Canal & River Trust’s Dredging Plans for 2019-2020


The Canal & River Trust is spending £8 million on dredging in the financial year 2019-20 to help keep the waterways navigable for boaters.  The comprehensive programme covers locations identified by boaters, as well as the places that need dredging every year.

The Trust will be carrying out dredging work on the following canals over the next year: Oxford Canal (various locations between Enslow and Wolvercote); Grand Union Canal (various locations between Bull’s Bridge and Boston Manor); Upper & Lower Peak Forest Canal (River Tame to Whaley Bridge); Macclesfield Canal (at various lengths); Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal (Sebastopol to Usk Road); Coventry Canal (Coventry Basin to Hawkesbury); Worcester & Birmingham Canal (Diglis to Lea End Lane); Llangollen Canal (spot dredging); and Chesterfield Canal (River Trent to Babworth).

Annual maintenance dredging will take place on the River Weaver (including Hunts Lock), the Ribble Link, the River Severn and the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, and throughout the Yorkshire and North East region.  The Trust will also be clearing the River Thames approach to West India Dock, the River Mersey approach to Canning Half Tide Dock, and lock approaches on the River Trent.

This year the Trust will also be supporting feeder improvement works at priority locations across the network to maintain water feed – more important than ever given the dry weather over the past few years.  Alongside this, the charity will take on jobs that arise throughout the year and investigate sites for work in the future.

Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at Canal & River Trust, said: “Any boater will tell you how important dredging is, and we agree.  It’s a never-ending task, and a necessary one, as we as work to keep the waterways navigable and stop them becoming silted up.  We listen to boaters’ feedback and we target our dredging accordingly: if we get lots of reports of a problem spot, it will go onto our priority list.  This year we’ll be tackling plenty of places that boaters have told us could do with a little extra attention.  We’ll also be focusing on supporting our charity-wide water saving work by using dredging to help clear feeder channels in key spots.

“Please do share your knowledge and experience with us.  Together we can make sure we target our resources to make the biggest difference we can to your cruising, so you can relax and enjoy your time on the water.”

The Trust will continue to evaluate the needs of the whole network and in some cases the projects may change.  

Boaters can get in touch with the Trust by filling out a webform, calling 0303 040 4040, tweeting @CRTcontactus or getting involved in a regional user forum.