Published

2 February 2022

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group has launched its summer programme of working holidays called ‘Canal Camps’. These week-long getaways mean that you can help restore the derelict waterways of England and Wales.

This summer, volunteers will support nine different canal restoration projects and undertake a range of work. For example, you could help rebuild a historic lengthsman’s hut near Berwick Tunnel on the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, or be involved in a major earthworks project on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal to create 600m of new canal.

Canal Camps are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting new people from different backgrounds and of different ages.

Learn new skills

Experience is a bonus but isn’t necessary. Our Camps offer you a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as:

  • Bricklaying
  • Stone walling
  • Machine operation
  • Heritage restoration techniques

Volunteers on our camps work together and make a real difference over the course of the week. They leave with a sense of pride, knowing that they have helped to bring a waterway back to life.

Charlotte, volunteer from the Burslem Port Canal Camp in October 2021, said ‘I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of a Canal Camp. The combination of fresh air, mud and getting hands on experience of restoring our heritage in the company of friendly people, was the perfect way to spend a week!”

Why restore canals?

We restore canals as we believe they are a key part of our 21st century green-blue infrastructure. They act as a huge, linear national park, connecting communities, providing safe havens for wildlife and spaces for people to enjoy and relax in. They are also an important part of our industrial heritage and could play an important role in protecting us from flooding due to climate change.

Find out more about our Canal Camps.

Find Your Summer Canal Camp Staycation

Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (1)
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (2)
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire 3
Chelmer and Blackwater stonhams weir
Lichfield Site
Volunteers working on the Wey &Arun canal restoration