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JennyMorgan

There Is A Lock On The Broads!

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Very interesting the difference between de-silting and dredging. The canal is about half a mile over the field at the back of my house and they have had diggers working around Swafield for weeks this summer. In fact it has been de-silted above Swayfield Bridge.

I wonder if the EA did not want it disturbed because of the inpact on fish, amphibians, larvae etc. Or were afraid of distubed agricultural and septic tank run off entering the upper Ant at Wayford.

As has been said many times the big problem was always water supply. In summer you could only open the locks once or twice a day. Nowadays given greater extraction coupled with the fact Antingham Ponds are private ornate lakes I can not see that problem being resolved.

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As to the number of locks I know of three:

Honing at the side of Dilham Broad

Briggate &

Ebridge Mill 

It is the stretch either side of River Mount that appears to have come to a full stop.

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So having now found time to consult my Bradshaws, there were six locks on the canal (although one could say not a really true canal as they canalised the existing River Ant) HONING, BRIGATE mill, EBRIDGE mill, BACTON WOOD mill, SWAFIELD LOWER, SWAYFIELD UPPER. 

Six locks in under 9 miles no wonder they were short of water.

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Mine is a reprint of 1904, there were then only four working locks. Upper and lower Swafield had been abandoned in 1893.

DSC_0334.JPG

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40 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

Mine is a reprint of 1904, there were then only four working locks. Upper and lower Swafield had been abandoned in 1893.

DSC_0334.JPG

Ok Mr Portillo ! Here was me thinking you were ChrisB!!! :naughty:

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Could make a very interesting programme. But the pastel pants and jacket would have to go! Or be made a more generous fit, let us say.

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3 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Very interesting the difference between de-silting and dredging. The canal is about half a mile over the field at the back of my house and they have had diggers working around Swafield for weeks this summer. In fact it has been de-silted above Swayfield Bridge.

I wonder if the EA did not want it disturbed because of the inpact on fish, amphibians, larvae etc. Or were afraid of distubed agricultural and septic tank run off entering the upper Ant at Wayford.

As has been said many times the big problem was always water supply. In summer you could only open the locks once or twice a day. Nowadays given greater extraction coupled with the fact Antingham Ponds are private ornate lakes I can not see that problem being resolved.

Wow, that is some back garden! Do you have moorings there? A half mile cut could provide quite a few moorings and a half decent income!

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If only. 

Being serious though, I do have a reservation about this work. The land rises behind my house to the bank that forms the horizon. Then there are fields for between half to a mile sloping to the river Ant/canal. This land would have been grazing in years gone by but is now intensively farmed as one crop is harvested another goes in. The problem is the land is actually poor and very sandy. Vast quantities of nitrogen, defoliator, and insectiside are used to make it productive. The bank behind the barley stubble in this photo is the watershed. Our run off, septic tanks etc end up in the North Sea or Mundesley Beck and then the sea. Over that bank it also ends up in the North Sea but via The Ant, Barton Broad and the Bure. Not much of a rise but it is the difference between directly to sea or via The Broads.20160828_154915.jpg

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I am sorry, I got called away. So I can see the EA perhaps being a little worried about disturbing seventy plus years of silt because of what it potentially contains. We all remember that any dredging in Hickling would bring an end to the world as we know it, digging up a couple of miles of old river bed! Who Knows! I have never seen any enviromental impact reports although I do follow the EAWA

www.eawa.co.uk

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I believe there were also 5 locks on the Aylsham navigation, ie the Bure above Horstead.  Wherries once plied their trade all the way up to Aylsham.

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Not to forget the waveney going to Bungay. Talking of interesting watersheds and this has been reported in many inland waterway journals the source of the Waveney and Little Ouse are within a few hundred metres. This few hundred metres is all that stops Norfolk being an island. It is said that in the late 1700s there were plans to canalize these so they could be joined. If that had happened and remained open a boat on The Broads of 6'10" beam could have travelled anywhere in the UK and wider ones many hundreds of miles.

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I've not read all this post but I'm sure as a boy when biking to Bungay from my Beccles home to swim in the river around the back of Outney Common there was a the remains of a lock in the woods. Surely this suggests that water traffic went upstream further than Bungay stathe (where i'd suggest there would probably have been a lock) I think navigation would have at least reaced Earsham.. Not an expert so may wrong.

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