Boaters Newsletter - July 2017

Dear Users

June’s high temperatures and sunny conditions have led to vigorous blanket weed growth and this has been a challenge to control.  However the summer is well under way, the Navigation is once again fully open and boaters are out enjoying the Navigation.  

Work completed

Weed cutting and lifting
EWL’s pair of weed-boats has been very busy lifting ‘blanket’ weed for several weeks now.   

Heybridge Basin Lock
The sea lock is now fully operational and we are once again welcoming visiting boats for short stays in the Basin.  We are trying to resolve the current dusty surfacing around the Lock.

Beeleigh Lock
An emergency repair was carried out on the lower gate cill in June.  

Rushes Lock
An emergency paddle repair was carried out in May.

Hoe Mill Lock
The campsite has now been upgraded to offer electrical hook up points for visiting campers.

Paper Mill Lock
In May EWL completed the purchase of the trip boat ‘Victoria’ and she is once again moored on the island at Paper Mill Lock.  Purpose built to operate on the C&B Navigation, EWL will operate the vessel under ‘Chelmer Cruises’ and plans to offer trips from April to October.  For more information please call Sue Clift on 07507 055021, email or go to the Chelmer Cruises page online.

Barnes Lock
New lower gates were delivered and fitted in April.

The towpath vegetation has received at least one cut and is accessible along the length of the Navigation.

Work Planned

Weed Cutting
Excessive growth will be cut and removed over the next few weeks to ensure that the Navigation is kept open

Springfield Lock
New top and lower gates are planned for replacement over the coming winter.

Important Information

Mooring stages
Boaters are politely reminded that mooring stages must not be altered without prior consent from EWL.  Please note that it is planned to carry out maintenance and cleaning of mooring stages.

Setting locks
Boaters are politely reminded to ensure that locks are left full with the gates correctly mitred.  This renders the lock chamber safe to all users and prevents excessive stress on the lock structure and gates drying out.

Permanent moorings on the Navigation are almost at current capacity (other than in the marina at Springfield). If you plan to buy or sell a boat please ensure that you contact the Navigation Manager well in advance to facilitate mooring.

Staff News

We are pleased to welcome Sioux Rix as a new Sandford caretaker, alongside Colin Crump.  Sioux is resident aboard Millie Willows which is moored above the lock on the non towpath side.  Please
Make Sioux feel welcome at Sandford and say hello when you may be passing through.

Social Scene

You are always welcome to The Inland Waterways Association Chelmsford Branch social meetings. Meet at 7.45pm for an 8pm start, home made cakes provided. These are held at The Galleywood Heritage Centre, The Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford, CM2 8TR
This is 1 mile from the A12 junction 16. Further information on directions/local map:
Meetings commence again in September.

Volunteers needed for Essex 10K

On Sunday 17th September, IWA is hosting a fundraising 10K to raise money for towpath improvement along the navigation and we are looking for volunteers to help make it a fantastic day! Events like this could not go ahead without the valuable support provided by volunteers and there are loads of different ways to get involved, including marshalling, registration, manning the water stand and much more.
You will be well rewarded with tea, coffee and cakes and be in prime position to cheer on our brave competitors - it's a great way to be part of a really fun day!
If you are interested in helping out, please contact Sarah Frayne at or call 01494 783453 (ext. 611) for more information.

Wildlife Sightings

The spring brought birdsong from resident and migrant species along the whole Navigation.  Highlights were; cuckoos at Heybridge Basin, with at least 3 individual calling males; Cetti’s Warbler at Heybridge Basin and -Paper Mill; Reed Bunting at Paper Mill; Hobby at Paper Mill and Whitethroats and Blackcaps at various locations.  

A Red Kite has been seen several times in the vicinity of Ricketts Lock

Along the Navigation there are currently a number of pairs of Mute Swan with broods of cygnets.  Unfortunately the pair in the centre of Heybridge, between Wave Bridge and Black Bridge had their eggs stolen by 3 individuals.  Although the incident was captured on CCTV, unfortunately identification of the individuals concerned proved impossible.

Weasels have been spotted on a number of occasions at Sandford Mill
Send your wildlife sightings to the Navigation Manager, contact details below.

Contact Us 

Navigation Manager, David Smart 07966 375351,
Heybridge Lockkeeper
, Grant Everiss 07712 079764,
Moorings Administrator, Christine Walsh 01494 783453  ext 612,
Chelmer Cruises, Sue Clift 07507 055021,

Essex Waterways Ltd. Out of hours Emergency No. 07968 020554