Posted on May 8, 2023
People have been watching as if hypnotised while the massive dredging operation at Gloucester Docks continues into a seventh month. There is a mammoth task to clear the silt which is linked to the heatwave last summer.
On Tuesday morning (May 2), tons of silt was being scooped up from the Dock’s bed and transferred onto a container. The methodical process attracted onlookers to the scene.
The state of the Docks is proving controversial with businesses saying trade has suffered because shallow depths caused by high siltation which meant boats were not able to moor over Easter.
There were unprecedented levels of silt pumped into the canal last year from the River Severn . The Canal and River Trust said it needed to do this to supply Bristol Water during last year’s drought and conceded that they had to override their silt sensors to comply with their contractual obligations with the water firm.
The Trust said last month that since November when the dredging started, the Trust had removed more than 670,979 cubic feet of silt from the Docks in Gloucester – about as much to fill nearly eight Olympic sized swimming pools. The Trust has invested over £1 million in 2022-23 to improve navigation in the Docks.