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News article created on 24 August 2017

Major dredging project underway at Sharpness Dock

Around 10,000 tonnes of silt is set to be removed from the tidal basin at Sharpness Dock in Gloucestershire during a major dredging project this week.

A workman with his dredger Dredging

We are carrying out the work to ensure that the gateway from the River Severn into the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal is fit for the hundreds of boats that that use it each year.

The dredging is carried out by a specialised boat that uses a pump to hoover up the silt from the bed of the dock. The underwater debris is then sucked through a pipe, before being returned to the estuary from where it came.

We are aiming to increase the depth of the dock’s bed by up to 1.2 metres.

Built in 1874, the dock enables a huge variety of vessels from all over the world to access the canal. Recent visitors passing through have included historic vessel MV Balmoral and ships featuring in the Gloucester Tall Ships Festival.

Work is expected to last until 28 August.

Lewis Kneale, our customer operations supervisor, said: "Sharpness is such an important site for ships from all over the country, and the world, so to dredge like we’re doing is absolutely vital. It’s probably the largest dredging operation at the dock in twenty years.

"The project is a good example of the variety of work we do as a charity. Although most of the canal is tranquil and used by thousands of people for a bit of peace and quiet, here at Sharpness we have an amazing dock which continues to play such an important role for the local area and industry throughout Britain."