The Wey & Arun canal attracts a huge variety of people, from all walks of life. Bank managers, farmers, pilots, solicitors, fitters, delivery drivers, plumbers – they all have a role to play in restoring this canal. But they all have enthusiasm for the project in common and wish to make a contribution. Can you help us?
Join a Working Party
If you are looking to meet new people, get out in the fresh air and learn skills then we have a role for you. No specialist skills are needed as all volunteers are given training, and equipment is provided. All we ask is that you bring suitable protective footwear.
Keeping up Appearances Group
Area of canal: various
This team of volunteers keep up the tidy and clean condition around restored sites, as well as undertaking work at the request of others. Tasks include mowing, strimming, hedge cutting, painting and maintaining benches.
Mid Week Working Party (MWWP)
The MWWP meets every Wednesday. The team visits many different lengths of the canal in their work, which also provides an opportunity to see parts of the canal that have no public access. A variety of work is carried out, including clearing vegetation, brambles, fallen trees, scrub & reeds and general maintenance. The working party are also involved with the planning & surveying of the various areas of new work.
Contact: Margaret_darvill@weyandarun.co.uk (Not accepting new recruits at this time)
Eric Walker Group (EWG)
When: Wednesday and Thursdays
This is one of our construction teams which offers a wide variety of skills to the Trust. Brick layers, electricians, builders and drivers are all included in this group. Volunteers can learn new skills, or put into practise current ones. The team are currently working on the southern part of the canal installing Harsfold Bridge, near Wisborough Green.
Contact: Dennis_gillen@weyandarun.co.uk (Not accepting new recruits at this time)
Hedge Laying Team
When: Tuesdays in winter
The hedgelayers meet every week across the winter months from around the end of October to around mid-March. Work includes coppicing hazel to provide binders and stakes, as well as laying hedges alongside the canal, and then clearing all the arisings - with a welcome bonfire in the cold months. New members are always welcome to come and learn or practise this old country craft (we use Southern Counties style).
Northern and Summit Working Party
When: Third Saturday in the month and every Thursday from 1st April 2020)
Where: Ticker’s Heath Road Crossing, near Dunsfold
The team are getting ready for the construction of a new road crossing at Tickner’s Heath.
The construction site is being prepared by the team and construction of a road diversion and footbridge will follow, before work on the road bridge itself can begin. The project is a three-year operation.
Passengers’ Environment Safety Team (PEST)
When: Two Fridays a month
This team aims to keep the operational side of the canal clear of obstructions that would inhibit the safe passage of our passengers, crew and boats, and focus on water-based parts working party colleagues cannot reach.
Behind the scenes
Not all volunteer roles involve physical work. The Trust requires help with admin, marketing and publicity, accounts and fundraising. Volunteers are also needed to help in the Canal Centre in Loxwood, and as cabin crew for the boat operation.
Our purpose built Canal Centre at Loxwood sells canal-related books and gifts and offers visitors information on both the canal and local area. Volunteers also sell boat trip tickets and assist the boat crew in welcoming boat trip customers. Full training is given.
The Canal Centre is open from 6th April until 27th October on the following days:Monday closed (except bank holidays). Tuesday 11am to 4pm. Wednesday 11am to 3pm. Thursdays 11am to 4pm. Friday 11am to 4pm. Saturday 11am to 4pm. Sunday 11am to 4pm.
Mobile Display Vehicle (MDV) team
The Trust has a towable display unit which is taken to events throughout the year, where members have the chance to publicise the Trust and update the public on current progress, alongside selling memberships and merchandise. Volunteers are needed to tow the MDV to events and back again, or man the stand itself. Training is given and a vehicle supplied for towing.