Cheshire’s inland waterways are offering people the chance to take up traditional skills dating back hundreds of years.
The Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks after 2,000 miles of waterways nationwide, is calling on people across the county to support the region’s canals by becoming a volunteer lock keeper.
An iconic role, volunteer lock keepers act as the ‘face of the waterway’ not only helping boaters through the locks but also giving people local information about the area and lending a hand to the Canal & River Trust staff who look after the canal.
Volunteers are needed at the fascinating Northgate Locks on the Shropshire Union Canal in Chester, at Bunbury Locks, also on the Shropshire Union and at Hunts Lock and Vale Royal Locks on the River Weaver in Northwich.
Further afield there are opportunities at Audlem Locks on the Shropshire Union, Bosley Locks on the Macclesfield Canal, Cholmondeston Lock on the Shropshire Union at Church Minshull, Hurleston Locks on the Llangollen Canal in Nantwich and Middlewich Locks on the Trent & Mersey.
With lock keepers having been part of waterway life for hundreds of years those taking up the challenge will help to keep the tradition alive, the trust says.
Full training is provided and people of all ages over 18 and experiences are encouraged to apply. Volunteer lock keepers work on a shift basis between April and October while many stay on over the winter months to help the trust with other work.
Jason Watts, volunteer coordinator at the trust, said: “Our lock keepers are the face of the waterways safely seeing boats through the locks as well as helping people with directions or information about the area.
“It’s a great role for anyone keen to work outdoors and meet new people. You’ll learn new skills and provide invaluable local knowledge for the thousands of visitors we get to Cheshire’s waterways each year.”
Applications for the role are now open with training and induction beginning in March.
For more information, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/ways-to-volunteer/volunteer-lock-keepers.