Registered Charity No. 1116473 Company No. 5731754 Registered Office:- The Cottage,
Mill Lane, Barford, Warwick, CV35 8EJ
The idea of navigating the Warwickshire Avon above Stratford and forming a junction
with the Grand Union Canal near Warwick is not new. Since the Avon Navigation was
restored and the river reopened to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1974, both the Upper and
Lower Avon Navigation Trusts have expended considerable time and effort in pursuing
that goal. This has been against opposition from some riparian owners and other groups.
Much of this section of the river already has a good navigable depth and was in the
past ‘tamed' with weirs and extensively used for milling. Four weirs survive upstream
of Stratford, at Alveston, Hampton Lucy, Barford and Warwick and, although those
at Alveston and Hampton Lucy have been reduced in height, they still manage to retain
a surprising depth of water.
Few roads or footpaths come near the river and, apart from the M40 crossing, which
allows a tantalizingly brief glimpse of a deep and navigable reach, only two other
bridges cross the river between Stratford and Warwick. Both these crossing points
occur close below weirs and show shallows quite out of keeping with the character
of most of this section. The potential for tourism on the higher reaches of the river
is substantial and, upstream of the tourist high spot of Stratford, the river passes
several other attractions such as the National Trust's Charlecote Park, a working
watermill at Hampton Lucy and the historic town of Warwick with its famous castle
overlooking the river. Considering the proximity to centres of population, these
upper reaches of the river are remote and stunningly beautiful but for the most part
Preliminary engineering studies for the waterway suggest that there should be few
problems. Six locks are needed to reach Warwick, and a short canal would be needed
to bypass a shallow loop below Barford. The new connection with the Grand Union Canal
offers the alternative possibilities of a new flight of four locks or a boat lifting
structure which could be an attraction similar to the Falkirk Wheel boat lift in
A group of local like-minded individuals, all of whom have some interest or involvement
with the river, saw the need to form a new Trust, solely concerned with the Avon
above Stratford, but which would work closely alongside the other existing voluntary
waterways groups, in particular LANT, UANT and IWA. Consequently the Stratford &
Warwick Waterways Trust Ltd was formally created on the 8th of March 2004.
Our goal is to increase access both on foot and by boat to this beautiful river,
with the ultimate aims of a continuous footpath and through navigation.
If you share this vision then why not join us ?
Please refer to Avon Navigation Trust Website -link
For further details of the Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust Ltd contact: