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River Welland and River Glen

The River Welland is navigable from the derelict lock at Deeping St James to the Wash; the River Glen joins the Welland at Sufleet Sluices and is navigable to Tongue End.

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Facts & Stats

24.4 miles

(36 km)

The length of the River Welland that is navigable. The River Glen is 11.5 miles (18.5 km).

2 locks

In total

There is one lock on the River Welland and a tidal sluice on the River Glen.

From Deeping St James to the Wash and Bourne Eau

The upper part of this navigation is only suitable for light craft and canoes. The River Welland was navigable as far as Stamford, the uppermost length being canalised into the Stamford Canal.  

The historical connections of this area with Holland can be seen in the Dutch style of many of the buildings in Spalding. The Romans navigated the river between Stamford and Peakirk and the remains of a Roman canal can still be seen. 

During the seventeenth century, a canal was built with twelve locks to Stamford. Through the early part of the nineteenth century, the use up to Stamford declined. 

Following the floods of 1947, the river was straightened and widened and, in 1953, the Coronation Channel, which is not navigable, was constructed to protect Spalding from floods. Fulney Lock was built in 1955-56.

Waterway notes

Maximum Boat Sizes

  • Vessels of 110′ (34 metres) by 30′ (9.1 metres) and drawing 8 feet (2.4 m) can reach Fulney lock at high water. The lock is 62′ 4″ (19.0 metres) by 27′ 7″ (8.5 metres) and at normal summer water levels, can accommodate boats drawing 2’6″ (0.79 metres).
  • Boats up to 35′ (11 metres) can reach the Folly River. Headroom on this stretch is severely restricted, at 5’3″ feet (1.60 metres). Smaller boats such as canoes, which can be carried around obstructions, can continue up to Stamford,but they must use the old course of the river through the Deepings, rather than the Maxey Cut.

Navigation authority

Environment Agency and Port of Fosdyke Ltd

Useful Info

  • The maximum boat size that can navigate the rivers Glen and Welland gradually reduces the further upstream a boat travels.
  • The locks are tidal and can only be opened at certain levels of the tide.
  • Bridge heights are given on the Environment Agency’s website.
  • Both locks are operated by the Environment Agency, and it is necessary to call the local river inspector (Tel: 07721 390128) in advance to arrange this.
  • The Coronation Channel through Spalding is a flood relief channel, not designed for navigation, and its use is only permitted by the Spalding Water Taxi by special arrangement.

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