North Kesteven Community Lottery

We are delighted to say that the Trust has been accepted as one of North Kesteven’s ‘good causes’ for the Community Lottery.  We now have our own web page on the Community Lottery site and you can  buy lottery tickets to support the Trust.  For every £1 ticket you buy, 50p goes directly to our funds.  Incidentally you also have a chance of winning  £25,000 as well.  You can either follow the link on the picture or, if you can’t wait and want to get there quicker, go straight to the page by clicking on the link  Support Sleaford Navigation Trust when you play North Kesteven Lottery – North Kesteven Lottery (  Thank you for supporting us and good luck with your ticket.

Emergency incident phone number

We have had some reports of fish kill on the Slea. If you do see any fish kill the best thing to do is to contact the Environment Agency directly on their emergency incident phone number which is 0800 807060. They will give you an incident number which you can then use to check on any progress they make to solve the problem.

Trust AGM September 2021

We are pleased to say that Tracey Mooney will be giving a short talk about ‘The Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project’ at the Sleaford Navigation Trust AGM.

The Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project is an exciting new partnership project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, South Kesteven District Council, North Kesteven District Council, the Environment Agency, and the National Trust. It is designed to restore and reconnect the river and river corridors through the urban reaches of both Grantham and Sleaford.

The AGM will take place in the Sleaford Town Council offices, Navigation Yard, Sleaford on Tuesday, 21st September at 19.30pm. Non-members are welcome to attend but cannot vote.

In the unlikely event that restrictions relating to Covid-19 change and prevent the meeting it will be held in the form of an internet Zoom meeting.  Notice of any changes will be posted on the Trust web site and Facebook page.

Documents relating to the AGM can be downloaded using the links below.

AGM agenda

2020 AGM minutes

Directors report

Accounts Balance Sheet

Accounts SoFa

YouTube Fame

The Inland Waterways Association has identified a series of destinations on lesser known waterways and issued a list in their Silver Propeller Challenge. Boaters who travel to these locations, and take photographs as proof, score points towards an award. Partly motivated by this. two celebrity boating vloggers Minimal List have posted over 380 YouTube videos of their river and canal journeys.
Recently they have been in Lincolnshire on their narrowboat Perseverance and have boated along the River Witham and diverted up the Sleaford Navigation on their way to Boston. We were delighted that they enjoyed their time on the Slea and reached the Silver Propeller Challenge destination of the winding hole in South Kyme. They had some difficulty in pronouncing Kyme Eau but that didn’t prevent them from recommending the trip to others. They didn’t make it under the very low bridge in South Kyme beyond the winding hole but were appreciative of the information on the website and at the lock regarding bridge height and acknowledged it had always been an over-optimistic attempt.
To see their video of boating on the Slea go to

Bottom Lock gates update

Following some sterling work by a small party of volunteers on Sunday, 9th May, the lock is operable again and boats have gone up to South Kyme. Thanks to all concerned.

New problems at Bottom Lock

Boaters please be aware that the problem with silt in Bottom Lock has meant that the bottom gates will not currently close. This means the lock cannot be operated. It is extremely important that people do not attempt to force the bottom gates to close by using the guillotine gate. This could lead to expensive damage to the gates and a longer closure.

When the situation changes, we will issue an update.

Bottom Lock open for business

I’m pleased to report that the problem with debris behind the cill at Bottom Lock that was stopping the gates closing properly now seem to have been resolved. In fact two boats have gone up to South Kyme in the last few days.

River Slea upgrade projects spawn partnership

As is usual with waterway restoration projects, not much appears to happen for a while but, in reality, trusts and societies are a bit like swans, serene on the surface but paddling like crazy below.  Until all details are in place it is often not possible to disclose them to the general public.  

The Trust have been working for some time now on a potential partnership to develop the waterway and explore its potential in terms of tourism and environmental enhancement. The project has just been announced by North Kesteven District Council at a meeting reported in the local paper.  Follow this link to see the full article in the paper.

The scheme has yet to have full council approval before it can go any further. Unfortunately, there is one error, in that we had not considered using Canal and River Trust volunteers as the article suggests. 

When the rebuilding of Haverholme Lock starts in earnest, there will be plenty of scope for volunteers with a wide variety of skills or, indeed, volunteers wanting to learn new skills.  Anyone with bricklaying and civil engineering experience will be particularly welcome. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at

Chainsaw training and a trip to the woods

In the past, if the Trust had a problem with any fallen trees that needed some chainsaw work before the branches could be moved, we could call on the services of one of our members, Andy Martin, a qualified tree surgeon, to help us out.  Unfortunately, from the point of view of the Trust, Andy retired a couple of years ago and let his certification lapse so we were no longer able to rely on him.

Thanks to a grant from WRG, two work party members, Mel Sowerby and Steve Hayes, were able to go on a chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting course which has given them the skills and certification to carry out the work. The course took place on March 11th and 12th but was slightly problematic as the first practical session had to be delayed because the very high winds made it unsafe to work in the woods. The second day was more favourable so they were able to complete the tasks successfully and achieve the required standard. There was comment that those high winds would probably have given them opportunity to practise their new skills in the near future.

Trust AGM May 2021

The Trust has traditionally held its AGM in early May but the restrictions relating to Covid-19 mean that it is very unlikely that will happen this year. At the February Committee Meeting via Zoom, it was agreed that the AGM be held over until later in the year in the hope that it can be an actual rather than virtual meeting. If lockdown restrictions persist into Autumn, then it may be necessary to meet by Zoom in order to satisfy legal requirements but that decision is being deferred at the moment. More information will follow later.