We are aware that, under normal circumstances, you would by now have received a copy of the latest Trust newsletter. Unfortunately, these are far from normal circumstances and they have prevented its production. That edition would have included information relating to the AGM which, as you know, has had to be postponed. We will make sure that all relevant details will be published in advance of the AGM which we hope to reschedule later in the year. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, please accept our apologies and best wishes. Stay safe!

Boat Gathering 2020 Cancelled

It is with huge regret that, because of the current Coronavirus pandemic, we have decided that we have no option but to cancel the Sleaford Navigation Trust Boat Gathering that was due to be held over the late May Bank Holiday in South Kyme.

We intend to hold the event in 2021 as normal, in the meantime stay safe.

John Muir Environmental Award

Many congratulations to Tomas Dickson, our youngest volunteer, on achieving the John Muir Environmental Award. This is an award which encourages people to connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places. Well done Tomas, looking forward to working with you in 2020, you should get plenty of opportunities to wear your waders.


Completion of the Winding Hole

Today saw volunteers complete the final work party at the winding hole. This was to install the environmental enhancements and coir bank protection around the waterline of the works. We also put the brushwood across the entrance to the fish refuge so that the small fish could get in and not be preyed upon by the larger ones. Special thanks to Gillian and Tom from the Rivers Trust and David from the EA.

In a few weeks time when the bank greens over and plants in the coir grow the site will look really good.

Clean up blitz at Cogglesford Lock

We visited Cogglesford Lock the other day and were surprised to see the state of the plant growth around the lock. Belated thanks to Mel Sowerby and Dave Collins for getting down to the lock and blitzing a clear up of the area.  Some before and after shots are shown below.

South Kyme Winding Hole


Part of the Destination South Kyme project is the construction of a winding hole above the village. The recent successful LEADER bid saw the installation last year of two landing stages in South Kyme together with information boards about the history and significance of the navigation. However, it was always accepted that in order to encourage an increased number of visitor boats to the village, the Trust would have to provide the opportunity for them to turn. This is not to discourage boats from travelling to the current head of navigation at Cobblers Lock but to accept that, for some, the restricted air draft at Ferry Farm Bridge, or problems with weed, could mean a long reverse back to Taylors Lock.  Fear of that prospect might well deter weekend visitors to the navigation.

Protracted discussion with the landowner and his solicitor had delayed the start of construction but, finally, a licence was agreed and signed, the Environmental Permit was in place and work started on site on May 28th. The design will incorporate fish refuge and spawning areas and the Trust is very grateful for help from the Environment Agency in the design and funding for these. Much appreciated financial assistance has also come from individual donors, the East Anglian Waterways Association and the IWA.

After all the delays, it was great to see Phil Wright on site with an impressive digger and to see preliminary excavation taking place. When that is completed, coir roll and matting will be installed by volunteers to provide the necessary environmental mitigation and enhancement.

Just to prove the justification of the works, if justification were needed, SNT volunteers on site on the second day of construction were somewhat surprised when a 50’ narrowboat appeared on the scene having come up from South Kyme. The crew were delighted to see the winding hole taking shape and decided to give it a try. With a bit of help from Phil Wright who obligingly dug out a foot or two more, he was able to turn and is therefore the first boater to enjoy the benefit of the construction. Naturally the Trust hopes he is the first of many and that the increased use of the navigation helps to make the case for further restoration into Sleaford.

Boat Gathering Update

The latest news on the May Day Bank Holiday Boat Gathering is that all boats are invited to meet at Bottom Lock on the Friday evening for a BBQ. We will then be sorting out for the trip up to South Kyme village on the Saturday morning.