Boaters Newsletter - October 2017

Dear Users

Perhaps the most important piece of information is to remind boaters that the Heybridge Basin Sea Lock will be closed from 23rd October until Easter 2018. If you wish to stay over winter in the Basin or leave the canal via the lock for the winter, you must do so before 23rd October. To book your arrival or departure please contact Grant Everiss, Heybridge Lockkeeper – tel: 07712 079764,   

Additionally, due to the rapid deterioration of the upper gates, the use of Springfield Lock has been temporarily suspended.  The installation of new gates is planned for early January.  

As the days shorten, we will be turning our attention to winter maintenance and repairs to our infrastructure to ensure that EWL continues to improve the Navigation for all its users.

Work completed

Weed cutting and lifting
The summer’s growth proved quite a challenge this year following the longer than usual bloom of blanket weed. Nevertheless, working in tandem, our weed boats managed to keep the Navigation clear.  Of particular note was a work party comprising the Environment Agency, fishing clubs, EWL and other volunteers who spent a day removing American Pennywort from the Long Pond.  Thanks also to Chelmer Canal Trust and their perennial efforts to rid the Navigation of this stubborn invasive.

Rushes Lock
A number of overhanging and fallen trees have been removed from above the lock and upstream towards Paper Mill.

Paper Mill Lock
‘Victoria’ has been operated by Essex Waterways (as Chelmer Cruises) since late May.  For more information please call Sue Clift on 07507 055021, email or go to the Chelmer Cruises page online.

A very successful week-long WRG Canal Camp in August saw the repair of several culverts under the towpath downstream of Paper Mill road bridge and resurfacing of the towpath.  Thank you to all involved.

Little Baddow Lock
WRG’s Forestry Team visited the Navigation for a weekend in September and removed the overhanging willows above the lock at Brick Kiln Corner.

The towpath vegetation has received a second cut and is accessible along the length of the Navigation.

Work Planned

Springfield Lock 
New top and lower gates are planned for replacement in January.

Beeleigh Lock 
New top and lower gates are planned for replacement in February.

Little Baddow Lock
Lock beam repairs are planned for October.

Long Pond
Dredging works are planned for February.

Important Information

Mooring stages
Boaters are politely reminded that mooring stages must not be altered without prior consent from EWL.  We plan to carry out maintenance and cleaning of mooring stages over the winter, so please ensure they are kept clear of any unnecessary clutter.

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.

Mooring fees 2017
Please note that, regrettably, long term mooring fees will increase by 2.5% effective from 1st January 2018. This is our main source of income for the operation of the Navigation and as our overheads increase with inflation it is necessary for us to ensure our income also increases.  A full schedule of charges will be available on our website from December.

Social Scene

You are always welcome to IWA Chelmsford Branch's social meetings. Meet at 7.45pm for an 8pm start. Home-made cakes are 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:

12th October - ‘Wildlife of the Falklands’ talk by Derek Howes
9th November - ‘River Waveney Trust’ talk by Keith Lead
14th December - Christmas Social
11th January - ‘Wherry Maud Trust' talk by Linda Pargeter
8th February - ‘History of Navigation’ talk by Malcolm Case
8th March - ‘Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation’ talk by David Smart
12th April - ‘Trip up the Blackwater in old photographs’ talk by Kevin Bruce

10K Fun Run

Essex 10k a runaway success!
On Sunday 17th September, IWA hosted 115 keen runners (and one dog!) at Hoe Mill Lock for its first ever 10k event in aid of Essex Waterways. The runners took on a challenging cross-country course, starting and finishing at Hoe Mill and enjoying a lot of the Essex countryside along the way. The course included a 3.5km stretch along the Chelmer and Blackwater towpath and many runners commented on how nice it was to get off the road and explore some of the more hidden treasures of the local area.

All participants commented on the lovely atmosphere of the day and praised the enthusiasm and friendliness of the marshals. Both runners and volunteers were treated to home-made cakes at the finish line, kindly baked by staff at IWA’s head office – or for the more health conscious there was fruit that had been generously donated by the community team at Maldon Tesco.  Nearly £1,500 was raised by the event, all of which will go towards work being done to improve the towpaths along the Navigation.

Wildlife Sightings

Kingfishers have returned to the Navigation, individuals have been regularly seen at Springfield Basin and at Paper Mill Lock.  Dragonflies and damselflies, known collectively as ‘Odonata’ have been active along the whole length of the Navigation, benefitting from the warm temperatures.  Species have included Common Darter, Brown Hawker and Migrant Hawker.

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