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Caen Hill lock keeper wins national award

The lock keeping team at Caen Hill Locks in Wiltshire have been recognised by the Hotel Boat section of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO).

Bob Preston who has been working on the Kennet & Avon Canal for over 40 years has been awarded Lock Keeper of the Year award for 2014.

As professional boaters we like to recognise the professionalism of navigation authority staff, especially when they give exceptional service to boaters.

What makes Britain’s canals unique is their living heritage of boating, distinguished from being a giant linear park by the boats navigating amazing structures such as Caen Hill.

– Hanna Rees-Jones, Chair of the Hotel Boat section of APCO

The whole Canal & River Trust lock keeping team at the flight of locks near Devizes have also been praised for their hard work.

Bob Preston Lock Keeper of the Year Credit: APCO

It’s a great job to have - it’s outdoors, keeps you healthy and you get to meet people from all over the world.

You get a lot of job satisfaction - Caen Hill is a beautiful place and having a helping hand up or down the flight can make someone’s holiday.

The canal wouldn’t be the same without the boats on it, and we’ve got a great team of staff and volunteers here at Caen Hill who make the journey as easy as possible.

– Bob Preston, Lock Keeper of the Year

Canal's fish to be moved for lock repairs

Repairs to the famous flight of locks at Caen Hill are due to take place - once the fish are moved to safety Credit: PA

Work starts today to remove 300 lbs of fish from Caen Hill Locks in Devizes so repairs can take place.

The Canal and River Trust will use a technique called 'electrofishing' - an electrical current will make the fish rise to the surface so they can be easily removed.

Electrofishing allows us to safely locate and move the fish, without hurting them at all. It’s also a great chance to see the wide variety of life our canals support, and we’d expect species like roach, bream perch and carp to all make an appearance.

– Becca Dent, Canal & River Trust
This pike was relocated using electrofishing when the lock gates were installed in 2010 Credit: PA

The 200-year-old series of locks will then be drained so the lock gates can be repaired.