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Bude Canal Dredging

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Cormac have been appointed as contractor to carry out the dredging of Bude Canal. The project will restore a water depth that is safe and useable for water-based activities, restore the ability of the canal to convey flood water rapidly, helping to reduce the risk of flooding in the town of Bude, and it will maintain suitable habitat for the fish stock in the canal. During the operation we will also be carrying out repairs to the embankment. 

Comprehensive Ecological Impact assessments have been carried out and special, bio secure measures put in place, in order to protect the canal and minimise disturbance to the canal's wildlife and native species. The scheme has received Protected Sites Assent from Natural England and the Environment Agency, who we continue to work closely with. 

Taking place over the winter period, it is anticipated that works will complete towards the end of April 2024. During that time, approximately two thirds of the Crescent Carpark will be closed. The carpark will house a dredging pontoon and processing area to store the over 3,000 cubic metres of dredged materials expected, while it dries down sufficiently for removal and recycling. 

As you would expect, the sections of the canal and towpath that we are working on will need to be closed whilst the project is underway, to protect both the general public and the workforce. Signage, guarding and buoy markers will be in place to advise you and keep you safe, and footpath diversions will be in place as appropriate. 

The dredging programme is being carried out in phases and is making good progress. Heavy plant and equipment has been mobilised to site, the silt storage bund constructed and dredging is underway in the Harbour and Upper Basin. Embankment repairs, which will including pile driving, will follow on from this phase. Traditional piling can be quite noisy work,so we have adopted a method  using a vibrating driver, which we expect will reduce the noise. However we do apologise in advance for any disruption this causes. Every effort will be made to keep disturbance to a minimum and we are grateful to everyone nearby for their patience and understanding. 

The next phase, from the Upper Basin inland to Truscott's Bridge will follow this, with the remaining section of between Truscott's Bridge and County Road Bridge thereafter. 


Published Details
21 Mar 2024

Project Update

The dredging programme has been progressing well. There is approximately a quarter of Zone Two remaining (the upper Basin to Truscott’s Bridge), plus the volume earmarked in the Harbour. This of course requires space in the lagoons that are currently at maximum capacity and in a drying out period, before they can be moved off site for disposal. We will therefore now move away from this area, returning later, and begin setting up the pipework to Whalesborough for Zone Three desilting.  We should begin there before Easter.

We will be working on the embankment this coming weekend, which should not cause any additional disruption to those in the vicinity, since the footpath closure is already in place.

It is currently difficult to give a target end date for this project. We have experienced some engineering issues that could not have been foreseen, plus some particularly adverse weather conditions. We are doing all we can to ensure progress continues and any disruption is kept to a minimum. If you have any queries or concerns, or would like to speak to someone about this project, please contact us at, or call us on 0300 1234 222.


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