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The Practical Restoration Handbook (2022 Edition)

The original Practical Restoration Handbook, written in 2000, took a one size fits all approach and attempted to address the issues from the viewpoint of all possible readers. It drew on over 30 years’ experience of waterway restoration by the Waterway Recovery Group and shared that knowledge with restoration groups so that there was no need for each restoration project to have to reinvent the wheel (barrow).

During 2021 and 2022, IWA’s Restoration Hub has transformed and revamped the Practical Restoration Handbook into an enhanced toolkit which aims to guide restoration groups through the sometimes complicated world of health and safety, giving them workable solutions to
undertake restoration work safely. Additionally there are links to toolbox talks, webinars, sample templates and policies which can be adapted to suit the needs of individual projects. The entire toolkit has been designed to be web-friendly and accessible across all platforms, including mobile phones, so it can be referenced on site.

In line with current practice in industry we have now developed a two-tiered approach to delivering information with Guidance Notes supported by a series of Toolbox Talks. The Guidance Notes have been primarily designed for people managing restoration activities, whether that be site leaders or experienced volunteers delivering a specific aspect of a project. The Toolbox Talks have been generated to enable restoration group organisers and site leaders to pass on task-related information and key safety messages to volunteers.

The 2022 Practical Restoration Handbook is now a series of comprehensive books:

  • Book 1 – ‘Getting it right from the start: Planning a Waterway Restoration Project’
  • Book 2 – ‘Right tool for the right job: Plant, equipment and Tools for Waterway Restoration’
  • Book 3 – ‘Waterway Restoration Specific Activities’

Whilst the 2022 Practical Restoration Handbook is a very different animal to the original, it has exactly the same aim as its predecessor – to be the ‘go to resource’ for all volunteers involved in waterways restoration.

All About Book 1

Book 1 focuses on ‘getting it right from the start’ and covers essential information when planning a restoration project. It brings together everything you might need to know about construction health, safety, welfare and the environment. It also addresses how to create a culture of safety within your volunteer group and looks specifically at behavioural safety and leadership when managing volunteers.  Book 1 is divided into 25 sections, as outlined below.

Each section represents a stand-alone guidance note, which is intended to provide the reader with an introduction and more detail on the subject. The note is intended to be used by restoration project organisers to help set up their project and for site leaders to use as a reference document.

The guidance notes should be available on site so that volunteers wanting to read more about a subject can ‘dip in and out’.

IWA’s Restoration Hub will also be putting together a series of pre-recorded webinars to support the reader through each guidance note.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) site safety guide GE700 has been used as a reference document to source material for these guidance notes. A more in depth study of the topics can be found in CITB GE700 and the associated checklists and forms. The CITB offers
a range of training courses to supplement their guide.

Toolbox Talks

To accompany the Practical Restoration Handbook, a series of Toolbox Talks has been prepared. The intention is that restoration group organisers and site leaders can provide ‘bite-sized’ talks to volunteers to cover specific activities that are carried out on the project.

Old Handbook Chapters Still Available

The following chapters of the old Restoration Handbook are still available for reference, pending publication of the new Books 2 and 3

This project was funded by Historic England’s National Capacity Building Programme.