Another round of Gloucester Docks dredging gets underway

The Canal & River Trust has recommenced the program of dredging at Gloucester’s historic docks to increase the depth of the water and improve access for boaters at the UK’s most inland port.

Photo courtesy of Richard Joyce/Canal & River Trust

This year two dredging projects have already removed 20,000 cubic meters of silt from the docks. The silt built up in the docks during the exceptionally dry summer of 2022; was brought into the docks with water from the River Severn which was needed to supply the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and to provide water to the residents and businesses in Bristol.

The total spend on dredging at Gloucester is set to be £1.5 million, a quarter of the Canal & River Trust’s national budget for dredging on its 2,000-mile-long waterway network across England and Wales.

Dredging in Gloucester has recommenced as the cooler weather means there will be less impact on aquatic plants and animals as there are greater levels of dissolved oxygen in the water at this time of year.

Rob Eaton, regional operations manager for the Canal & River Trust explained: “The latest phase of dredging at Gloucester will continue to build on the improvements to the depths that were made for boaters in the past year.

Dredging will be taking place throughout the autumn and winter. Given the importance of the canal and the docks to Gloucester, it is vital that we’re able to undertake this dredging alongside other important maintenance work to keep canals alive so they can be enjoyed by people now and for many generations to come,” added Eaton.

As well as dredging in the docks, the canal down to Monk Meadow Marina will also be dredged. Land & Water Services are the chosen contractors for the works, with Redditch based S.E. Davis & Sons acting as sub-contractor.

Throughout the dredging program the docks will remain open for boaters.