Volunteer lock keepers wanted in Devizes

The charity that owns and runs the Kennet and Avon Canal has appealed for more volunteers to come forward to become lock keepers on the Caen Hill flight at Devizes.

The Canal and River Trust, which was formed to take over from the former quango British Waterways, had 250 people come forward nationally as volunteers following a similar campaign last year.

Lock keepers help boaters through the locks, provide a polite and friendly welcome to waterway visitors and help to maintain the historic locks.

Rob Labus, volunteering co-ordinator for the Canal and River Trust on the Kennet and Avon Canal, said: “As a new charity we were heartened by the amazing support we received for this role last year.

“Volunteers are integral to the future of the nation’s waterways and our growing groups of volunteers have been making a huge difference to local canals and rivers up and down the country.”

Pete Lankester, one of the volunteer lock keepers at Caen Hill, said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my time as a lock keeper. The role is extremely varied. It can mean anything from helping boats through locks to planting trees and answering questions from people along the towpath.

“I’ve also helped out at emergencies, such as a boat sinking at the bottom of the flight.”

For information on how to volunteer, go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer or ring 0303 040 4040.

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