The East Anglian Waterways Association
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|EAWA Chairman, Roger Sexton says, "The East Anglian Waterways Association was founded in 1958 to cover a wide area of Eastern England. The North Walsham and Dilham Canal represents one of our earliest involvements. Hence I was delighted we were able to assist with the formation of the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust to provide a locally-based organisation to help care for this fine waterway."|
|The EAWA Position Statement on
the North Walsham and Dilham Canal. Background, facts, figures,
achievements and aspirations for the future.
Published May 2012
on the North
Walsham and Dilham Canal is now on the
NWDC Trust website
History of the North Walsham and Dilham Canal
Go to our
NWDC History Page
North Walsham and Dilham Canal Work Parties are now organised by the Trust.
Reports of EAWA Work Parties 2008 to 2013
Warwickshire Waterway Walkers visited the North Walsham & Dilham Canal.
10th November 2010
Over the weekend of 4/5/6th November, 34 Warwickshire Waterway Walkers visited North Norfolk. This was their 22nd year of organised waterway walks, with 34 people coming across from the Stratford upon Avon area staying either at the Wayford Bridge Hotel or local cottages for the long weekend. On the 6th November there aim was to walk and look at the North Walsham & Dilham Canal.
Below I have outlined a resume of the day:
New Canal Walk Opened on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal
|After two years work at Honing Cut, the East Anglian Waterways Association's and North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust's work parties saw the first stage of their Canal Walk opened by Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, on Sunday 28th September 2008.|
|Norman also toured the site, and talked to the work party members, who were working with a digger and “home made” dredger bucket, clearing the canal at the entrance to the staithe. He was impressed at the work undertaken in such a short time span, and gave full support to the Trust's aim of restoring the canal. Norman also presented the Trust with a cheque for £150.|
|Two years ago, few were aware of the existence of the staithe, running from the side of the canal above Dee (Honing) Bridge. With the support of the Canal Company, and the owners of the woodland around the cut, the Work Parties have cleared the scrub and dangerous trees on either side of the basin, and alongside the canal itself.|
|Attention was then directed at the basin and tree growth removed. With the aid of a local member, who happens to have a digger for a hobby, the basin was then dredged and water reintroduced. Within a few weeks a heron had made itself at home|
Following discussions with NCC footpath officers, the idea of a circular canal walk, linking with Weavers Way, was formed.
|As this needed to cross the soke dyke by a bridge, grant aid from the Broads and Rivers LEADER+ programme and the European Union was gained for building materials and interpretation boards at either end.|
|The clearances around the staithe
and formation of a walk have been warmly welcomed by the local
residents and walkers along the old railway line (Weavers Way).
The sight of water through the trees is always a welcoming one.
As well as other works along the canal, such as at the locks, and clearing Briggate Mill Pond, the work parties will continue to expand the cleared area around the basin, and tackle the muddier parts of the walk over the coming few months.
|The main work parties are usually
held on the last Sunday of each month - with additional works carried
out at other times. Full reports and programme of future events are to
be found on the website "work"
( or http://eawa.co.uk/work.html
for non-readers of this article ) and further details
from the organiser - David Reville on 01603 738648.
Ivan Cane 23/10/08
The Walk as .PDF and Word Reader (for Windows)
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE EAWA AGM.
|Summary of Working Parties, April 07 to March 08|
|Bacton Wood Lock||1|
|Honing Staithe Cut||7|
|There was no WP in August 2007
Attendances at WPs = 110 (max at one WP 14)
BACTON WOOD. The work here generally was to keep nature at bay. A large number of saplings had grown on the cill area and these were all cleared away with other undergrowth. The access path from the girder bridge was cut down from its 4foot height! More bricks were cleaned and stacked in preparation for a work-party of bricklayers etc (the professionals!) at some future date. Methods of access for delivery of sand, cement, plant etc for the reconstruction (lock mouth only at this stage) were discussed and agreed with Mr Laurie Ashton, owner of the land and mill.
EBRIDGE LOCK. Some real progress has been made here. The trees on the land between the Mill Pond and lock have been cut down and back to provide an open view upstream so that the weir could be seen from the road bridge. The water at the mouth has been cleared of debris on each visit leaving the area basically clear of any hard junk. Similarly at the tail. Also on the tail side bank, a former water pump site has been cleared of growth and is now totally revealed. The Mill Pond clearance is a project to be carried out when funds are available. The wall bounding the Mill Pond and road has been revealed and is in good condition at the lower level and to the bed. The land agent is currently checking whether Norfolk County Council Highways Department will re-instate the guardrail at the edge of the road. To the upstream northerly side of the weir, a clear access way through trees has been made preparatory to removing the damaging tree growth in the canal bank.
BRIGGATE LOCK. General clear up and grass and weed cutting by both chamber walls. As always at this site, reed and weed were cleared from the mouth and water flow improved. The copingstones and chamber walls cleaned, where safe to do so. There is an area, which is in a dangerous state, and this has been taped off. A 'Danger-keep out' notice is also in place. The weir location may have been found but an exploratory dig is required after having obtained permission to enter the land area. The second lower lock gate (or rather remains of…) has been restrained with cable and chain to prevent it falling into the chamber. The tail buttress area is cleared of growth, mainly bramble. Much more positive progress has been made by advancing up the western bank and clearing saplings, trees and other visual obstructions to provide a view not seen for some considerable time and also locating the feed into the Mill Pond.
HONING LOCK. Keeping nature at bay again but with the difference here that more progress was made downstream. The winding hole was further dredged and enlarged. Oh! For a mechanical digger! Several leaning trees were felled and used to provide banking and the foundation for a porterage point, which was proven of use by two canoes shortly after near completion! There are a number of downed trees in this stretch, which bounds with Mr A Pattersons' land and therefore have been left in the water. A letter was written to Mr Patterson on 20th March 2008 but no reply received as yet. There is an enormous amount of wood clearing and dredging to be done between this lock and the canals' confluence with the Smallburgh river (which flows from Dilham).
HONING STAITHE CUT This site is not
at a lock so is therefore quite different. When we were initially asked
to 'look at' this site, we could not believe that it really existed. See
my report 2006/07. I had high hopes though and with a 'secret
weapon' at the back of my mind for some months (and hidden in the
background!) further trees - loads of them - were felled and removed
with others from the Cut until a rough outline could be seen.
Taking measurements from maps, the original size of the Cut was marked out and we could visualise the past. Whilst this was being carried out, I had been asked by the Canal Co to open a pathway along the upstream side of the Cut and for it to cross a drainage dyke and pass through the wood to return to the Weavers Way. A daunting task!
At the WP on 16th December 07, my 'secret weapon' became public in talks held on site and on 20th January 2008 the dream was realized in the form of a Doctor Tom and his Digger! Miracles do happen and over four work-parties the scene was transformed beyond all recognition. The site now resembles the shape shown on maps albeit the water level is low due to there being no lock gates downstream. The canal side path and the cut through the wood are now clear (up to a barrier point deliberately left to deter walkers from the Weavers Way) and we have a grant to purchase wood to build a small access bridge over the dyke.
Much more work to be done here on the Cut and canal itself.
THE FUTURE. Work this year will continue as before under the control of the EAWA. It is thought than when the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust is up and running this will change. It is further hoped that money will be available to progress reconstruction work at the lock sites and to clear the canal itself and make it watertight once more. The thought of locks being restored to working condition in the near future is not really realistic, but the future is looking a lot brighter now than it was a year ago.
David E Revill
Work Party Leader
11 April 2008
|The East Anglian Waterways Association is a believer in "Waterways for All" - promoting access to our navigations for the community - whether walkers, nature lovers, anglers, canoeists, boaters or gongoozlers. We work with and support many local societies, trusts and other user bodies in the area - Please visit our LINKS page for more information.|
|©2013 - East Anglian Waterways Association Limited - Reg. 895405 - Registered Charity No. 251382|