Boats on the Grantham again

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2009

WORKS have recently been completed to restore a historic wharf on the Grantham Canal which could open the way for a trip boat to operate—the first since it was closed. The implementation of the project has been managed by British Waterways and funded by grants secured by the Grantham Canal Society from the Waste Recycling Environmental Network (WREN) and East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA).

It is anticipated that the restored wharf will support the Grantham Canal Society's aspirations to operate a trip boat on the canal between Harlaxton and Woolsthorpe and enable visitors to experience the waterway by boat.

The wharf dates back to the late 18th century when it was used for unloading coal and construction materials and loading agricultural products from local farms. The original wharf piling was constructed from oak which over time had perished and needed renewing and the surrounding land had become overgrown.

British Waterways' Acting General Manager Sean McGinley stated:

"We're grateful to all the partners involved in the restoration of the wharf. This project could help to create a real focal point for visitors enabling them to further explore the Grantham Canal's wildlife, heritage and excellent village pubs."

Completed by Autumn

A second phase of the project involving the creation of a landscaped community space is now being planned. Funding is being applied for by the Harlaxton Village community and a planning application has been submitted to South Kesteven District Council. It is hoped that the second phase, which will see the wharf opened up to the public, will be completed by the autumn.

Volunteers from the Grantham Canal Society and Harlaxton Village have previously worked to clear vegetation from the site and an archaeological survey was carried out by the Grantham Archaeological Group. British Waterways also conducted a detailed vole survey to ensure that there weren't any of the animals present before works took place.


The Grantham Canal has not been navigable for boats since 1937 and has become a rich wetland habitat with a five mile section, between Redmile and Harby, and a second section at Kinoulton, designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.