Advice for boaters in the area

As we start the hard work to plan the repair and restoration of Toddbrook Reservoir, here is our current advice for boaters on the Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals.

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You'll find more details and the latest news on Toddbrook, and how its affecting boating on the Peak Forest and Macclefield canals, on our regular Boaters' Update newsletter.

Update: Monday 19 August, 2pm

Following the continued work at Toddbrook, you can read this update below on the current water resource position, and the prospects for the rest of the 2019 boating season:

Peak Forest & Macclesfield Canals, water resource position statement: 16 August 2019

Update: Friday 9 August, 2.15pm

As of this morning, 9 August, the reservoir is near empty and being kept at below 10% of its usual capacity. The navigation has now re-opened.

We would like to thank all the boaters affected who followed the advice from the Trust and the police. A big thank you also goes out to the staff and volunteers who, during the emergency phase of the operation, manned the phones for extended, out-of-hours periods, were on the towpath providing advice and support to boaters, including hand delivering updates and FAQs to those without the internet. They also serviced the Marple flight facilities in preparation for increased usage.

This operation is still in its early stages and, with this in mind, more information will continue to be added to our website as it becomes available so do please check back regularly. Do also please make sure that you are subscibed to our notices service and that the contact details we hold for you are up to date.

Update: Tuesday 6 August 3.10pm

We continue to work across the Trust to resolve the issues at Toddbrook. Boats that were in the immediate vicinity were able to navigate away safely following communication from emergency services and the Trust. We contacted all of those boaters we’d sighted in the area prior to the initial incident to ensure they had relevant information and advice from the agencies at the scene.

Our boat licence customer support team have been on-hand over the weekend helping boaters who required support. They continue to be available to answer any boating queries.

Facilities at Marple

The facilities at Marple are being serviced and maintained to ensure the facilities are there for those in the area in case of any increased usage.

We’ve provided extra out-of-hours customer support to ensure we’ve been contactable if needed. Our stoppage notices are being frequently updated. Please subscribe to our updates to keep up-to-date.

General FAQs

We understand that many people will have questions. We've set up a frequently asked question page to deal with recurring queries. This page is regularly updated with additional information.

There has been some concern about water levels. Combs Reservoir is nearby and will provide water resource to support navigation. We'll provide an update should there be any restrictions in future.

We’d like to thank everyone affected by the current situation at Toddbrook Reservoir for their co-operation, patience and understanding. We’re continuing to work around the clock to make the reservoir safe, which remains the priority, and we’ll continue to update you with new information.

Update: Friday 2 August 1.50pm

The Police have issued an emergency evacuation notice for Whaley Bridge following a flood warning issued by the Environment Agency due to parts of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam wall collapsing as a result of recent flooding. River levels in the River Goyt could rise rapidly as a result of water coming from the reservoir.

A cordon is in place around the areas most at risk and Derbyshire Police are asking anyone inside it to immediately evacuate to Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, Long Lane, High Peak SK23 0TQ

If you are in this cordoned area on your boat, please leave it as quickly and safely as possible. If this means leaving your boat, please do so. Take pets and medication with you.

If, you are inside the cordon and, for any reason, are unable to leave your boat and require assistance please contact 101 and ask for the police. If you believe that you are in immediate danger, please call 999. Inform any other boaters you see, but please leave the evacuation area as soon as possible.

Do not navigate towards Whaley Bridge

If you are in the surrounding area, please do not navigate towards Whaley Bridge and keep an eye on our stoppage notices. Some stoppages may be necessary to control access and support work at the reservoir. There may also be an increase in boat numbers in the surrounding area. You can help this by cruising away if you’re able to.

If you need to know where facilities are in unfamiliar areas, please see our boating services page. 

Contact our boat licence support officers if you need to

Our boat licence customer support team have licence support officers in the area today, who can provide some support if they can reach you safely. 

The Marple flight on the Peak Forest Canal and the Bosley flight on the Macclesfield Canal have now re-opened. However, the Upper Peak Forest Canal will remain closed from Bridge 26 to Whaley Bridge. Our staff and volunteers are on both lock flights, which can provide some support and assistance travelling through the locks.

Latest travel advice

Derbyshire Police’s Twitter feed will be regularly updated, along with local media, and it has already strongly advised against all travel to the area. Please ensure you stay up to date with the latest information and immediately contact the police if you’re in any doubt about your safety.

Weather reports in the area continue to suggest rainfall. In particular if your boat has a cruiser stern, please try to ensure you have empty bilges, to prevent taking on water.

We will update all media channels as soon as we can and will look to answer some specific FAQs as soon as we can.

Last date edited: 19 August 2019