CANAL and River Trust is calling on people across Cheshire to support the region’s canals by becoming a volunteer lock keeper.

Volunteer locks keepers act as the ‘face of the waterway’, helping boaters through the locks and also giving people information about the area.

They also lend a hand to the Canal and River Trust staff, who look after the canal.

Volunteers are needed at: Hunts Lock, Northwich, River Weaver; Vale Royal Locks, Northwich, River Weaver; Middlewich Locks, Trent and Mersey Canal; Bunbury Locks, Crewe, Shropshire Union Canal; Hurleston Locks, Nantwich, Llangollen Canal; Northgate Locks, Chester, Shropshire Union Canall; Bosley Locks, Macclesfield Canal; Audlem Locks, Shropshire Union Canal and Cholmondeston Lock, Church Minshull, Shropshire Union Canal.

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

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-October, while many stay on over the winter months to help the Trust with other work.

Jason Watts, volunteer coordinator for the Canal and River 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 the Cheshire’s waterways each year.”

With some 1,580 locks nationwide, 3.8 million ‘lockings’ (passages through locks) each year, and over 32,000 boats using the canals, it’s a busy job and an integral part of the visitor experience.

Applications for the role are now open, with training and induction beginning in March.

For more information,