Cormac have updated the information on the canal dredging.

We originally said that the dredging the lower zones would begin at the end of January; however, for practical reasons we are now adapting our programme, and will initially focus on the upper sections. Though a hard decision, this change does mean that we can better manage potential impact to the busiest areas of the canal.

Please do be assured that the team have worked hard to explore all options for continuing with the originally proposed date. The funding for the project remains secure and will not be affected by this change.  

As well has having ecological restraints, the process of dredging will always be vulnerable to bad weather conditions that might cause delays to the programme.  With this in mind, and with your feedback at the forefront of our decision, we will dredge the section of canal to the south of Truscott’s Bridge as planned. The remaining two sections will be dredged in Autumn/Winter 23/24.  

The public meeting scheduled for Thursday 12th January will continue to go ahead due to the short notice of the decision, and we look forward to seeing you there. Please do still come along if you have any further questions for us.

From Cornwall Council:

A major scheme to dredge the Bude Canal is due to start in the coming weeks.

The programme, which will be delivered by Cormac, will reinstate a safe navigable depth for watercraft along the canal and restore the role of the canal in carrying flood waters as part of the flood defence strategy for Bude.

Works are due to begin from January 23, depending on weather conditions, and are due to be completed before the summer.

For safety reasons, the canal will be closed for the duration of the in-water dredging operation, expected to be from late January through February. There will also be restricted access on sections of the tow path and cycleway.

Dredged material from the harbour and upper wharf will be stored temporarily in the adjacent carparks and then transported away by lorry.

Photo by Dawn Robinson-Walsh

As a result, part of the Harbour Car Park and half of Crescent Car Park will be closed during the works. Summerleaze and Crooklets Car Parks will remain fully open.

Councillor Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change for Cornwall Council, said: “This is a long-anticipated scheme that will bring huge benefits to Bude and those who enjoy the canal via boats and other watercraft.

“This programme will also help increase flood resilience and restore the role of the canal in carrying flood waters and in turn make the area more resilient to the impacts of climate change.“

A public meeting about the scheme will take place at the Conference Room at the Parkhouse Centre (Bude Stratton Town Council) on Thursday, January 12, 2022, at 1.30pm.

Residents and businesses owners are invited to come along to find out more about the scheme and ask any questions they may have. There is no need to book.

To find out more about the dredging programme, visit the Let’s Talk Cornwall website.

Photo by Dawn Robinson-Walsh