The River Weaver Navigation, in Cheshire, is ship shape again, thanks to a major dredging program by the Canal & River Trust charity.
The Trust, which cares for the Weaver Navigation and 2,000 miles of waterways, has just finished an extensive five month project to deepen a two mile stretch of the river from Saltersford Locks, north of Weaverham to Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich.
The enlarged channel will give a major boost to a new boat and ship repair business, Northwich Drydock Company, which took over a former commercial boatyard at Hunts Lock in 2017.
The £850,000 project builds on previous dredging work at Dutton Locks, near Acton Bridge, to carve out a deeper channel from the Weaver’s confluence with the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey at Runcorn, reported the Canal & River Trust.
Spot dredging over the summer has resulted in the removal of around 30,000 cubic meters of silt and mud, weighing a jumbo-sized 40,000 tonnes, equivalent to 8,000 African elephants. Next year the Trust plans to continue the phased dredging program by deepening the navigation at the confluence with the River Dane and down to Hunts Lock, south of Northwich.
Duncan Davenport, Canal & River Trust customer operations manager, said: “Starting in spring next year, waterway enthusiasts and schools will be able to enjoy an extensive program of river trips and educational visits combining the two great attractions.”
“Widening and deepening the river channel will also enable larger coastal vessels to travel up the River Weaver to use the drydock, paint shed and boatyard services provided by the new entrepreneurial Northwich Drydock Company,” added Duncan Davenport.