The Nottingham Canal and Rivers Trust are on a hunt for volunteers to keep the canal safe, healthy and inviting.

The trust take care of the 14-mile stretch of canal which starts at the River Trent and ends at Langley Mill in Derbyshire.

Their website states that with your help they can “continue to conserve our green and blue spaces, help the wildlife to thrive and offer people health, happiness and wellbeing on their doorstep”.

Lead volunteer for the trust, Barbara Hillier, says “we welcome anybody” and “if anybody feels moved, every other Tuesday morning come and see us”.

Audio: Barbara Hillier explains the benefits of being a volunteer

It is not only Nottingham looking for new volunteers. The UK-wide Canal and River Trust bring to life over 2,000 miles of waterways which run through some of the most heavily populated communities in England and Wales.

The trust work with volunteers and communities to transform canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better.

Nottingham Canal, Nottinghamshire

Each year the Canal and River Trust join up with the Marsh Charitable Trust to celebrate volunteering excellence along our nation’s waterways.

In 2022 they are giving an award to either a team of volunteers or an individual who has had a significant impact.

So far they have had 58 nominations for the six regional awards, with a total of 282 individuals nominated and volunteers being recognised across the country for a variety of roles.

Here are some of the top reasons that The Canal and Rivers Trust volunteers give for working with them:

  • To keep fit and active
  • To help keep the history and heritage of our waterways alive
  • To feel part of the canal/riverside community
  • To meet new people
  • To make a difference locally
  • To learn new skills

Independent research shows that simply spending time by the waterways can make you happier and improve your life satisfaction.

Pete is a “clean champion” for Nottingham City Council and has been volunteering at the Nottingham Canal and Rivers Trust for four months. He started giving his time to the trust during lockdown.

Ruth, a towpath ranger for Nottingham Canal and River Trust, noticed an opportunity to volunteer in 2021 and enjoys “making a better environment”.

She “enjoys spending time outdoors and by the water” and sees volunteering for the trust as “a win-win situation”.

John, volunteer with Nottingham Canal and River Trust
Ruth, part of the towpath task force for Nottingham Canal and River Trust