Restoring the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal is a big task for a voluntary group to tackle, but there are many examples of other canals which are being restored, or have been restored, as a result of a committed and enthusiastic Trust or society.

General volunteering

The range of activities Trust members can undertake are many and varied. The more obvious ones include assisting on work parties, helping out with the trip boat, and supporting events, but there are many more behind-the-scenes tasks that need doing. Perhaps you have a background in civil engineering, planning, marketing or environmental science? We will need all of these skills as the project progresses. As we develop our plans we will need to convince various agencies, authorities and funding bodies that this restoration has significant benefits for the region and is supported not only by Trust members but the public at large.

Below is a list of activities you can get involved in and some of the skills we can use. If you can help please Contact Us and we will put you in touch with the relevant person.

Boat Trips

Our popular boat trips run from Crooklands six miles south of Kendal. We run on 35 to 40 days from late April or early May through to Autumn, Every Sunday, Bank Holidays, a few Saturdays and other days including private charters. You may volunteer as a Trainee Skipper leading to the “Certificate of Competency in Steering a Small Passenger Boat”. Or you may volunteer as a Boat Booking Clerk where skills of dealing with people and organising are the prime requirement. Note, off duty skippers act as boat stewards and narrators and work on the landing stage primarily concerned with passenger safety. The staff for a typical Sunday would be Duty Manager, Clerk, two Skippers and one trainee.


We attend a number of events each year in order to broaden awareness, recruit new members and meet existing supporters, but we could do more events if we had more supporters willing to staff stands and run events.

Spreading the word about the Lancaster Canal Trust is often done at local and national shows, coffee mornings and members’ meetings. If you like meeting people and enjoy attending a variety of venues while being prepared to set up and dismantle a small stand and gazebo and talk to visitors, we would love to hear from you.


The Trustees consist of members who take on the direction and management of the Trust as a whole. This group has to ensure the Trust works within its constitution and that it runs its affairs in an ethical and business-like way. It also has to follow the rules of the Charity Commission and other authorities. Anyone can become a member of this committee, and there are several specific roles such as Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman, for example, that need to be filled every year. Come along to the next AGM (usually in June at Over Kellet Village Hall) if you would like to be more involved in this critical function.

Northern Reaches

Focused on the length of the canal that needs to be restored, this sub-group plans work parties and looks at opportunities to enhance public access and enjoyment of this section. They also monitor local issues such as planning, or changes of land ownership that could benefit or impact the future restoration. The group is developing a plan for future restoration and determines what activities can be volunteer-led as against more major construction that would need to be progressed through others such as the Lancaster Canal Restoration Partnership. Members with skills in planning, civil engineering, heritage or environment would be particularly welcome, but anyone can join this group.


Many organisations are looking for entertaining and interesting speakers to address their groups. Typically the Trust provides speakers for about twenty such engagements a year, providing a brief history of the canal, highlighting its role as a public amenity and visitor attraction, and outlining plans for the restoration of the Northern Reaches. With more speakers covering a wider range of interests, we could expand our programme, so please let us know if you can help.

Work Parties

Every second Sunday throughout the year you will find a group of members out somewhere working on restoring or maintaining an area or structure associated with the canal. Tasks are varied, and suitable work can be found for everyone, whether skilled or unskilled. Typical activities include cutting back or removing vegetation, rebuilding bridge parapets or walls, and putting up or renewing information boards and signs. While many members bring their own tools, the Trust also has its own equipment and will also ensure you are briefed about safety matters and have appropriate personal safety gear. If you want to get involved, please get in touch via our contacts page or send an email to Work Parties