Canal & River Trust to the rescue

Published: Saturday, 23 January 2021

CRITICAL situation at Wychnor, but two CaRT employees I met were on the case—good to see, and I told them so, writes Ralph Freeman.

On the night of Thursday 21st, (according to the Net), the Trent reached it's peak flood level of 2.56 metres, just 12cms (just under five inches) short of it's highest ever!

TrentFloodWychnor1Very welcome indeed

The situation shown in the attached photos was that at Friday lunchtime when the Trent had fallen by all of an inch. However, as there was concern that the Lock house might be flooded and Wychnor lock overtopped, that drop was very welcome indeed!

The Trent & Mersey sources it's water for the lower section down to Derwent Mouth from a small paddle situated just above Wychnor Lock. The height of the Trent caused the flow of water to be above normal and this in turn resulted in the level in Barton Marina being several inches above normal. 

I was due to visit Alrewas for a food shop and the Trent either side of the A38 at Wychnor road bridge was a truly awesome sight. On the return trip I stopped off at Wychnor lock to view the situation.

Trent Flood Wychnor2Water management in action

I was pleased to see sandbags in place at the head of Wychnor Lock and paddles up at both ends of the lock, diverting water from this branch of the Trent and helping to prevent the lock being overtopped and the lock house flooded.

The bottom gates of the lock were of course padlocked!

Pleased to see

This excess water needed to be managed of course, and I was pleased to meet a couple of CaRT employees doing just that at the next lock downstream, Barton Turns Lock.

Barton Turns LockThere they had a ground paddle up dumping water into the local brook as well as bleeding water through the lock itself. In the next pound down there is a large spillway to divert water into another small waterway that eventually leads back to the Trent!


Congratulations to the CaRT manager for this area for sending out the employees and thanks too to the two (CaRT) gents I met at Barton Turns Lock for applying a timely touch of TLC to the aptly nicknamed Trent & Murkey Canal.

There is no doubt in my mind that this water management/preventative maintenance has saved the T&M and nearby properties at both Wychnor and Barton Turns from flood damage during this perilous episode.