Tag Archives: Oxford Canal

Canal News – Early October – Final bat walk – Bugsworth Canal Basin: Then & Now Display – Banbury Canal Day

Canal News – Early October

Final bat walk

Common Pipistrelle Bat - Hugh Clark, Bat Conservation Trust

Common Pipistrelle Bat – Hugh Clark, Bat Conservation Trust

03 Oct 2014
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Staffordshire & Worcester Canal (Wolverley)
Do you know how many bat species we have in the UK? Come along and find out how to spot these amazing mammals.
Bats will be travelling to their winter roosts soon so this is your last chance this year to join us and discover bats along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
You’ll get the chance to find out all about bats and which bats live in your area, you’ll also be provided with detectors to assist your bat-spotting!
Bats are mysterious creatures with their night time expeditions – did you know they have also discovered the secret to cheating the ageing process!?
British bats are entirely harmless so don’t be shy, wrap up warm and wear suitable shoes for walking.
So we can manage numbers, please contact us to let us know you’re coming. Please email Paul Wilkinson.

Bugsworth Canal Basin: Then & Now Display

Bugsworth Basin, Peak Forest Canal

Bugsworth Basin, Peak Forest Canal

04 – 05 Oct 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Buxworth Primary School
Station Road
High Peak
SK23 7NJ
On 4 and 5 October Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust are hosting a then and now display.
Come and give you support to Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust by joining the team at Buxworth Primary School where from 10 til 4 and as part of the Buxworth Steam Party Weekend, you’ll be able to see some before and after restoration work of the Bugsworth Canal Basin.
If you are interested in attending or would like to volunteer your services please contact Mark Lomas here.

Banbury Canal Day

05 Oct 2014
10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Boat trips, crafts, demonstrations and musical entertainment promise to make Banbury Canal Day go with a swing.
The Mill Arts centre will be opening its doors for a day of entertainment, food and drink, and a free folk concert will be held by General Foods Garden adjacent to the towpath.
Boat trips will be taking plave from Sovereign Wharf, with barrel organs entertaining those waiting to board. Don’t forget to stop by Tooley’s historic boatyard for a display of engines and boats, with a chance to watch a blacksmith at work.
As well as all of the above, Banbury Canal Day offers falconry, fairground rides and enough food and drink outlets to keep hunger firmly at bay.

Marina on Oxford Canal at Banbury

Marina on Oxford Canal at Banbury

The Oxford Canal is a 78-mile-long (126 km) narrow canal linking Oxford with Coventry via Banbury and Rugby. It connects with the River Thames at Oxford, to the Grand Union Canal at the villages of Braunston and Napton-on-the-Hill, and to the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction in Bedworth just north of Coventry.  The canal was once an important artery of trade between the English Midlands and London, and is now highly popular among pleasure boaters.
  © Copyright Paul Gillett and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal News – Protect yourself and your boat from the floods, and Rugeley Work Party

Canal News

Protect yourself and your boat from the floods

Flooding on the Oxford CanalFlooding on the Oxford Canal

If you’re a boat owner you’ll want to make sure that your boat isn’t damaged, and you stay safe, during the horrendous weather we’re experiencing. To help you, we’ve put together a short guide to help you battle the wet weather.

While many of these points are common sense we think it’s important to share the information as not every boat owner has years of experience under their belt. If you’re a boat owner with an extra tip to share please email us at feedback@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

• Don’t use a centre rope as a main mooring rope. Bow and stern strings should take the strain (ideally set with springs) and use the centre rope as a failsafe emergency rope.

• Check your mooring lines regularly (and don’t use taut lines)

• If you’re not able to check on your boat regularly ask friends in the area to take a look when they can.

• If water levels are forecast to rise and you think you’re going to be stranded for a while then make sure your loo is empty and that you have enough fuel and food

• Use double pins in your upstream mooring point

• Do not travel on red boards (you won’t be insured)

• Insert a vertical (scaffold) pole, forward and aft, between the boat and towpath to stop beaching on towpath when the water recedes if your boat has drifted during flooding.

• Don’t forget to move your car to higher ground if parked close to mooring

• Don’t forget to top up on fuel for your tender outboard motor – please store all petrol safely and not inside your boat!

• Keep checking the Environment Agency river levels and flood warnings website and be prepared to take action, quickly, if required

• Check on vulnerable neighbours

• Don’t forget to stock up on essential medication if required

• Put dogs in kennels, if required, as walkies maybe become impossible!

Although you might float in a boat and think that there’s not much to worry about, follow the link below and read just how bad it can get. With more rain forecast for the coming days, please take heed of the advice on this page!

• Evesham in Flood

Work Party at Leathermill Lane, Rugeley


Leathermill Lane
WS15 2HN

 22 Feb 2014  9:30 am – 1:00 pm

Come and join the IWA Lichfield Branch for a work party at Rugeley.

Bridge 66, Trent & Mersey CanalBridge 66, Trent & Mersey Canal

Bridge 66 carries Leathermill Lane over the canal.  © Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Come along and help with painting and re-badging the Canal & River Trust signs along the towpath plus general clearance, maintenance and litter picking.  Meet at Leathermill Lane, Rugeley, Staffs. WS15 2HN by the canal noticeboards on the towpath.

Come along and make new friends.

Hot drinks, cake and all equipment provided, no experience needed, but wear stout boots and old clothes.

Weather permitting!

Further information from Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

Canal News – November 16th 2012

Canal News – November 16th 2012

Lock on MontgomeryCanal

View of restored lock on Montgomery Canal taken from Morrisons supermarket car park in Welshpool .  © Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Welshpool Lock open day, Montgomery Canal, 17 November 2012

Come and watch us replacing and refurbishing the gates at Welshpool Lock. If you arrive at the right time you’ll even get to see a fish rescue.

Fish rescue at Hollybank basin

We’re draining the lock so that our engineers can carry out a detailed inspection and repair the brickwork before replacing the bottom lock gates, which date back to 1973.

Come and see the stoppage works taking place as part of the overall restoration of the Montgomery Canal and you’ll have the chance to join a guided tour and walk down into a drained lock chamber.

As part of this project we’ll carry out a small-scale fish rescue. This is your chance to get close up to some of the many fish species our waterways are home to.

Powysland Museum, located next to the lock, will be open with free entry on the day. Go inside to hear talks about the heritage of the local canal network, as well as learn about local history. Refreshments will also be served here.

Dogs and children are welcome.

Time: 10am-4pm (last entry strictly 3:15pm; site closes 3:45pm)

Address: Welshpool Lock on the Montgomery Canal, Powys, SY21 7AQ

Parking: Pay & display car park at Morrisons next to the lock. Tescos car park over the bridge (charges apply)

   Hillmorton Lock 4, Oxford Canal, 18 November 2012

Come and see the work taking place on one of the busiest lock flights in the country. We’ll be draining the lock and installing commemorative lock gates.

Locklines arts project

We’re offering you the chance to descend into a drained lock chamber to get a closer look at the maintenance work taking place on this unusual twin flight on the Oxford Canal.

We’ll also install a pair of commemorative lock gates, designed by artist Peter Coates, built in our own workshops and inscribed with a poem by Roy Fisher. Make sure you don’t miss out on this historic moment.

Hillmorton Locks, Rugby, Warwickshire

The flight of locks at Hillmorton consists of three pairs, the bottom pair (here) numbered 2 and 3, then up to Nos 4 and 5, with No 6 and No 7 being the toplock pairing.  This is because of the stop lock at Hawkesbury, about sixteen miles away being allocated number one on this, the North Oxford Canal!  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


No pre-booking required.

Time: 10am-4pm (last entry strictly 3:15pm; site closes 3:45pm)

Location: Hillmorton Lock 4 on the Oxford Canal

Parking: Free parking is available in the car park behind Badseys Café Bistro next to the Locks

This year’s winter stoppage open day programme has been sponsored by May Gurney

Canal News – April 13th – Waterscape.com

Canal News



Canal cruise and museum experience

12th Apr 2012

Once again Mersey Ferries and the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port are working together to create a special day out for canal and industrial heritage fans.

The venture, which started last year, sees the popular Manchester Ship Canal cruises departing from and arriving at the Museum in July. And it will be even easier than before for Ellesmere Port residents to book onto the cruises since tickets are now on sale at the museum.

National Waterways Museum manager John Inch said: “Last year was a good launch for this new cruise and we’re delighted to be taking this new partnership further by having tickets on sale at the museum. This will make it easy for local people and our regular visitors to take a place on this fascinating trip.”

On Thursday July 12 and Saturday July 14, members of the public will have the chance to visit the museum at a special discount rate to learn all about the history and culture of the North West’s waterways, before boarding the ferry for a trip to Salford Quays. And on Friday July 13 and Sunday July 15 the trip begins at Salford and takes visitors to Ellesmere Port, where they can spend the afternoon at the museum.

And each day the trip finishes with a bus service back to the departure point so visitors can return to their cars. Visitors also get an annual pass to the National Waterways Museum as part of the deal.

Full details of pricing, times and online ticket sales can be found at www.merseryferries.co.uk or by calling 0151 330 1444. Tickets are also available for sale at the National Waterways Museum shop.


Take a walk on the wild side

10th Apr 2012

On Wednesday 18 April members of the public can join one of British Waterways’ ecologists, Dr Mark Robinson, for a free guided walk at Coney Meadow Reed Bed wildlife reserve next to the Droitwich Canals.

Boat and bridge on the Droitwich Barge Canal

The canal re-opened in the summer of 2011. The bridge takes a minor road to Droitwich across the canal. Immediately on the other side of the bridge is Ladywood Lock (no.8 formerly no.1), which is the last lock before Droitwich.  © Copyright P L Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Created in 2008 as part of the restoration of the canals through Droitwich, the reserve is home to a whole array of wildlife, which Mark will talk about together with the site’s on-going management.

Valuable habitat for wildlife

Dr Mark Robinson comments: “The five hectare nature reserve is maturing into a really valuable habitat for wildlife. It is a combination of reed bed, grassland, scrubland as well as many mature trees. As such it is home to many birds including reed warblers, grasshopper warblers, reed buntings, common snipes and herons. The habitat is also home to many insects and mammals, including, we believe, otters.

“Later this year the canal and the nature reserve will become part of the Canal & River Trust which is taking over from British Waterways as the guardian of the waterways. Come along to hear about the wildlife that is on your doorstep but also how volunteers have got involved in looking after the habitat – from installing barn owl boxes, planting, and maintaining trees and shrubs to helping to manage the sites water supply.”

The whole walk will take approximately an hour and will be just over a mile long. It is suitable for most people as the terrain is mostly on reasonably well kept rural paths together with roughish grassland.

Those attending should meet at the Leisure Centre Car Park by the canal at 10am.

Book your free place by either emailing Suzanne.byrne@britishwaterways.co.uk or calling on 07900 276 544.

 Fun weekend at Lower Heyford Wharf

21 April 2012 – 22 April 2012

Lower Heyford Wharf
Station Road
OX25 5PD

Related Waterways

 Lower Heyford canal bridge.   Nearer road bridge 206 and original bridge, now a footbridge behind.  Views through of Heyford Wharf.  Rail road bridge to left of photo.  Entire road bridge now subject to weight limit and may be replaced in due course  © Copyright Chris Cox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The Oxfordshire Branch of the IWA are hosting a Spring Event at Lower Heyford Wharf (home of Oxfordshire Narrowboats).

Meet members of Oxfordshire Branch IWA and the Muddy Waters Team at this Fun weekend.

Visit the Muddy Waters boat specially designed for children’s holidays, take a boat trip on the Oxford Canal, join in a variety of children’s activities, including face painting, craft activities, games, quizzes etc.

Enjoy Morris dancing, live music and lap up the atmosphere at this exciting waterside event.

To pre-book your boat trip contact 01865 356140 or email muddy.waters@live.co.uk

Oxford Canal North of Napton Lock 12

Oxford Canal, North of Napton Lock 12 and Bridge 115. Napton Hill windmill to the North.  © Copyright Peter Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal News – Early December Events – Waterscape .com

Canal News


Walsall Canal View

The Canal near the Black Country New Road at Great Bridge

© Copyright Gordon Griffiths and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Restriction: Walsall Canal

Bradley & Forsters Bridge to Forsters Bridge

Tuesday 29 November 2011 – Friday 9 December 2011
A 50 metre stretch of towpath between Bradley and Forsters and Forsters Bridge will be affected by boundary wall demolition works being carried out.

The towpath will remain open at all times and towpath users will be escorted through the works.

British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Enquiries: 01827 252000

  Muddy Waters Santa Cruises

03 December 2011 – 04 December 2011
Annie’s Tearoom
Canal Road

Oxford Canal

Oxford Canal at Aynho Weir – © Copyright Shaun Ferguson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A festive canal boat ride from the peaceful village of Thrupp, with Oxfordshire Narrowboats and the child-friendly narrowboat Muddy Waters.

Visit Santa in his floating grotto. Price includes gifts for the children and tea and a mince pie at Annie’s Tearoom for the grown-ups.


£7. To book, call 01865 356140 in office hours, or email muddy.waters@live.co.uk.

Christmas music at Foxton Canal Museum

04 December 2011

Foxton Canal Museum
Middle Lock
Gumley Road
LE16 7RA

Grand Union Canal Leicester Line

Bridge 53 Grand Union Canal Leicester Section.  The summit level of the Leicester Line is at 412ft, runs 20.5 miles between Watford locks to the south and Foxton locks to the north going through practically nowhere, and does it very well.  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Christmas music at Foxton Canal Museum. Plus, the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust’s grand prize draw.

For more details, or to volunteer to help out, call 0116 279 2657.

Wharf Inn Christmas Fayre on the Oxford Canal

03 December 2011 – 04 December 2011

Wharf Inn
Wharf Lane
Fenny Compton
CV47 2FE

Oxford Canal »

Unusual and handmade Christmas gifts will be on sale at the Wharf Inn on the Oxford Canal.

There will be stalls in the pub and in a heated marquee, selling gifts, spices, cakes and homemade Christmas puddings, hamper orders, bird boxes, sticks and turned items. Stalls will include Cartia handmade fashion jewellery, Crafts in Wood and the Cheese Boat with a selection of yummy cheeses and chutneys. Plus learn how to make a Christmas wreath on Sunday at 4pm.


Historic fly-boat is an education

18th Nov 2011

A historic Shropshire Union fly-boat will be used to teach children about canal heritage, thanks to a £4,000 grant from the Waterways Trust.

The Saturn is a cheese fly-boat, which used to deliver cheese to Manchester, via the Llangollen Canal and Shropshire Union Canal. The Shropshire Union Fly-Boat Restoration Society (SUFBRS) will use the money towards an educational programme, including visual age, future plans for more horse-boating, and for on-going maintenance of the boat. The society is also installing traditional white cloth coverings on the boat, which will have the added benefit of providing wet weather shelter.

Keeping canal traditions alive

The Waterways Trust chief executive Roger Hanbury said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this support to Saturn. This project helps open up the story of our waterways, keeping alive the traditions and culture of the canals for future generations to enjoy and learn from. This grant has been made possible due to the generous support of Tony Hales CBE.”

SUFBRS chairperson Sue Cawson said: “The Saturn Project would like to say a very big thank you to Tony Hales and The Waterways Trust for this grant. It will make a real difference to our work with schools to improve the activities we provide. It is a real delight spending time with all our visitors, young and old, passing on our knowledge of the canals and boats of the past – especially Saturn.”

The overhaul of Saturn on Ellesmere Dock has just been completed and SUFBRS would like the thank Craftmaster Paints for providing the paint and BW North Wales & Borders Waterways for the use of the dock. Boatbuilder Adrian Polglase and the Project’s boat manager, artist Tony Lewery, worked with and directed the volunteers.