The Middle Level, apart from its flood protection role, is also the fourth largest navigation authority in the United Kingdom and is responsible for approximately 100 miles (160 kilometres) of statutory navigation and the operation of six navigation locks.
The Nene-Ouse Navigation Link forms part of the Middle Level Navigation. The Link is at present the only connection between the Great Ouse and the Main Canal Network.
During a normal summer, over 1,000 passages of the Link-Route are made by pleasure craft.
The Commissioners issue Navigation Notes, which provide navigation details for boat owners, who wish to use the system. See Navigation documents for more information.
You can now follow the Middle Level on Twitter via @MLCnavigation
The facility at March Town Bridge is maintained and remains the responsibility of Fenland District Council (Tel: 01354 654321).
The facilities available to navigators on a no charge basis include:
- Drinking Water
- Boat Hold Refuse Disposal
- Chemical Toilet Disposal
- Tank Wash Out
Pump Out facilities are also available at the service block at a cost of £12.50. Tokens for the Service Block can now be purchased from March Town Library and Fenland District Council’s Offices in County Road. Further information can be found on the Council’s web site, by phoning 01354 654321 or on the purple information board at the Service Block.
Lock Keepers Contact Numbers
Stanground Lock: 07824 600470
Salters Lode Lock: 07398 822986 or 01366 382292
Important boat safety message:
Advice to boaters on burning wood fuel.
Advisory Navigation Notice from the Environment Agency
New edition of the boater’s handbook
The Canal & River Trust has launched a new edition of the Boater’s Handbook. First published in 2002, the Handbook is written for boat owners and hirers and contains lots of ‘getting started’ tips as well as important information about how to boat safely. Every boater will be sent a copy to their home address by the Trust and the Environment Agency in November, and hire boat operators will also receive the new edition.
The original handbook won a Plain English Campaign award for style and clarity and the format and tone have been retained. The changes are mainly to detail and emphasis. Information about navigating rivers has been strengthened, particularly relating to navigating in strong stream conditions. Some additional diagrams have also been added to make things as clear as possible for boaters.
The Trust wants all boaters to be aware of the key safety messages:
- Avoid slips and trips! Watch out for ropes, bollards, holes and other hazards, use grab rails and wear non-slip shoes. Don’t try to jump from the boat onto the bank and wear a lifejacket if you can’t swim.
- Don’t get crushed! Keep your body out the way of a moving boat: don’t fend off with your arms, legs or boat pole, and don’t have limbs dangling over the side or your head out the hatch. Keep off the roof when you’re underway.
- Watch out for fire and fumes! If you smell exhaust, gas, or petrol fumes raise the alert right away. Switch off appliances when you’re not using them and keep ventilators open and free of obstructions. Remember that carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely dangerous: early signs include headaches, tiredness, sickness and dizziness, and anyone affected should get medical help right away.
- Don’t rock the boat! Think carefully before climbing onto the cabin roof as the boat could become top heavy and roll over, and don’t all stand together on the same side if it risks tipping the boat over.
- Remember your lifejacket! The water is often colder and deeper than you think. You should always wear a jacket when navigating through a tunnel as you will be easier to spot and rescue if you fall in.
Dean Davies, interim head of customer services at the Trust, said: “The Boater’s Handbook is an incredibly useful resource for any boater, from novices to old hands alike. It contains a wealth of information about how to boat safely, as well as all the basics that can seem quite mystifying to new boaters. We’ve taken the opportunity to update the Handbook to make sure it contains the best possible advice, and we’re sending it out to all our licensed boaters so they can refresh their memories and keep it on board as a handy reference guide. I’d like to thank the members of the editorial panel who have shared their expertise and all the boaters who have given us feedback.”
A hard copy of the handbook will be sent to the home address of all licensed boaters in the second half of November – if you’ve recently moved house but are yet to update your Trust record please do it now to ensure you don’t miss out on your copy! This can be easily done by calling customer services on 0303 040 4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A downloadable copy of the Handbook, and a video setting out key information, can be found here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/boating/navigating-the-waterways/boaters-handbook
The Handbook was originally commissioned by British Waterways in partnership with the Environment Agency and the British Marine Federation. An expert group was commissioned to develop key messages and content, drawing on other published sources and relevant empirical evidence. Since then, there have been several re-prints which incorporated minor corrections and updates.
An editorial panel was set up to include as many as possible of the original authors plus a representative of the Trust’s Navigation Advisory Group (NAG). Members were Ken Dodd (chair/editor and lead consultant in the 2012-14 study of safe boating), Nigel Stevens (Association of Pleasure Craft Operators/BMF), Malcolm Blundell (NAG), Russell Robson (EA), Philip Burgess (Association of Inland Navigation Authorities), Tony Stammers (Trust) and Sally Ash (now retired but formerly Trust)
For further media requests please contact:
Fran Read, national press officer, Canal & River Trust
m 07796 610 427 e email@example.com