eEsignof one of the locks on the Straford to Warwick Waterway

The Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust



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Patrons  Lord Digby Jones, Timothy West CBE,  Vice-President Sir Christopher Bland     .               




Registered Charity No. 1116473 Company No. 5731754
Registered Office:- The Cottage, Mill Lane, Barford, Warwick, CV35 8EJ


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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 unseen.


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 Scotland.


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:

Roger Clay

Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust Ltd

The Cottage, Mill Lane, Barford, WARWICK CV35 8EJ