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Sleaford Navigation

The Sleaford Navigation, also known in the initial section as Kyme Eau, leaves the River Witham at Chapel Hill, signposted to South Kyme.

Sleaford Navigation Map

Facts & Stats

7.5 miles

(12km)

The length of the Sleaford Navigation that is navigable.

1 lock

Navigation to Cobblers Lock

Opened in 1794, the Sleaford Navigation ran from the River Witham at Chapel Hill to the centre of Sleaford.

The waterway is navigable as far as Cobblers Lock, where full length narrowboats can wind. On the far side of the village of South Kyme there is a low bridge. The height of this bridge is indicated on the guillotine gate at Taylors Lock, the first lock up from the Witham. There are visitor moorings in South Kyme and a winding hole beyond the village for boats unable to negotiate the low bridge.

Restoration of the Sleaford Navigation

Sleaford Navigation Trust has restored the waterway from the River Witham to the current head of navigation at Cobblers Lock. Two of the seven locks have so far been restored.

The first of these, Taylors Lock, was originally restored in the late 1980s and has since been refurbished in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership. Cobblers Lock was restored by volunteer labour in the 1990s, but flood protection works on the banks above the lock need to be completed before gates can be installed. More recently, with support from IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, the Trust has worked on the bywash at Haverholme Lock.

Visitor moorings have been created along the Sleaford Navigation in the village of South Kyme. In addition, a complementary winding hole installed above the village for boats unable to negotiate the low bridge at Ferry Farm.

Navigation House, in Sleaford, has been restored. A project to create a new head of navigation in the town in 2010, saw a low concrete footbridge replaced by a new steel lift bridge and the building of a slipway.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 71′ 6″ (21.9 metres)
  • Beam: 14′ 6″ (4.2 metres)
  • Height: 6′ (1.8 metres) (But see note above)
  • Draught: 3′ 6″ (1.2 metres)

Navigation authority

None but Environment Agency is responsible for flood prevention and drainage on the river.

Useful Info

  • A Canal & River Trust key is needed to operate the guillotine gate. An additional boat licence is not required.

Restoration Group

Local activities