Safe navigation of the tidal Trent

Published: Thursday, 09 May 2024

AN ORGANISATION is in existence under the title of Trentlink—Safe Navigation of the Tidal Trent.

Its aim being to instruct boaters of the perils  of cruising the tidal river, improving the experience and increasing the number of inland boats using the tidal Trent, writes it's Chairman, Nick Roberts:

cromwell lockFearful of the reputation

Many inland boaters are fearful of the reputation of the Trent, yet:

♦ The north—south route is around 100 locks shorter than crossing the Pennines.
The locks are probably easier with many manned and electric.
There are fewer boats, with easier moorings in some majestic and unique waters in the north-east! [The picture shows Cromwell Lock where the non-tidal river joins the tidal. The one below showing the moorings at Gainsborough.]

Inland craft can use the Trent to visit the delightful Fossdyke, Chesterfield Canal, continue up to York or Ripon, or use the 'backdoor' to leave the three Pennine crossings (when they are available) and complete some of the most challenging and memorable 'rings' on the system. Yet numbers of visiting inland boats have been dropping.

sgainsborough moorDon't understand the Trent

“We don’t understand the Trent tides, it’s too big. People say the locks are too difficult!” tells narrowboat skipper.

Until Trentlink started in October 2021, the 43 miles section of the tidal section of the Trent it has had little easy to find information and it had developed a poor reputation, mostly based on 'horror stories' around the marinas from ill equipped folk who have gone before.

Trentlink—safe Navigation on the Tidal River Trent is a Facebook Group designed to provide potential visitors with the 'Best Practices' and knowledge of local boaters, and to give somewhere to ask questions—Over 2,000 boaters have joined the group, with up to 1,200 folk a day using the information, documents and video links provided.

“What size anchor do I need to carry? Do I need VHF?”—early enquiry to TrentLink.

By better preparation endeavouring to help boaters around the 'tricky bits' and encouraging a 'Buddy' system, it’s shown this year that the safety of boats on the river can be improved and the number of visitors could be increased, opening larger portions of the UK canal system to more boats.