The Environment Agency hosted an event at River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames to mark five years of the volunteers programme.

Since 2011 over 360 volunteers have given up their time to compliment the professional lock and weir keeper team – gaining hands-on experience of lock keeping along the River Thames.

Andrew Graham, Thames Waterway Manager at the Environment Agency, said:"The River Thames has played a major role over the last five years for a wealth of internationally important events. We have seen the Olympics, the Magna Carta anniversary and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to name but a few.

"When the world’s eyes were focussed on the Thames our volunteers helped to ensure that the waterway was running both efficiently and safely and I am very proud of their enthusiasm, dedication and passion for this magnificent river."

Peter Crane, Volunteer Assistant Lock Keeper at Marlow Lock said:"I started as a Marlow volunteer in 2011 and every day is different. There is always something new to see and learn which makes the experience so enjoyable.

"The scheme has gone from strength to strength with many volunteers returning year after year because they to find it so rewarding. I can only speak for Marlow but the volunteers are great and there is a good camaraderie."

The River Thames Volunteer Team of the Environment Agency is still keen on hearing from anyone who is interested in helping on the Thames for summer 2016.

Training is provided for all successful candidates. The Environment Agency also promises to provide the best opportunities for volunteers to increase their knowledge of the River Thames.

As well as helping boats to pass through the lock, volunteers use their knowledge of the Thames and its surroundings to help inform visitors about all it has to offer.

For more information or an application pack email: or call 01491 828360.

Picture of the museum event via Twitter: