Navigation.

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

BREAKING NEWS – Anglian Pass

The MLC are pleased to advise that for the 2021/22 licencing year and beyond vessel owners be able to purchase an Anglian Pass from the EA, which when used in conjunction with the Middle Level licence will allow passage onto EA (Anglian) and Conservators of the River Cam waters – see the PDF below:

Anglian Pass

Link to EA application form – Anglian Pass Online Application Form|Anglianwaterways(visitanglianwaterways.org)

Lock Keeper of the Year Presentation

Three Fenland Lock Keepers were finalists in the British Marine Inland Boating Lock Keeper of the year award 2020. The Award, also known as the Esme Dowling Award in memory of Esme Dowling, a Lock Keeper at Napton Locks on the Oxford Canal from 1957-1988, is presented annually by hotel boat and hire boat operators in British Marine membership to navigation authority staff or volunteers who have gone the extra mile in delivering excellent customer service on the UK’s inland waterways network. The award is open not only to Lock Keepers, but to all waterways staff who have offered outstanding assistance to waterways users.

Runner up certificates were presented to Ben Di-Giulio and Dan Pollard of the Denver Lock and Complex (EA Anglia) and Paul Grodkiewicz Salter’s Lode (Middle Level Commissioners).

The certificates and a letter of thanks from British Marine Inland Boating Chair Nigel Hamilton were presented by Paula Syred Vice Chair of British Marine Inland Boating and Managing Director of Fox Narrowboats at Denver Lock on Thursday 10th June 2021.

Paula thanked the recipients for their hard work and dedication in assisting hire boat customers through the lock and for their knowledge of the local area that they pass on to holiday customers.  All three work as a close team across two navigation authorities which shows an additional amount of cooperation.

It is the first time in the long history of the award that anyone from the Anglia Region has reached the finals of the award.

Their nomination for the award read “These guys are amazing controlling the tidal crossing, acting as a public information service and assisting hire boat customers.  Over the past few years they have calmed the nervous, assisted with taxis when people have had to respond to family emergencies and their knowledge of the local waterways is second to none.

Also in attendance for the presentation were Jon Fenn, Operations Engineer at the Middle Level Commissioners and Rupert Wilson from the Environment Agency.

Middle Level Commissioners & Well Creek Trust Replacement Moorings, Salters Lode Lock

The eagerly awaited replacement moorings at Salters Lode have recently been completed, just in time for the start of the 2021 navigation season.

The new structure has been constructed using a bespoke design, and is the first to be constructed in the Middle Level Commissioners’ system featuring a simplified steel pile subframe topped with GRP decking material.

It is hoped the new design and use of steel piles will extend the anticipated lifespan of the structure, and minimise future maintenance at this frequently used facility.

The 24 metre long mooring has been part funded by a contribution from the Well Creek Trust, with the remainder being funded by the Middle Level Commissioners.

Fenland District Council’s (FDC’s) Sanitation Point

The Sanitation Point at March Town Bridge is maintained and remains the responsibility of Fenland District Council (Tel: 01354 654321).

Due to COVID-19 and the closure of FDC’s customer contact hubs they regret that they are temporarily unable to issue tokens for the pump out facility at the March Sanitation point. There will still be facilities for boats to use the Sluice Room and the Potable Water facilities which are operational as normal. They apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The facilities available to navigators on a no charge basis include:

  • Drinking Water
  • Boat Hold Refuse Disposal
  • Chemical Toilet Disposal
  • Tank Wash Out

The Pump Out facilities are currently out of order. 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.

UPDATES DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

COVID-19 – Coronavirus Navigation Update

When using unmanned locks, boater’s attention is drawn to good practice which will help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Please clean down all surfaces you are likely to touch before and after use and then wash your hands.

Click on the following link to get the latest government guidance advice for private boat users

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-using-a-boat-inland-and-on-the-coast#privately-owned-leisure-boats

The following roadmap has been issued to assist boaters in understanding how the rules will change as we come out of lockdown, which we hope will be of assistance. Please note that at each step the Government will make an assessment against the following four tests and dependent upon what happens the restrictions may have to be revised accordingly:

• The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.

• Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.

• Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

• Governments assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

Link to – AINA Lifting Lockdown Restrictions Guidance Table

We remain committed to providing the best service we can for navigators and trust that you will continue to work with us during this difficult time.

Navigation Officer – Kev Russell – 07725 134170

Lock Keepers Contact Numbers:

Stanground Lock: 07824 600470
Salter’s Lode Lock: 07398 822986 or 01366 382292

Update on Licencing on Middle Level Waters

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The Navigation Advisory Committee (see Navigation Advisory Committee button on right for further information and contact details) have reviewed the position in relation to licences fees for Middle Level Waters which are due to take effect from 1st April this year.

Applications for licencing for vessels (for the period 1st April 2021 until 31st March 2022) can be made now. However due to current government restriction the application forms are currently only available via the navigation page of our website  www.middlelevel.gov.uk . Applications can also only be accepted by post or email until further notice, with payments being made by: enclosing a cheque, by card over the phone by arrangement, or by filling in the card payment section of the application form.

Designated Rural Moorings

The Middle Level Commissioners, as part of their plans to improve navigation have been informally collecting the views of navigators on what they would most like to see us deliver over the next year or so. This has done been through gathering information from the many conversations the new Navigation Officer has had with vessel owners. One request that has come through strongly is the provision of simple rural mooring sites where boaters can stop for a while during the day or overnight.

There are now four Designated Rural Moorings within the Middle Level System. These are 24-hour stay moorings where mooring is allowed without seeking prior permission. They consist of 5 mooring posts, approximately 32m in length located on the side sloping grass. These moorings have signs adjacent to them and consist of driven timber posts and mown vegetation. They are designed to be simple and no other provision or facilities provided. You may choose to stay overnight or simply stop here for a short break before carrying on.

1. Skylark Mooring – Sixteen Foot

2. Ramsey Forty Foot Village Mooring – Forty Foot

3. Yaxley Lode Mooring – Yaxley Lode

4. New Dyke/Monks Lode Junction Mooring – New Dyke

Marmont Priory Lock, (Well Creek Side) Mooring Refurbishment

The Commissioners have commenced their Winter Works programme for the 2020/21 winter season with the total refurbishment of the navigators mooring (Well Creek side) at Marmont Priory Lock. The works included a ‘strip down’ and replacement of the old wooden sub-structure, bearers and front rubbing board. Below is a picture of the completed mooring.

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