New Dredging Equipment for the Broads

The Broads Authority has taken charge of a second new mud wherry as part of a ten year strategy to replace old equipment.

Named Gleaner after an old timber sailing wherry that carried cargo into Norwich, the new wherry has been built to a bespoke design by local naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme to transport sediment dredged from the rivers to other locations for re-use.

She was constructed in Ireland by John Kearney, the builder of her sister wherry Iona and has joined her in dredging the River Ant this winter.

This new design of wherry is smaller at 16.5m long and can carry up to 40 tonnes of sediment in the hold. It is stable, manoeuvrable and is small enough to navigate the narrower rivers like the Chet and Ant.


A third wherry of the same design as Iona and Gleaner is being commissioned with delivery due at the end of 2015.

Also retiring is a steel hulled barge with a crane mounted inside which has given many years’ service removing sediment from the Broads. The crane is being removed and her spare parts recycled to help maintain the other cranes.

It is being replaced with a versatile 360 long reach excavator which will sit on linkflotes and dredge using a new hydraulic clam shell bucket.