Us

Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) working holidays, called ‘Canal Camps’, are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting new people of different background and ages. Our camps also offer you a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone-walling, machine operation and restoration techniques.

Tell Me More

In groups of up to 20 volunteers, you can help with essential restoration work on the derelict waterways of England and Wales. Volunteers will be able to take part in various tasks from vegetation clearance to learning how to build



a lock wall. Whether you are a complete beginner or have tried your hand at restoration before, you will be guided through every task by the Canal Camp leader and their assistant. Our working holidays are open to anyone aged between 18 and 70. Volunteers come from all walks of life... so why don’t you join us on a canal camp and try something completely different in 2012!


You’ll be sent a full list of what to bring, the essentials being… • sleeping bag & camping mat (or mattress) • waterproofs • old work clothes • steel-toe capped boots or wellies ...and most importantly a sense of humour!

Our standard accommodation is best described as basic – usually in village halls, scout huts or community centres unless otherwise stated. There will always be a hot shower on offer after a muddy day on site.

get involved

Kit List

We will supply any other safety equipment required, including a hard hat.


Volunteer 2012

The working day

Our week-long working holidays usually start around 4pm on the first Saturday and finish at lunch time on the following Saturday. The working day usually runs from 9am to 5pm (depending on the weather!) with plenty of teabreaks and lunch on site. A cooked breakfast and a substantial, home cooked evening meal will be provided.

D of E Award

How to Book It’s easy to book onto one of our Canal Camps and become a 21st century canal Navvy! • book online • call 01494 783 453 ext. 604

WRG welcomes participants completing the residential aspect of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. All volunteers participating in the scheme must attend the camp for the full seven days to be eligible for the award.


• use the booking form at the back of this brochure.

get outdoors and dirty in 2012


Midlands Sheffield

Joining a WRG camp has ticked so many boxes for me – fresh air, exercise, friendship, community involvement and a holiday


- Lynda, retired, aged 59

CROMFORD CANAL The Cromford Canal is a waterway being reborn in the heart of the Peak District. Volunteers will be working on the Derwentside Spill Weir, in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site. Work will consist of demolishing the existing structure and constructing a new weir. There will also be the chance to work on the Gauging Narrows at Sawmills, continuing rebuilding work on the stone walls started by WRG in 2011.


Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Derbyshire activities: demolition, construction, stone-walling, bricklaying

dates CC201214 4th - 11th August CC201217 11th - 18th August

UTTOXETER CANAL Our main Canal Camps programme ends in October but that doesn’t mean we go into hibernation for the winter! This year the Christmas Camp will be working on the Uttoxeter Canal clearing vegetation around Bridge 70, so there will be plenty of scrub bashing, bonfires and other winter activities. It’s the perfect opportunity to work off your Christmas dinner and start the New Year in style.

book now

Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Staffordshire activities: scrub bashing, bonfires

dates CC201227 26th December - 1st January 2013




The Chesterfield Canal is one of the most beautiful and varied waterways in England. Officially opened in 1777, its most famous cargo was stone to rebuild the Houses of Parliament. Restoration work is now well advanced with much of the canal re-opened to boat traffic and other recreational activities.

cost: £56 (*£72 - 10 day camp) accommodation: basic location: Derbyshire activities: lock construction, brick and block laying

In 2012 WRG will be returning to help construct the new Staveley Town Lock. Over the summer camps volunteers will help build this new lock by getting involved with activities such as brick and block laying. The new lock is an important step in the restoration project, enabling the canal to get under a railway line a few hundred metres further on. If that isn’t enough to keep everyone busy, volunteers may also get involved in the construction of a small footbridge and wharf wall. There will be plenty of work to keep both experienced WRGies and newcomers entertained.


mortar mixing

dates CC201203 31st March - 9th April* CC201220 18th - 25th August CC201223 25th August - 1st September

heritage skills


South West & South Wales

MONmouthshire canal Generally referred to as the ‘Mon and Brec’, the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals form a 50 mile link between the Brecon Beacons National Park and the South Wales Valley. There will be plenty of activities throughout the camp from the reconstruction and repair of Tredegar Lock, to vegetation clearance of the canal corridor from Drapers Lock. This is a great camp for all abilities whether you are a beginner or a more experienced ‘navvy’.


Details cost: £56 accommodation: church hall location: South Wales activities: heritage construction skills, vegetation clearance

dates CC201204 30th June - 7th July CC201206 7th - 14th July

© Ralph Mills

- Valerie, teacher, aged 55


SwinDon Bristol


Great people, great places and an enormous sense of pride in a job well done!

HEREFORDSHIRE & GLOUCS Canal This canal follows an almost entirely rural course for 34 miles through the glorious countryside from Hereford to Gloucester, linking to the River Severn. In 2000, WRG helped to restore Over Basin and this Easter volunteers will restore the next stretch of canal (approx 275 metres) north of the basin. Work will involve excavators and dumpers removing silt from the canal, as well as the construction of a new towpath.

Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Gloucestershire activities: machine operation, towpath construction, piling

dates CC201202 6th - 13th April

for more information call 01494 783 453 ext 604

South West & South Wales

COtswold Canals, INGLESHAM Lock

Details Details

Inglesham Lock is seen as the gateway to the Cotswold Canals restoration. The Inland Waterways Association is in the process of raising £125,000 to enable volunteers to restore and recommission this iconic structure just off the Thames at Lechlade.

cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Cotswolds activities: bricklaying, lock restoration, dam construction, demolition

Last year WRG volunteers set up the site compound, cleared vegetation and started rebuilding the upper wing walls. In 2012 volunteers will construct a dam to enable access to the lock chamber, as well as repairing the stop plank grooves, installing new stop planks and continuing to repair the wing walls. If you don’t mind getting dirty and enjoy learning new skills such as bricklaying then this could be the holiday for you.


get involved

dates CC201218 11th - 18th August CC201221 18th - 25th August CC201224 25th August - 1st September



North West & Welsh Borders Beautiful location, great pub, bit of peace and quiet, and lots of mud – perfect break away from work!



- Steve, accountant, aged 36 Shrewsbury

MANCHESTER BOLTON & BURY Take a week out and get outdoors and dirty on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal. It is hoped that the restoration of the canal will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the local area. Volunteers will be working at Nob End, repointing one of the locks and assisting in the building of a picnic area. Volunteers will also be involved in the demolition of an old works building.


Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Lancashire activities: lock restoration, demolition work

dates CC201207 14th - 21st July

LANCASTER CANAL The northern part of the Lancaster Canal became derelict following the building of the M6 motorway. WRG volunteers will be spending two weeks reprofiling and relining a 225 metre section of the canal at Stainton. Volunteers will be involved in vegetation clearance, stonework restoration and earth moving so there will be the chance to operate excavators and dumpers! Book now and join us in the beautiful setting of the Lancaster Canal this summer.

book now

Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Lancashire activities: channel construction, vegetation clearance, stonework restoration

dates CC201209 21st - 28th July CC201211 28th July - 4th August

North West & Welsh Borders



Escape with us to the stunning countryside of the Welsh Borders. In 2011 volunteers trialled experimental approaches to restoring rural waterways and successfully excavated 100 metres of the canal in preparation for 2012, as well as relining a 20 metre section.

cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Shropshire activities: channel construction, blocklaying, landscaping

This year we hope volunteers will be able to construct the remaining 80 metres of the channel south of Pryces Bridge. Volunteers will spend five weeks installing a liner system, consisting of geotextiles (‘fuzzy felt’), and bentonite matting followed by blocklaying. There will also be some work for excavator and dumper drivers. Sounds technical doesn’t it... don’t worry the majority of our volunteers are new to canal restoration so it’s a great learning experience for everyone involved! This is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to help restore a length of the Montgomery Canal, hopefully ensuring its future.

drive a digger

new skills

dates CC201213 28th July - 4th August CC201216 4th - 11th August CC201219 11th - 18th August CC201222 18th - 25th August CC201225 25th August - 1st September



South East

It was my first camp although hard work it was thoroughly enjoyable and great fun... I have not laughed so much in a long time!



- Tom, student, aged 20

WENDOVER ARM, Grand Union canal The Grand Union Canal was the ‘M1’ of its day with boats transporting farming products, coal, timber and other materials to and from the London markets. In 2011 volunteers exposed the Wendover Arm’s derelict Whitehouse’s Pumping Station and in 2012 volunteers will rebuild the station’s wharf wall and culverts, as well as excavating the coal storage areas.


Details cost: £56 accommodation: village hall location: Hertfordshire activities: bricklaying, waterway archaeology

dates CC201208 14th - 21st July

WEY & ARUN Canal The Wey & Arun Canal runs through Surrey and West Sussex in Southern England. The aim of the restoration project is to restore a direct water link between London and the South Coast. You’ll spend a week helping to restore a section of the canal at Dunsfold between Tickners Heath and Compasses Bridge Cross. Volunteers will be involved in the construction of a boat house, slipway and landing stages.

Details cost: £56 accommodation: basic location: Surrey activities: improvement works, construction of a boat house, slipway and landing stages

dates CC201205 30th June - 7th July

for more information call 01494 783 453 ext 604

Š Ralph Mills

South East



The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. In 2005 Essex Waterways, which is a subsidiary of our parent organisation the Inland Waterways Association, took over the management of the navigation. To help maintain this beautiful waterway, WRG is running four camps this year.

cost: ÂŁ56 accommodation: barge location: Maldon, Essex activities: bank protection, brickwork, towpath construction

So why not join the Essex team as they have an array of tasks waiting for you! Get stuck into various improvement works including bank protection, painting, towpath improvements, scrub clearance and waterside repairs. In the summer volunteers will also spend two weeks carrying out major brickwork repairs to Rushes Weir. Working holidays on the Chelmer are different from our normal restoration projects but if you fancy helping us keep this active and vibrant waterway alive then this is the camp for you!

new friends

new experiences

dates CC201201 11th - 18th February CC201212 28th July - 4th August CC201215 4th - 11th August CC201226 27th October - 3rd November

great memories


Š Ralph Mills

South East



The Basingstoke Canal is one of the few canals we work on that is navigable. In the early 1970s restoration work began, and although 32 miles of the canal have now been fully restored, there is an ongoing need for maintenance and improvement works to sustain it.

cost: ÂŁ56 accommodation: basic location: Surrey activities: canal maintenance, landing stage construction

This year we will be involved in a multitude of tasks including the building of landing stages, towpath repairs, vegetation clearance and other remedial works to locks in the Deepcut flight. This camp will give volunteers the chance to try their hand at lots of different tasks and there may also be the opportunity to operate excavators and dumpers.


dates CC201210 21st - 28th July

book now

Dirty Weekenders

OTHER... WRG North West

Get outdoors and dirty... For those with not a lot of time to spare we also have two-day volunteering opportunities available with our regional groups. For more information please go to

Wey and Arun Summer Camp* The Wey and Arun Canal Trust Summer Camp this year will be starting the construction of a boat house, slipway and landing stages on a section of the canal at Dunsfold between Tickners Heath and Compasses Bridge crossings. This will enable the Trust to start a trip boat operation on a second length of the canal.

*This camp is run by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust

Bit in the Middle

WRG South West

Essex WRG

London WRG

Details accommodation: basic location: Surrey activities: improvement works, construction of a boat house, slipway and landing stages contact: 01403 752403 summercamp

dates 23rd - 30th June

scrub bashing

BCN Cleanup 2012

WRG Reunion Weekend

This cleanup weekend on the Birmingham Canal Navigations is a great way to have fun and make a difference ‌ plus you never know what exciting rubbish you might find lurking in the water!

In November we hold our annual major work party and big gettogether to catch up and find out what’s planned for the following year. If you enjoy scrub bashing and bonfires then this is the weekend for you!



For more information go to

For more information go to


21st - 22nd April


dates 10th - 11th November



Dates for your diary

calendar February


11th - 18th February Chelmer & Blackwater CC201201

4th - 11th August Cromford Canal CC201214 Chelmer & Blackwater CC201215 Montgomery Canal CC201216

March/April 31st March - 9th April Chesterfield Canal CC201203 6th - 13th April Herefordshire & Gloucs Canal CC201202

11th - 18th August Cromford Canal CC201217 Cotswold Canals, Inglesham CC201218 Montgomery Canal CC201219

online: call us: 01494 783 453 ext. 604 email us: please note: all camps (except CC201202, 03 & 27) run from Saturday to Saturday

18th - 25th August Chesterfield Canal CC201220 Cotswold Canals, Inglesham CC201221 Montgomery Canal CC201222

21st - 22nd April BCN Cleanup

June 30th June - 7th July Monmouthshire Canal CC201204 Wey & Arun Canal CC201205

July 7th - 14th July Monmouthshire Canal CC201206 14th - 21st July Manchester, Bolton & Bury CC201207 Wendover Arm, Grand Union CC201208 21st - 28th July Lancaster Canal CC201209 Basingstoke Canal CC201210 28th July - 4th August Lancaster Canal CC201211 Chelmer & Blackwater CC201212 Montgomery Canal CC201213


book now!

25th August - 1st September Chesterfield Canal CC201223 Cotswold Canals, Inglesham CC201224 Montgomery Canal CC201225

October 27th October - 3rd November Chelmer & Blackwater CC201226

November 10th - 11th November WRG Reunion Weekend


December 26th December - 1st January 2013 Uttoxeter Canal CC201227

01494 783 453 ext 604

personal details

I wish to attend canal camp(s):

Title: (delete as appropriate) Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Other

Camp No:



Camp No:


First name(s):

Booking Form

please use block capitals

canal camp booking form

dietary requirements


Please indicate any special dietary requirements (e.g. vegan, vegetarian and any food allergies) Postcode:




other information

DoB (you must be over 18 at the start of the camp):



Do you hold a current First Aid Qualification?


If yes, please specify details:

emergency contact details Please provide details of someone who we can contact in case of emergency



Are you attending as part of your Duke of Edinburgh Award?


How did you hear about us?


How do you intend to travel to the camp?





booking form continued... medical & Access information

Cancellation Policy

Please let us know if you have any conditions for which you are currently seeing a doctor for treatment (e.g. asthma, epilepsy, allergies, or other health issues) and/or if you have any access needs. Please also include any information about medications and its dosages. This information will help the leader plan suitable activities for the canal camp. Please advise us of any changes before the start of the camp.

If you wish to cancel or transfer your booking please inform us 21 days before the start of the camp. Your payment will be refunded, less a £10 administration fee, or transferred free of charge. If you cancel less than 21 days before the start of the camp, no refund can be made.

declaration Please read the following before signing: I agree that information on this form may be stored on an electronic database and that this information may be provided to organisers of the camp that I will be attending and to other authorised WRG Personnel. WRG may use the information you supply for administrative purposes and to send you information about our activities.

payment To pay by cheque please make payable to ‘WRG’


I enclose a cheque for £ OR Please debit my account £

Date: Data Protection Act: We promise not to sell your details to anyone else. WRG may send you information about The Inland Waterways Association’s campaigns and activities from time to time.

Card No: Start date*: Issue no*:


Expiry date: CCV no**:

Name of Cardholder: * Start Date/Issue No. is for Switch/Maestro cards only. **CCV No. is the last 3 digits on the back of the card.


If you do not wish to receive this information, please tick this box.

Please return Your completed form to: WRG, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

Waterway Recovery Group is part of The Inland Waterways Association (registered office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA). The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered in England no 612245, and registered as a charity no 212342. VAT registration no 342 0715 89. Copyright Waterway Recovery Group 2011. WRG reserves the right to decline bookings without a specified reason. Photos supplied by WRG volunteers.

Volunteer 2012  

Waterway Recovery Group working holidays on the derelict canals of England and Wales

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