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Stroud Valleys Canal Company

Canal User Pages

Brimscombe Port


SVCC Policies


Current Restrictions/Stoppages

Stoppage Notice

Dudbridge Lower Lock is currently closed to all boats pending the repair to defective chamber walls. The lock is being kept full in the meantime. Booked and supervised infrequent passage of boats with no crew on board may be possible, but only if there is a compelling reason, prior to repair work starting.

Work is still ongoing east of Stroud and at present Bowbridge, Griffins Mill and Ham Mill Locks are not available for boating use yet.


Ebley Flood Gates managed during the week by SDC and are sometimes left open in the summer in dry weather periods. At weekends they are left closed with one paddle partly raised to prevent a water level difference from developing across them. Users should leave them as they find them during the week and close them when used at the weekend (after 4pm on Friday).  One paddle needs to be left partially up. IF IN DOUBT ALWAYS CLOSE THE FLOOD GATES WITH ONE PADDLE DOWN AND THE OTHER PARTIALLY UP. Abide by any notices on the gates - there are times after wet weather when navigation is not allowed/possible.

Please note that the canal is still undergoing restoration and some lengths are not available yet and those that are may not be fully completed and use may be restricted by ongoing work.

The canal is now usually navigable with care from The Ocean near Stonehouse to Bowbridge Lock about 1Km east of Stroud, a distance of 6.5Km with 5 locks (one double). 

 A new water supply is in the commissioning phase at Goughs Orchard to supply the western side of the T&S Canal.  There is also a problem with the overflow weir culvert at Bowbridge Lock  which needs fixing and work that needs completing at Ham Mill before navigation can be allowed on this stretch. 

Many of the boat landing stages for the locks and movable bridges are in place but quite a few are not available so care is needed.

There are still a small number of shallow pipe crossings running across the canal, the worst being a main sewer about 100m below Wallbridge Lower Lock which limits the draught of boats to about 500mm - this is expected to be removed in 2019/2020.


In particular, boat landing stages have yet to be installed in several places and single handed navigation is not recommended at this time.

The slipway at Strachans Close currently provides the only access for trailerable boats into the  navigable length of Phase 1A. This is quite a steep slipway.

The key needed to unlock the slipway chain and unlock some of the other padlocks along the canal can be borrowed by arrangement. The same key will unlock the Ryeford Swing Bridge and some of the other structures and paddle gear locks. All user operated locks are being changed to the (BW/C&RT) standard Watermate type. 

A Watermate key is needed to operate Chestnut Lane Swing Bridge, Lodgemore Lift Bridge and Ebley Swing Bridge.

In the Phase 1B length, both Blunder and Newtown Locks at Eastington are usable with care and accessible via the Eastington slipway above Pike Lock - please return the heavy stop plank into position after use. Please note that there is a pile of underwater debris in the Eastington Slipway on the left hand (upstream side) - for best results, use the right hand side.
Volunteer work has removed fallen trees and branches but Bonds Mill Lift Bridge is currently inoperable and weed in the summer can sometimes be an issue.




What is SVCC? The Stroud Valleys Canal Company is a charitable company that has been set up to be the navigation authority i.e. the operational managers for the Cotswold Canals as they are restored. It was created by four partners Stroud District Council (SDC), the Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT), the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation and Gloucestershire County Council. It leases the Stroudwater Navigation from the Company of Proprietors and owns much of the course of the Thames and Severn Canal from Stroud up to, and including, Brimscombe Port. The restoration itself is being managed by SDC, but SVCC is obviously closely involved.

How do I license a boat on the canal? At present, we are not issuing licences or charging licence fees. The canal is still undergoing restoration and although lengths may be navigated at your own risk, some sections will be unavailable due to ongoing work and subject to restrictions. Once the canal is connected to the main system at Saul Junction, we will introduce a licensing regime, with, we hope, some degree of reciprocity with the Canal and River Trust (C&RT - formerly British Waterways). However, other than for short term visitors, we do require ALL boats moored on the canal to be registered with us. For these, we will need the name, address and telephone number of the owner; evidence of compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme (a BSS certificate) for all powered craft except those powered solely by an outboard engine and with no inboard fuel, gas or electrical systems; and evidence of insurance covering third party liability of at least 2million for all powered boats including those powered by outboard engines. We strongly advise that unpowered boats should also be covered by insurance, which is available cheaply through a number of boating and canoeing organisations. 

Can I moor a boat on the canal? Yes, subject to conditions. There are three types of mooring visitor mooring, usually for a maximum period, long-term mooring for boats that are not lived on, and residential mooring. We are currently identifying what sites can be allocated to each of these purposes and we will publicise these in due course. Mooring fees are payable for anything other than short term visitor mooring. Visiting boats must always only moor on the towpath side or at clearly designated visitor moorings. The offside bank is usually in private ownership.

Can I use the slipways? There are two slipways on the SVCC controlled length of canal:

The one at Strachans Close near Stroud provides access to about 3 miles and 3 locks (one a double) within the Phase 1A length. 

The one at Eastington, between Pike Lock and Blunder Lock and not far from the M5, provides access to about a mile of canal and two locks within the Phase 1B length.

Anyone proposing to use the slipways needs to contact SVCC in advance as they are normally kept locked.

How do I use the locks? If you have never used a lock before, we suggest you either read up on it or call in at the CCT Visitor Centre where there will probably be someone who can explain it to you. You will need a windlass to operate the paddle gear. You will need a windlass with BOTH the two normal square holes to operate the locks and swing bridges.

Can I put a landing stage at the bottom of my garden? You will need our agreement to ensure it is a safe place to moor in terms of passing traffic and a licence from us. Generally, you should not plan for any structure to extend out into the canal or be built on land we own (sometimes the channel has narrowed over years of disuse or has not yet been dredged to the correct width). We will be as helpful as we can but may sometimes have to say no for navigational reasons.

Can I fish in the canal? The fishing rights on most of the canal are let to either the Stroud & District Angling Club, the Association Phoenix Angling Club or Frampton Angling Club. You will need to speak to them about fishing opportunities.

What facilities will there be for boats and boaters in the initial phase of restoration? We will aim to provide at least one water point on the Stroud - Stonehouse section. Other facilities are only likely to become available after the link has been made with the rest of the waterway network at Saul.

Who do I contact? Enquires about using the canal should be made to Peter Best whose details are on the Contacts page.


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