Woking Volunteering Event – a wonderful success! 

Woking’s Voluntary Sector Fair returned to Woking Leisure Centre on Thursday 3rd November and the Basingstoke Canal Society were delighted to be invited along to share news of the charity, raise awareness of the work we do through a huge network of volunteers and also speak to local residents about opportunities to get involved. 

Basingstoke Canal Society Volunteers at Woking Voluntary Fair – 3rd November 2022

Currently the Basingstoke Canal Society has nearly 300 volunteers that work across a variety of areas in the charity organisation from fundraising, creating newsletters, managing social media and of course in the action clearing and maintaining the 50km stretch of the Canal itself. 

In addition to working with many different individuals from the local communities along the Basingstoke Canal, there are many volunteers that help us from a corporate perspective. 

Most recently the BMW Customer Service Team from Farnborough joined us for a full day on the Canal.  Led by a couple of the Basingstoke Canal Society’s volunteer leaders, the team tackled everything in their path, providing invaluable help to the local community and wildlife.

The Basingstoke Canal is maintained and protected for all to enjoy by the incredible work of volunteers, both individual and corporate, and The BMW Customer Team showed exactly what can be achieved with a lively day’s work. Once lifejackets were secured, they took out three boatloads of vegetation cuttings, as well as bags of litter from the Canal itself. On land, the team removed bags that had been tied to various saplings, and cut back overhanging branches on the towpath.

This helps ensure the canal remains an accessible and attractive place to visit for everyone.

Dell also recently joined us with a team of volunteers from across their business even some from Bristol and together with Canal Society volunteers they were able to collect 7 bags of litter, clear back invasive wildlife and even recover a shopping trolley!

Both BMW and Dell volunteer teams had great days on the Canal but it shouldn’t go unmentioned that we have also had support from volunteer parties from Poly.com, Ion Trading, Asahi, Suez, Skanska, Sony, Neos Networks and SC Johnson in recent months!

Sarah Ward, Marketing and Finance Coordinator at Asahi said “the detailed brief about the purpose of the day, really helped with our motivation, as we understood how important the work was to the Canal Authority and the local community.”

Being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its rich biodiversity, the Basingstoke Canal has a lot to be cherished. As for the benefits to people, a recent study by the Canal & River Trust found that visiting a canal results in improved mental well-being. Canals are a blend of three important environments: green, blue and wildlife-rich spaces. This makes them one of the best places you can visit for your health and wellbeing.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Basingstoke Canal Society, you’d like to volunteer, donate, or get your company involved, we invite you to visit our website for more details. There’s no time like the present as this time of year is when there is plenty of work to be done on the Canal. 

For further information please email:

Charlotte Rodgers, Press Officer, at Charlotte.rodgers@basingstoke-canal.org.uk

For more information on the Basingstoke Canal Society, please click here

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About the Basingstoke Canal Society

The Basingstoke Canal is owned by Hampshire County Council and Surrey County Council with the Basingstoke Canal Authority acting as the managing agents for the waterway.

The canal was at first intended to be an economical means of transportation for the development of agriculture in central Hampshire. Today, the navigable section of the canal runs for 32 miles from West Byfleet in Surrey through Woking, Brookwood, Mytchett, Ash, Fleet and Crookham, to Odiham and finally ending up at Greywell in Hampshire.

In private ownership and semi-derelict by the early 1960s, a letter to a newspaper from a local resident asking if anyone was interested in doing something with the canal sparked the formation of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society.

After many years of hard work to restore the canal, it was officially reopened by HRH The Duke of Kent in 1991.

The Basingstoke Canal Society now promotes the canal as a navigable waterway, general amenity, part of our heritage and as host to a wealth of wildlife. It supports the canal through fundraising, work parties and other voluntary efforts, and it aims to secure a sustainable future for the canal, to prevent it from falling into dereliction again.

The society has plans for future projects which will include:

  • Increased mooring facilities at Odiham
  • An online museum to make our excellent archive material available in a digital format.