Lock keepers needed for Britain's busiest river

The Environment Agency is looking for volunteer lock keepers to help keep Britain's busiest river - the River Thames - running smoothly.

Working alongside professional lock and weir keepers, volunteers will have the opportunity to spend their days outdoors, meeting the public, helping boats navigate the locks and gaining real hands-on experience in operating the locks along the iconic River Thames.

This will be the third year we have invited volunteers to help us manage and operate our locks along the Thames. We had a successful summer last year - in spite of the weather - and hope to build on that this year.

People don't have to live right next to the River Thames to volunteer with us; we want people who live in the wider community to get more involved too. As well as helping boats to pass through the lock, volunteers can use what they know about the Thames and its surroundings to help us to inform visitors about everything it has to offer."

– Andrew Graham, Environment Agency

On-the-job training will be provided for all successful candidates, as well as some branded uniform. The Environment Agency will also provide the best opportunities for volunteers to increase their knowledge of the River Thames while building on their passion for the environment.

I volunteer at the lock one day a week and I really enjoy the variety of things that go on. You meet lots of different people, from all walks of life and learn a lot about what it takes to keep the river working. I would recommend the role to anyone; it gets you outside, it's interesting and it's good exercise."

– Peter Mainprize, who's been volunteering at Caversham lock in Reading since 2010