Working with volunteers from the paddling community will be essential to us in completing this project successfully. As outlined below, there are a variety of ways for you to get involved, at various stages of the project (see the main project page for these stages).
Volunteer to 'adopt' a river section
In order to apply a systematic approach to the project, we are looking for volunteers who can lead on the research for a section of river they know. These sections are generally around 8-12 miles long - and if you'd like to adopt multiple sections that would be great!
To make it more manageable we have split the research into two stages:
1 - desk research with online mapping tools
2 - examining routes in depth - including finding supporting evidence online, in records or among local groups (e.g. Ramblers, Outdoor Spaces Society)
The Guidance Document in the downloads at the botton of this page shows how the Stage 1 research will work. We need as many people to get involved at Stage 1 as possible!
We have started the process of dividing rivers into sections, as you can see on our Historic Rights of Way map. But if you have an interest in researching any other river please do still contact us.
If you feel you could adopt one or more sections of river, especially on the rivers highlighted in the map, please let us know.
Inform us of a potential lost route
While volunteers who have adopted sections of our rivers will lead on the research, we are still keen to hear from anyone who suspects they may know of a lost route that could be used as a paddling access point.
If you know of any or the following on a river near you - whether it is in current use or not - that could be included in this project please do let us know:
- Paths (footpath or bridleway)
- Bridges or fords
- Ferry routes
- Any other access points!
Specific Skills to Offer?
If you don't feel you can take on a section of river to research, but still feel you have skills to offer the project we'd love to hear from you. We'd especially like to hear from anyone with any experience in the following areas:
- Rights of Way management;
- Claiming new Rights of Way (or modifying existing ones);
- Research skills - e.g. in county record offices
- Knowledge of local rivers (especially where you could advise on the practicalities and sensitivities of a given location being suitable as a new/confirmed access point
Resources for Volunteers
Online Reporting tool - If you have adopted a section of river for this project, you can reporting tool via this link.
Guidance for volunteers - This is available as a PDF download in the section below.