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Waterways heritage volunteering

However much time or experience you have, you can volunteer to make a real difference to our living waterways heritage.

Why volunteer to help waterways heritage?

As a heritage volunteer, you will help Save Waterways Heritage.

We want to improve the protection of heritage assets along the UK’s rivers and canals. Therefore, we will use and review heritage protection and campaign to save historic waterways features at risk from insensitive development.

You will join an enthusiastic and motivated team of volunteers and staff. In addition you will learn new skills, gain new experiences and receive training.

There are four ways to get involved as a heritage champion:

1. Look out for hidden heritage

Already spend time on or next to a waterway? You can volunteer to help heritage as you walk, run, bike or boat along the canal. Uncover your local waterways hidden heritage and send us photos of what you find. For example, rope marks on a bridge, mason’s marks on a lock wall, canal company signage or mile posts along the towpath. You don’t need to know what these things are as we have experts on hand to advise if needed. You just need enthusiasm and a camera.

Find out more about spotting hidden heritage.

2. Speak up for your local heritage

Be a part of the team! Local Heritage Volunteers work with our Heritage Advisory Group and local branches to identify heritage buildings, structures and artefacts at risk of being lost. This will help inform local campaigns.

Find out more about being a Local Heritage Volunteer.

3. Map conservation areas

We want to create a small project team to spend the next 4-6 months mapping conservation areas. From this research, we will be able create a central database. As a result we will be able to better lobby local authorities.

Find out more about being a Heritage Mapper.

4. Share your heritage expertise

Join our panel of expert advisors. Ideally you will have a background or academic interest in conservation, archaeology or management of historic structures. You will be able to provide advice and guidance on heritage matters to our volunteer community and staff team. Consequently we can make sure waterways heritage is understood and appreciated by government, stakeholders and developers.

Find out more about being a National Heritage Advisor.

More ways to help heritage

Local hidden heritage

Share the hidden heritage features of your local waterways.

Heritage Bridge 77, Congleton on the Macclesfield Canal by Martin Allaway

Donate to save waterways heritage

Your support will protect Britain’s at risk waterways heritage.

History of bridges

Find out more about Britain’s bridge heritage

More ways to help heritage