VOLUNTEERS are needed to help keep Britain’s busiest river running smoothly.

With the boating season fast approaching, the Environment Agency is again looking for volunteer lock-keepers to work along the River Thames.

Working alongside professional lock and weir keepers, volunteers will have the opportunity to spend their days outdoors, meeting the public, helping boats navigate the locks and gaining real hands-on experience along the upper reaches of the river.

Andrew Graham, Waterways Volunteer Manager at the Environment Agency, said it was the third year the organisation had appealed for members of the public to help out and previous years had proved successful.

“We had more than 160 volunteers helping us out along the river during the boating season last year, and we want to extend the invitation to others who want to get involved," he said. "The locks on the upper reaches have a special appeal and idyllic spots to spend the day."

He said those with local knowledge were especially wanted as river users often wanted information about the area they were visiting.

The role involves walking and physical activity and volunteers should be fit and able to offer at least one day per week between May and October.

For more information email thames.volunteers@environment-agency.gov.uk or call 01491 828360.