Could you volunteer as a canal lock keeper?

May 17, 2022

Did you know that our local canals are kept moving by a team of volunteer lock keepers? These lock keepers play a vital role keeping boats sailing smoothly along Falkirk’s beautiful waterways. Local charity Go Forth & Clyde provide lock keeping services along the canal and is on the lookout for new volunteers.

If you love being outdoors, enjoy working in a team and like meeting new people, then volunteering as a lock keeper could be the perfect opportunity for you. Working in the unique setting of the Forth and Clyde Canal, you’ll help visitors to our area have a fantastic experience while they’re here. You’ll play a vital role in getting their boats through the canal locks and on their way as they travel between the area’s many attractions.

Our canals have never been more popular. The iconic Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel attract visitors from far and wide, with many choosing to hire canal boats to journey between them. With our local canals also linking to Glasgow and Edinburgh and many sites in between, the demand for lock keepers has never been higher.

Who can volunteer?

Go Forth and Clyde need volunteers who:

  • Live in the Falkirk area
  • Can spare roughly 6 hours a week across any day of the week
  • Can cycle and be able to operate canal locks and equipment
  • Are aged 16 years old and older

That’s it. You don’t need any experience to be a lock keeper. Full training is provided along with tools, life jackets, hi-vis clothing, and a bicycle or E-bike to travel between locks. The volunteer lock keeper team is based at @16 Cabin, at Lock 16 in Camelon not far from the Falkirk Wheel and within easy cycling distance of the Kelpies.


Visit Go Forth & Clyde to find out more or contact Lock Keeping Manger, Robert Archdeacon on 07889 099 532 or at You can also take a look at some of Robert’s videos on Tik Tok to see what’s involved.