Volunteer Lock Keeper

  • VO90590


A fantastic opportunity to join our exciting lock keeping project and experience the 'canal magic' for yourself.

As a member of our enthusiastic team of volunteers you will be working in the unique setting of the Forth and Clyde Canal and around famous landmarks such as the Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies.

Working with our volunteer lock keeping team based at Lock 16 in Camelon, the role will involve assisting with boat movements on the Forth and Clyde Canal between Lock 3 at the Kelpies and Lock 20 near Banknock. Go Forth and Clyde volunteers assist with every boat movement between these locks 7 days per week during the lock keeping season, so there is ample opportunity to get involved.

Volunteers can use their own bicycles to travel between the locks, and Go Forth and Clyde also provides bicycles for volunteers to use whilst on lock keeping duty. The required tools, life jackets and hi-vis clothing will also be provided.

Organisation aims and objectives

We are a group of local volunteers united by our love of the canal for the benefit of our local community and the environment. We have a small staff team, a group of dedicated volunteers, and are supported by a volunteer Board of local people too. The canal-side provides a wealth of opportunities for visitors, families and the local community. Whether you are interested in boating, walking, cycling, foraging, volunteering, culture, or arts and heritage, there is a way to get involved in fun and meaningful activities on offer by the canal. What we do: Volunteering opportunities – We aim to get people engaged with the life of the canal, from locals to visitors. We engage volunteers through who have the opportunity to learn new skills, increase teamwork skills, do meaningful, environmentally friendly work outdoors, as well as through our developing Repair Shop community workshop (news updates on that soon!). Lock-keepers meet boaters from across the world, and everyone can meet new people from their own community and learn about the history and heritage of the canal. Events and activities – We run events to celebrate the canal as a resource and provide entertainment and activities locally, and we are always looking out for new ideas and connections. Day boat hire – We are the proud caretakers of the ‘Jaggy Thistle’, a cosy 32 foot self-drive canal boat that carries up to 8 passengers, suitable for all ages and comes completely equipped with facilities to cook food and prepare drinks, and an on board toilet. Her hire season runs from March to October. Lock-keeping – We provide lock-keeping services along the canal and you will see our volunteers operating the locks and cycling along the tow paths. Wave or say hello, they will be happy to see you and talk to you about their work. If you are interested in volunteering, we would be delighted to hear from you.










Roughly 6 hours per week. Flexible - can be arranged with volunteer. However please note that activities die down during the colder months with much less volunteer hours needed, but do not be put off from applying in winter as we are still recruiting volunteers to get ready for spring/summer months.


Experience required: No experience necessary as full training will be provided. The ability to ride a bicycle is essential and volunteers must be physically able to operate the canal locks.
Travel details: We are based in the Navy Blue Cabin at lock 16 on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Camelon. We work between lock 20 near Banknock and lock 3 at The Kelpies. We travel between the locks by bicycle, we have e-bikes as well as normal bikes.
Minimum age: 16


Taster available: Yes
Taster details: Project is ongoing.
Training details: An induction day will be held with an introduction to lock keeping followed by hands on training with regular reviews.
Support: Named Contact For Volunteer

Last updated 4 months ago