At present, March 30th, Covid restrictions do not allow overnight stays away from a main residence but it’s possible that some people may be considering a day trip by boat up or down the Slea. Please be aware that the recent release of flood water through Bottom Lock had led to a build-up of silt behind the bottom cill. Operation of the lock is affected by this and passage through is not currently possible as the bottom gates cannot be closed.

The situation is under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

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.

Boat Gathering South Kyme May 2021

Covid-19 restrictions and the uncertainty regarding their continuation make forward planning very difficult if not impossible. In the light of this, the Trust Committee have come to the decision that, at this time, no arrangements can be made for the Annual Boat Gathering in South Kyme.

If the situation changes before then, it may be possible to hold a much simpler, informal event at short notice. If you would like to be part of such a gathering by bringing your boat, please email Sue Sowerby on so that you can be contacted should the restrictions be lifted sufficiently for it to go ahead.

Sleaford Community Power Grant

Glennmont Partners (the owners of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant) in partnership with North Kesteven District Council make funding available via the Community Power Fund to support community projects within a five-mile radius of the plant.

Applications are considered on a quarterly basis by the Sleaford REP Community Power Fund Panel. Representatives of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant, the local community and NKDC councillors are members of that Community Power Fund Panel.

We are delighted to report that, in January, we heard that the funding application to the Panel made by the Trust in December was successful. We have been awarded funding for new equipment to manage vegetation along the waterway in the shape of two petrol powered brush-cutters and a polesaw. The grant also allows us to purchase appropriate PPE for volunteers using the equipment together with a specific training course relevant to the use and maintenance of the polesaw.

We hope that this award will enable us to work more efficiently in conjunction with our volunteer work party members and encourage more people to become involved. At present, Covid-19 restrictions prevent us from holding work parties but we hope that, before too long, these will be able to resume. If you would like to find out more and join us, please contact Mel Sowerby at for details.

Photos of the equipment in use will follow as soon as is practical.

High water on the Slea

When boating on the Slea during the summer there have been times there have been times when it was felt that you could do with a little more water under the boat.  However, the recent heavy rains have put a little more water into the river.  The lack of headroom at Halfpenny Hatch Bridge can be a problem for some boaters but, as can be seen, on Saturday 30th there was virtually none.  But the village moorings were nearly submerged completely.

Thanks to Jo Shields and Dave Pullen for the photos.

Work parties and COVID-19

Unfortunately, because of the current Covid-19 situation, we feel unable to organise any SNT work parties. Hopefully the situation will improve in the New Year and may even approach normal. In the meantime, best wishes for Christmas, whatever that may entail, and stay safe!

New membership fees

After many years of not changing the membership fees it was agreed at the AGM to amend the membership fees.  The new fees will be adopted from 1st January 2021.


  • Adult £10
  • Senior £8
  • Junior £8,
  • Family £15
  • Life £120

Final Winding Hole works

Huge thanks to Matt Gibson, from Little Hale, for his whole weekend’s volunteering work for SNT operating a Caterpillar 360 excavator to sort, mix and spread the final 300 tonnes of topsoil and silt on the field next to the winding hole.
Huge thanks also to Smiths Sports and Civils Ltd of Heckington for their helpful support and preferential hire terms for the 360 Cat excavator. In Matt’s expert hand it made light work of the task!

Navigation Notice

I’m pleased to say that the water level has now returned to normal.  The Navigation is therefore open for boating.

Please remember to make sure that the guillotine gate is fully down and the paddles at Bottom Lock are closed when leaving the lock.