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BW issues warning saying River Severn shallows are getting serious

  • Neil
  • 25 Apr 2012
  • General
  • Back

British Waterways (BW) issued a further warning about the effect of the current drought on the River Severn on Thursday 1 September 2011 – in effect until further notice, writes Harry Arnold in his news piece first published in the marine trade magazine Boating Business







BW is concerned about shallows above

Gloucester Lock on the River Severn

– photo: Waterway Images

Low flow rates have reduced the ability of the river to remove silt and shallows have formed on the lower reaches from Upper Lode to Gloucester Lock, with significant shallows being recorded between Gloucester Lock and the Upper Parting.


Where shallows have been encountered between Gloucester Lock and the Upper Parting the depth of water (without tide) has been recorded as little as 1.2m (4ft) in places, however to date BW has had no reports of boats becoming stranded.


Skippers are advised to navigate with care, keep to the main channel and not cut bends. BW will continue to monitor the development of shallows over the coming weeks and update its advice as required. Vessels drawing in excess of 1.2m (4ft) are advised to contact Gloucester Lock in advance to ascertain the latest position.  


BW has also asked customers who encounter shallows whilst navigating the River Severn to report them as they pass through the locks so that it can investigate, and update records and advice. The weather forecast for the next week commencing 5 September is mainly dry, therefore BW does not expect to see an improving situation over that coming week.


Contact Gloucester Lock on 01452 310832 for updated information.