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waterway recovery group

VOLUNTEER 2013 ...and help restore the waterways


Holidays With a Difference! After

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

About Us

task by the Canal Camp leader and their assistant.

Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) working holidays, called ‘Canal Camps’, are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting new people from different backgrounds and of different 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


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 2013!

Accommodation Most of the accommodation is in village halls, sports clubs or similar. The standard of accommodation is best described as basic, with volunteers sleeping on the floor in one large room, but you can expect electricity, flushing toilets and dry draught-free sleeping areas! If the accommodation does not have showers, they will be arranged locally. Don’t forget a comfy sleeping mat, airbed or camping bed to make your sleeping experience more enjoyable!


get involved

Kit List

...most importantly remember to

You’ll be sent a full list of what to bring, the essentials being… s leeping bag & camping mat (or airbed) waterproofs old work clothes steel toe capped boots/wellies We will supply any other safety equipment required, including a hard hat.


pack a sense of humour!

Volunteer 2013

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 normally runs from 9am to 5pm (depending on the weather!) with plenty of tea-breaks and lunch on site. A cooked breakfast and a substantial, home cooked evening meal will be provided each day.

How to Book It’s easy to book onto one of our Canal Camps and become a 21st century canal Navvy! • book online

D of E Award 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.

• call

01494 783 453 ext. 604

• use the

WRG is part of:

booking form at the back of this


get outdoors and dirty in 2013



- Lynda, retired, aged 59

Cromford Canal The Cromford Canal is a waterway being reborn in the heart of the Peak District. The canal originally ran for 14 miles from Cromford to the Erewash Canal carrying coal, lead and iron ore, but in 1944 most of the canal was abandoned and it slowly fell into a state of disrepair. Volunteers will be working on a site nestled in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site rebuilding around 40 metres of stone walling and reinstating coping stones at the Sawmill’s gauging narrows. These camps are going to be busy and funfilled, so do something different this


Uttoxeter Canal


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


summer and join us on the Cromford Canal!

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Derbyshire Activities: Stone walling and other heritage techniques

Dates 3rd - 10th August

Essentially a rural waterway, the Uttoxeter Canal was built in 1811 and ran for 13 miles from a junction with the Caldon Canal at Froghall to a terminus in Uttoxeter. By the mid 1840s it was taken over by the North Staffordshire Railway, who went on to close it. In 2005 the first section of the canal was reconnected to the network at Froghall Basin. We have two Camps planned on the Canal this year. The WRG Forestry Team are holding their annual week long canal camp on the Uttoxeter Canal in October. Work will include tree felling (by WRG Forestry approved chainsaw operators), scrub bashing and other clearance activities including bonfires! The Christmas Camp is also going to run on the Uttoxeter Canal with volunteers clearing vegetation along the line of the canal near Bridge 70. It’s the perfect way to work off your Christmas dinner and start the New Year in style!

10th - 17th August

book now

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Staffordshire Activities: Scrub bashing, bonfires, winter activities

Dates 26th October - 2nd November 26th December - 1st January 2014


Lichfield Canal The Lichfield Canal covers a distance of just over 7 miles linking the Birmingham Canal Navigations to the Coventry Canal. Built between 1794 and 1797 much of the canal was drained and filled in during the 1960s. These Camps will give volunteers the chance to get involved in a major restoration project. Using excavators and other machinery, volunteers will create a large environmental mound at Darnford Park as well as forming the base of Lock 28 by removing and shaping the sandstone bedrock. Volunteers will also be involved restoring Pound 27 by laying concrete

blocks to the ‘narrows’ walls, relining the canal, clearing vegetation and creating new wildlife habitats!

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56/£64* Location: Staffordshire Activities: Machine operation, vegetation clearance, block laying

Dates 29th March - 6th April* 29th June - 6th July


Chesterfield Canal 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. In 2013 WRG will continue with work started last summer, helping to construct the new Staveley Town Lock. Volunteers will be involved in activities such as brick and block laying so there is plenty to keep both experienced WRGies and newcomers entertained. This new lock is an important step

mortar mixing

in the restoration of the canal and considerable progress should be seen during the camp.

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Derbyshire Activities: Lock construction, brick and block laying

Dates 17th - 24th August 24th - 31st August

heritage skills


I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and it’s the best hobby I’ve ever had, to meet like minded people and to do a worthwhile activity is a mazing!




South West & South Wales Exeter

- Becky, Administrator, aged 39

Wilts & Berks Canal The Wilts & Berks is one of the most ambitious canal restoration projects in the whole of Britain. The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and their volunteers are committed to returning this historic waterway to a navigable state linking the Thames at Abingdon with the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham. From 2007-2009, WRG volunteers rebuilt a collapsed bridge and this year we return to Steppingstone Lane Bridge one final time to complete the remaining work! Volunteers will be involved in some muddy work – clearing out debris from the canal; some technical work – reinstating the wing walls and installing


the coping stones; and finally some landscaping and towpath repair work. With pleasant surroundings, a fun project and excellent local support this will be a popular camp.

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Wiltshire Activities: Bricklaying, reinstating of coping stones, landscaping

Dates 6th - 13th July

Swansea Canal Whilst much of the original canal has been infilled and associated industries have disappeared, the Swansea Canal remains an attractive wildlife corridor with around 6 miles still in water. The long term aim of Swansea Canal Society is to recreate a navigable link along the Swansea Canal into the River Tawe and from there to join up with the Neath and Tennant Canals. In 2013 WRG volunteers will be working at Lower Trebanos Lock clearing vegetation and reinstating coping stones to prevent the lower courses of Blue Pennant Sandstone brickwork from deteriorating further as well as

repointing damaged brickwork. This is an excellent heritage based project and will be a great way to learn new skills!

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: South Wales Activities: Vegetation clearance, brickwork, reinstating coping stones

Dates 31st August - 7th September

for more information call 01494 783 453 ext 604

South West & South Wales

Cotswold Canals One day the Cotswold Canals will once again link the Thames, through the Cotswold Hills to the Severn. A major project to reopen six miles of the canal over the next few years is under way, and WRG have already helped the Cotswold Canals Trust restore Gough’s Orchard Lock at Brimscombe Port. This year volunteers will be working on Ham Mill and Bowbridge Locks and Weymoor Bridge. Volunteers will undertake a wide variety of restoration activities, including the rebuilding of lock walls and bridge repairs. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn or improve your bricklaying skills!

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: ÂŁ56 Location: Cotswolds Activities: Bricklaying, lock restoration

Dates 3rd - 10th August 10th - 17th August


Inglesham Lock


WRG are also running several Canal Camps at Inglesham Lock (Cotswold Canals) in order to gain access to the chamber and allow major brickwork repairs to be undertaken in 2014.

Accommodation: Basic

Work will include the installation of a temporary dam; repairs to the stop plank grooves and subsequent installation of planks; the creation of an earth bund as well as brickwork repairs to wing walls.

brickwork, demolition

get involved


Cost: tbc Location: Cotswolds Activities: Dam construction,

Dates Dates to be confirmed early 2013


© Ralph Mills

© Ralph Mills

South West & South Wales Monmouthshire Canal


Generally referred to as the ‘Mon & Brec’, the Monmouthshire and the Brecon and Abergavenny canals form a 50 mile link between the Brecon Beacons National Park and the South Wales Valleys. Over 30 miles of the Mon & Brec are already open, and many boaters rate it as Britain’s most beautiful waterway.

Accommodation: Basic

Volunteers will help the local canal trust further their ‘Waterlinks Project’ on the Ty Coch Lock Flight, south of Cwmbran, by undertaking the restoration of several disused locks to create a destination and resource for the local community and visitors in Cwmbran. Work will include lock chamber stone and brick repairs, lock gate construction and hedge laying. Volunteers may also be given training in the use of lime mortar.

Activities: Heritage construction skills, vegetation

This is a great Camp for all abilities whether you are a beginner or a more experienced ‘navvy’.

Cost: £56 Location: South Wales clearance

Dates 17th - 24th August 24th - 31st August


book now

© Ralph Mills


Beautiful location, great pub, bit of peace and quiet, and lots of mud – perfect break away from work! - Steve, accountant, aged 36

North West

North West Manchester


Lancaster Canal


The northern part of the Lancaster Canal became derelict following the building of the M6 motorway. The Trust’s main objectives are to restore and reopen the canal to navigation, from Tewitfield, just north of Carnforth, to Kendal.

Accommodation: Basic

Over Easter, WRG volunteers will be returning to Stainton to continue reprofiling and lining a 225 metre section of the Canal. Once complete, this new section will be re-watered and reconnected to a part of the canal which the Trust uses for its trip boat operation.

Location: Lancashire

Volunteers will be involved in vegetation clearance, stonework restoration and earth moving so there will be a chance to operate excavators and dumpers! Book now and join us in the beautiful setting of the Lancaster Canal this April!


Cost: £56/£64* Activities: Channel construction, vegetation clearance, stonework

Dates 29th March - 6th April* 6th - 13th April

drive a digger

new skills



South East

- Tom, student, aged 20

Wendover Arm,


also spend some time helping to reline the canal by dry laying concrete blocks on bentonite lining.

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 2012 volunteers started work rebuilding the Wendover Arm’s derelict Whitehouses Pumping Station by repairing the damaged wharf walls and culverts. This year volunteers will continue to work on the preservation and restoration of the Pumping Station using heritage construction skills to reinstate the weir crest. Volunteers may



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

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Hertfordshire Activities: Bricklaying, waterway archaeology, block laying

Dates 6th - 13th 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 create a 1km disabled access footpath and viewing area alongside Cranleigh Waters. It will be the first chance for volunteers to work on this exciting new project, to build an entirely new section of the Wey & Arun Canal from the River Wey to the parishes of Shalford and Bramley!

Details Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Surrey Activities: Footpath construction, machine operation, vegetation clearance

Dates 29th June - 6th July

for more information call 01494 783 453 ext 604

© Tim Lewis

National Festival


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. This camp will give volunteers the chance to try their hand at lots of different tasks, from towpath and landing stage construction to brickwork repairs on various lock structures. There will also be the opportunity to operate machinery such as excavators and dumpers.

Accommodation: Basic Cost: £56 Location: Surrey Activities: Towpath & landing stage construction, brickwork

Dates 27th July - 3rd August

new friends


Yes it’s back!! After a year off, The Inland Waterways Association has decided to hold another waterways festival, this time on the Grand Union Canal, Watford, in the picturesque surroundings of Cassiobury Park.

Accommodation: Heated marquee

A Festival Camp is completely different from a restoration camp – first we help build the site, putting up display stands and fencing. Then when the event opens, we help run it by providing site services, as well as entertaining and educating the public. At the end we dismantle it all. If you want to meet lots of new people this is the camp for you!

run a waterways festival

new experiences

South East

Basingstoke Canal

(with shower and toilet blocks) Cost: £88 Location: Hertfordshire Activities: Setting up and helping

Dates 13th - 24th July

great memories


South East Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation


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 our sister organisation, Essex Waterways, took over the management of the Navigation. To help maintain this beautiful waterway WRG is running 3 camps this year.

Accommodation: Basic (Feb/Oct)

So why not join the Essex team in 2013 as they have an array of tasks waiting for you. Get stuck into various improvement works including towpath maintenance, vegetation control and tree management along the Navigation.

Activities: Bank protection, towpath construction,

Summer volunteers will also be involved in reinstating the bank using willow faggots on an eroded area of towpath upstream of Paper Mill Lock. Volunteer now and help us keep this vibrant and active waterway alive for generations to come! Accommodation for this week is on a barge used as a residential education centre and has showers and bunk beds.

Accommodation Barge (Summer) Cost: ÂŁ56 Location: Essex vegetation clearance

Dates 16th - 23rd February 27th July - 3rd August 26th October - 2nd November


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.

Bit in the Middle

Essex WRG

London WRG WRG South West

For more information please go to

BCN Cleanup 2013

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Camp

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!

Why not join WACT on their annual summer camp, building a new footpath and viewing area alongside Cranleigh Waters. This work is part of a project to create a new section of the canal from the River Wey to the parishes of Shalford and Bramley.

In November we hold our annual major work party and big get-together 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!




Website: SummerCamp2013.php Tel: 01403 752403

Dates 13th - 14th April

Dates 3rd - 10th August

scrub bashing

Details Website:

Dates 9th - 10th November

Keep up to date with waterways volunteering Subscribe to ‘Navvies’ the Waterway Recovery Group’s magazine for people restoring the waterways. It only costs £3* for 6 issues a year. Subscribe online at *additional donations welcomed




Dates for your diary


book now!



16th - 23rd February Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation CC201301

3rd - 10th August Cotswold Canals CC201312 Cromford Canal CC201313

March/April 29th March - 6th April Lancaster Canal CC201302 Lichfield Canal CC201303

10th - 17th August Cotswold Canals CC201314 Cromford Canal CC201315

6th - 13th April Lancaster Canal CC201304

17th - 24th August Monmouthshire Canal CC201316 Chesterfield Canal CC201317

13th - 14th April BCN Cleanup

call us: 01494 783 453 ext. 604 email us:

please note: all camps (except CC201309 & 23) run from Saturday to Saturday

24th - 31st August Monmouthshire Canal CC201318 Chesterfield Canal CC201319

June 29th June - 6th July Lichfield Canal CC201305 Wey & Arun Canal CC201306

31st August - 7th September Swansea Canal CC201320


July 6th - 13th July Wilts & Berks Canal CC201307 Wendover Arm, Grand Union Canal CC201308

26th October - 2nd November Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation CC201321 WRG Forestry - Uttoxeter Canal CC201322


13th - 24th July Festival Camp CC201309

9th - 10th November WRG Reunion Weekend BB2013


27th July - 3rd August Basingstoke Canal CC201310 Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation CC201311



December 26th December - 1st January 2014 Uttoxeter Canal CC201323

01494 783 453 ext 604

please use block capitals

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

Canal Camp Booking Form Dietary Requirements


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



Other Information

Email: 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 including the dosage. 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 to another camp free of charge. If you cancel less than 21 days before the start of the camp, no refund can be made.

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.



To pay by cheque please make payable to ‘WRG’ I enclose a cheque for OR Please debit my account



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 2012. WRG reserves the right to decline bookings without a specified reason. Photos supplied by WRG volunteers.

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

WRG Canal Camps Brochure 2013  

Waterway Recovery Group's Working Holiday brochure for 2013

WRG Canal Camps Brochure 2013  

Waterway Recovery Group's Working Holiday brochure for 2013