The charity making life better by water

Easter boat traffic benefits from dredging of the Kennet & Avon Canal in Hungerford

Boats on the Kennet & Avon Canal have been benefiting from a recently completed dredging programme on the canal near Hungerford. The specialist project was part of our ongoing work to protect and keep open the 200-year-old canal for the benefit of boaters, towpath users and wildlife.

Dredging boat at working on a wintery day

The dredging carried out over nine weeks and completed this spring, removed 6,000 cubic metres of silt, enough to fill two-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools. It cost the canal charity £400,000 – money it raises from many sources, including boat licence fees and donations.

Completing the dredging has improved the stretch of the canal between Dun Mill Lock and Marsh Lock along the 87-mile manmade canal. And with the canal busy with boats over Easter and heading into summer, it provides an important boost for canal-led tourism and jobs.

A top priority

Peter Birch, our asset manager, explains: "Dredging is part of the regular cycle of maintenance we are constantly doing to keep the canal open and available for the benefit of people and nature.

“Dredging this section was shown in our surveys as a top priority so we are delighted to have got the job done. It has improved navigation and mooring in the area for boating customers for many years to come.

"Over 9,000 tonnes of material was removed from the canal between Locks 73 and 75 with most of the material helping to improve the soil on a farmer's field on the outskirts of Hungerford.”

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

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Last Edited: 21 April 2023

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