|River Great Ouse|
|Counties||Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk|
|• location||Syresham, West Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire, England|
|• coordinates||52°05′33″N01°05′35″W / 52.09250°N 1.09306°W|
|• elevation||150 m (490 ft)|
|King's Lynn, United Kingdom|
|52°48′36″N00°21′18″E / 52.81000°N 0.35500°E|
|0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||230 km (143 mi)|
|Basin size||8,380 km2 (3,240 sq mi)|
|• location||Denver Sluice  Catchment area 3430 km2|
|• average||15.8 m3/s (560 cu ft/s)Catchment area 3430 km2|
The River Great Ouse ( /uːz/ ) is a river in England, the longest of several British rivers called "Ouse". From Syresham in Northamptonshire, the Great Ouse flows through Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk to drain into the Wash and the North Sea near Kings Lynn. Authorities disagree both on the river's source and its length with one quoting 160 mi (260 km)  and another 143 mi (230 km).  Mostly flowing north and east, it is the fifth longest river in the United Kingdom. The Great Ouse has been historically important for commercial navigation, and for draining the low-lying region through which it flows; its best-known tributary is the Cam, which runs through Cambridge. Its lower course passes through drained wetlands and fens and has been extensively modified, or channelised, to relieve flooding and provide a better route for barge traffic. The unmodified river would have changed course regularly after floods.
The name Ouse is from the Celtic or pre-Celtic *Udso-s,  and probably means simply "water" or slow flowing river.  Thus the name is a pleonasm. The lower reaches of the Great Ouse are also known as "Old West River" and "the Ely Ouse", but all the river is often referred to simply as the Ouse in informal usage (the word "Great" – which originally meant simply big or, in the case of a river, long – is used to distinguish this river from several others called the Ouse).
The river has several sources close to the villages of Syresham and Wappenham in South Northamptonshire. It flows through Brackley, provides the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border, then into Buckinghamshire where it flows through Buckingham, the Milton Keynes urban area (at Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell) and Olney, then Kempston in Bedfordshire, which is the current head of navigation.
Passing through Bedford, it flows on into Cambridgeshire through St Neots, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Hemingford Grey and St Ives, reaching Earith. Here, the river enters a short tidal section before branching in two. The artificial, very straight Old Bedford River and New Bedford River, which remain tidal, provide a direct link north-east towards the lower river at Denver in Norfolk.
The river previously ran through Hermitage Lock into the Old West River, then joined the Cam near Little Thetford before passing Ely and Littleport to reach the Denver sluice. Below this point, the river is tidal and continues past Downham Market to enter The Wash at King's Lynn. It is navigable from the Wash to Kempston Mill near Bedford, a distance of 72 mi (116 km) which contains 17 locks.  It has a catchment area of 3,240 sq mi (8,380 km2)  and a mean flow of 15.7 m3/s (550 cu ft/s) as measured at Denver Sluice.[ citation needed ]
Its course has been modified several times, with the first recorded being in 1236, as a result of flooding. During the 1600s, the Old Bedford and New Bedford Rivers were built to provide a quicker route for the water to reach the sea. In the 20th century, construction of the Cut-Off Channel and the Great Ouse Relief Channel have further altered water flows in the region, and helped to reduce flooding.
Improvements to assist navigation began in 1618, with the construction of sluices and locks. Bedford could be reached by river from 1689. A major feature was the sluice at Denver, which failed in 1713, but was rebuilt by 1750 after the problem of flooding returned. Kings Lynn, at the mouth of the river, developed as a port, with civil engineering input from many of the great engineers of the time. With the coming of the railways the state of the river declined so that it was unsuitable either for navigation or for drainage. The navigation was declared to be derelict in the 1870s.
A repeated problem was the number of authorities responsible for different aspects of the river. The Drainage Board created in 1918 had no powers to address navigation issues, and there were six bodies responsible for the river below Denver in 1913. When the Great Ouse Catchment Board was created under the powers of the Land Drainage Act in 1930, effective action could at last be taken. There was significant sugar beet cargo traffic on the river between 1925 and 1959, with the last known commercial traffic sailing in 1974. Leisure boating had been popular since 1904, and the post-war period saw the creation of the Great Ouse Restoration Society in 1951, who campaigned for complete renovation of the river navigation. Until 1989, the river was in the care of the Anglian Water Authority until water privatisation, when the Environment Agency became the drainage and ecology authority as well as being the navigation authority.
The Ouse Washes are an internationally important area for wildlife. Sandwiched between the Old Bedford and New Bedford rivers, they consist of washland which is used as pasture during the summer but which floods in the winter, and are the largest area of such land in the United Kingdom. They act as breeding grounds for lapwings, redshanks and snipe in spring, and are home to varieties of ducks and swans during the winter months. 
River Great Ouse
The river has been important both for drainage and for navigation for centuries, and these dual roles have not always been complementary. The course of the river has changed significantly. In prehistory, it flowed from Huntingdon straight to Wisbech and then into the sea. In several sequences, the lower reaches of the river silted, and in times of inland flood, the waters would breach neighbouring watersheds and new courses would develop – generally in a progressively eastwards fashion. In the Dark Ages, it turned to the west at Littleport, between its present junctions with the River Little Ouse and the River Lark, and made its way via Welney, Upwell and Outwell, to flow into The Wash near Wisbech. At that time it was known as the Wellstream or Old Wellenhee, and parts of that course are marked by the Old Croft River and the border between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. After major inland flood events in the early 13th century  it breached another watershed near Denver and took over the channel of the old Wiggenhall Eau, and so achieved a new exit and so joined the Wash at Kings Lynn. Parts of the old course were later used for the River Lark, which flows in the reverse direction along the section below Prickwillow, after the main river was moved further to the west.  The original northern course began to silt up, depriving Wisbech of a reliable outlet to the sea, and was kept navigable by diverting the River Nene east to flow into it in the 1470s.
An Act of Parliament was passed in 1600 which allowed Adventurers, who paid for drainage schemes with their own money, to be repaid in land which they had drained. The Act covered large tracts of England, but no improvements were made to the region through which the Great Ouse flowed until 1618, Arnold Spencer and Thomas Girton started to improve the river between St Ives and St Neots. Six sluices were constructed, and Spencer attempted to obtain permission to improve the river to Bedford, but the Act was defeated, despite support from Bedford Corporation. Some dredging was done, and Great Barford became an inland port, but he lost a lot of money on the scheme, and the condition of the river worsened. 
Below Earith, thirteen Adventurers working with the Earl of Bedford formed a Corporation to drain the Bedford Levels. Cornelius Vermuyden was the engineer, and a major part of the scheme was the Old Bedford River, a straight cut to carry water from Earith to a new sluice near Salters Lode, which was completed in 1637. The sluice was not popular with those who used the river for navigation, and there were some attempts to destroy the new works during the turmoil of the English civil wars. A second drainage Act was obtained in 1649, and Vermuyden oversaw the construction of the New Bedford River, parallel to the Old Bedford River, which was completed in 1652. There was strong opposition from the ports and towns on the river, which increased as the old channel via Ely gradually silted up. Above Earith, Samuel Jemmatt took control of the river, and navigation was extended to Bedford in 1689 by the construction of new staunches and sluices. 
Between St Ives and Bedford, there were ten sluices, which were pound locks constructed at locations where mill weirs would have prevented navigation. There were also five staunches, which were flash locks constructed near to fords and shallows. Operation of the beam and paddle provided an extra volume of water to carry the boats over such obstructions. On the lower river, a combination of high spring tides and large volumes of floodwater resulted in the complete failure of Denver sluice in 1713. While there were celebrations among the navigators, the problem of flooding returned, and the channel below Denver deteriorated. Charles Labelye therefore designed a new sluice for the Bedford Level Corporation, which was constructed between 1748 and 1750 and included a navigation lock.  No tolls were charged on the river below St Ives or on the New Bedford, and those responsible for drainage complained about damage to the sluices and to banks by the horses used for towing boats. An Act of Parliament to regulate the situation was defeated in 1777 after fierce opposition, and it was not until 1789 that a Haling Act was passed, which ensured that tolls were charged and landowners were repaid for damage to the banks caused by horses. These measures were a success, as there were few complaints once the new system was in place. 
After the river had been diverted to King's Lynn, the town developed as a port. Evidence for this can still be seen, as two warehouses built in the 15th century for trade with the Hanseatic League have survived. However, the harbour and the river below Denver sluice were affected by silting, and the problem was perceived to be the effects of the sluice. Sand from The Wash was deposited by the incoming tide, and the outgoing tide did not carry it away again. Colonel John Armstrong was asked to survey the river in 1724, and suggested returning it to how it was prior to the construction of the drainage works. John Smeaton rejected this idea in 1766, suggesting that the banks should be moved inwards to create a narrower, faster-flowing channel. William Elstobb and others had suggested that the great bend in the river above King's Lynn should be removed by creating a cut, but it took 50 years of arguing before the Eau Brink Act was obtained in 1795 to authorise it, and another 26 years until the cut was finally opened in 1821. During this time, most of the major civil engineers of the time had contributed their opinions.  The original project head and chief engineer was Sir Thomas Hyde Page.
The work was overseen by John Rennie and Thomas Telford and construction took four years. It proved to be too narrow, resulting in further silting of the harbour, and was widened at an additional cost of £33,000 on Telford's advice. The total cost for the 2+1⁄2 mi (4.0 km) cut was nearly £500,000, and although the navigators, who had opposed the scheme, benefitted most from it, there were new problems for drainage, with the surrounding land levels dropping as the peaty soil dried out. The Eau Brink Act created Drainage Commissioners and Navigation Commissioners, who had powers over the river to St Ives, but both bodies were subject to the Bedford Levels Corporation. Although often in opposition, the two parties worked together on the construction of a new lock and staunch at Brownshill, to improve navigation above Earith. 
In 1835, King William IV brought a case against the Ouse Bank Commissioners regarding a mandamus writ issued in 1834 about the Eau Brink Cut and possible damages it caused to the King's Lynn harbour. 
Denver sluice was reconstructed in 1834, after the Eau Brink Cut had been completed. Sir John Rennie designed the new structure, which incorporated a tidal lock with four sets of gates, enabling it to be used at most states of the tide. Sir Thomas Cullam, who had inherited a part share of the upper river, invested large amounts of his own money in rebuilding the locks, sluices and staunches in the 1830s and 1840s. The South Level Drainage and Navigation Act of 1827 created Commissioners who dredged the river from Hermitage Lock to Littleport bridge, and also dredged several of its tributaries. They constructed a new cut near Ely to bypass a long meander near Padnall Fen and Burnt Fen, but although the works cost £70,000, they were too late to return the navigation to prosperity. Railways arrived in the area rapidly after 1845, reaching Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, King's Lynn, St Ives, St Neots and Tempsford by 1850. The river below King's Lynn was improved by the construction of the 2 mi (3.2 km) Marsh Cut and the building of training walls beyond that to constrain the channel, but the railways were welcomed by the Bedford Levels Corporation, for whom navigation interfered with drainage, and by King's Lynn Corporation, who did not want to be superseded by other towns with railway interchange facilities. 
A large interchange dock was built at Ely, to facilitate the distribution of agricultural produce from the local region to wider markets. In addition, coal for several isolated pumping stations was transferred to boats for the final part of the journey, rather than it coming all the way from King's Lynn. Decline on most of the river was rapid, with tolls halving between 1855 and 1862. Flooding in 1875 was blamed on the poor state of the navigation, and it was recommended that it should be abandoned, but there was no funds to obtain an Act of Parliament to create a Drainage Authority. The navigation was declared to be derelict by three County Councils soon afterwards. It was then bought by the Ouse River Canal and Steam Navigation Ltd, who wanted to link Bedford to the Grand Junction Canal, but they failed to obtain their Act of Parliament. A stockbroker called L. T. Simpson bought it in 1893, and spent some £21,000 over the next four years in restoring it. He created the Ouse Transport Company, running a fleet of tugs and lighters, and then attempted to get approval for new tolls, but was opposed by Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire County Councils. Protracted legal battles followed, with Simpson nailing the lock gates together, and the County Councils declaring that the river was a public highway. The 'Godmanchester' case eventually reached the House of Lords in 1904, who allowed Simpson to close the locks. 
Simpson's victory in 1904 coincided with an increased use of the river for leisure. As he could not charge these boats for use of the locks, the situation was resolved for a time in 1906 by the formation of the River Ouse Locks Committee, who rented the locks between Great Barford and Bedford. Over 2000 boats were recorded using Bedford Lock in a three-month period soon afterwards. Despite pressure from local authorities and navigation companies, the upper river was closed for trade, and a Royal Commission reported in 1909 on the poor state of the lower river, the lack of any consistent authority to manage it, and the unusual practice of towing horses having to jump over fences because there were no gates where they crossed the towing path. The Ouse Drainage Board was formed in 1918, but had no powers to deal with navigation issues, and it was not until the powers of the Land Drainage Act (1930) were used to create the Great Ouse Catchment Board that effective action could be taken. 
The Catchment Board bought the navigation rights from Simpson's estate, and began to dredge the river and rebuild the locks. There was an upturn in commercial traffic from 1925, when the sugar beet factory at Queen Adelaide near Ely was opened. They operated six or seven tugs and a fleet of over 100 barges, and three tugs and 24 barges from the Wissington sugar beet factory on the River Wissey also operated on the river. Local commercial traffic continued around Ely until after the Second World War. The sugar beet traffic ceased in 1959, and the last commercial boat on the upper river was "Shellfen", a Dutch barge converted to carry 4,000 imp gal (18,000 L) of diesel fuel, which supplied the remote pumping stations until 1974, when the last ones were converted to electricity. 
Below Denver, the situation was complicated by the fact that there were six bodies with responsibility for the river in 1913. No dredging took place, as there was no overall authority. The training walls were repaired in 1930 by the King's Lynn Conservancy Board, and the Great Ouse Catchment Board reconstructed and extended them in 1937. After major flooding in 1937 and 1947, and the North Sea flood of 1953, flood control issues became more important, and the Cut-Off Channel was completed in 1964, to carry the headwaters of the River Wissey, River Lark and River Little Ouse to join the river near Denver sluice.  The Great Ouse Relief Channel, which runs parallel to the main river for 10+1⁄2 mi (16.9 km) from here to Wiggenhall bridge, was constructed at the same time. It joins the river at a sluice above King's Lynn, and was made navigable in 2001, when the Environment Agency constructed a lock at Denver to provide access. 
By 1939, the Catchment Board had reopened the locks to Godmanchester and then to Eaton Socon; in 1951 the Great Ouse Restoration Society was formed to continue the process, and successfully campaigned for and assisted with the restoration.  The Restoration Society campaign included the establishment of the Bedford to St. Neots Canoe Race in 1952 to publicise the case for navigational restoration. Now known as the Bedford Kayak Marathon, it is the longest established canoe race in the UK. In 1961 its organisers formalised canoeing activities on the river by forming the Viking Kayak Club.
Since 1996, the river has been the responsibility of the Environment Agency, who issue navigation licences.  The upper river was fully reopened to Bedford with the rebuilding of Castle Mills lock in 1978. 
The non-tidal reaches of the river are used for leisure boating, but remain largely separated from the rest of the British inland waterway system. Several of its tributaries are navigable, including the River Cam, the River Lark, the River Little Ouse and the River Wissey. Close to Denver sluice, Salters Lode lock gives access to the Middle Level Navigations,  but the intervening section is tidal, and deters many boaters. Access to the Middle Level Navigations used to be possible via the Old Bedford River and Welches Dam lock, but the Environment Agency piled the entrance to the lock in 2006 and this route is no loger available for navigation. The proposed Fens Waterways Link, which aims to improve navigation from Lincoln to Cambridge may result in this section being upgraded, or a non-tidal link being created at Denver. 
There are two more proposed schemes to improve connections from the river to the Midlands waterway network (in addition to the Gt Ouse – Nene link via the Middle Level).
As the water quality has improved, otters have returned to the river in numbers such that fishing lakes now require fencing to protect stocks. Paxton Pits nature reserve near St Neots has hides from which otters are regularly seen. Coarse fishing is still popular, with a wide range of fish in the river, but it is many years since large sturgeon were caught. Seals have been recorded as far upstream as Bedford.    Huntingdonshire seems to be the most popular area for breeding animals in recent years. 
Tributaries of the River Great Ouse: (upstream [source] to downstream by confluence)
This section needs additional citations for verification .(November 2020)
In 1944 the annual Boat Race between the Oxford and Cambridge universities took place on this river, between Littleport and Queen Adelaide, the first time that it had not been held on the Thames; it was won by Oxford.  The 2021 Boat Race was again held on the river because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Great Ouse has been used by three clubs from Cambridge University for the training of rowers, with the Boat Club (CUBC),  the Women's Boat Club (CUWBC)  and the Lightweight Rowing Club (CULRC), all using facilities at Ely; the clubs merged in 2020.
The Great Ouse is a very popular river for canoeing and kayaking, particularly around Bedford which is a regional centre for the sport.[ citation needed ] Viking Kayak Club organise the Bedford Kayak Marathon with canoe racing held along the Embankment on Bedford's riverside and dates back to the original Bedford to St Neots race in 1952, believed[ by whom? ] to be the first of its kind in the country.[ citation needed ]
Bedford also benefits from the presence of weirs and sluices, creating white water opportunities. Viking organise national ranking Canoe Slalom events at the Cardington Artificial Slalom Course (CASC), which was the first artificial whitewater course in the UK,[ citation needed ] opened in 1982 adjacent to Cardington Lock, in a partnership with the Environment Agency who use it as a flood relief channel.[ citation needed ] CASC is also the venue each year for the UK's National Inter Clubs Slalom Finals, the largest canoe slalom event by participation in the UK.
Since 1978, the Bedford River Festival has been held every two years, to celebrate the link between Bedford and the coast.  In addition to craft often seen on the river, the 2008 festival featured a reconstruction of a 1st-century currach, consisting of a wicker framework covered in cow hide, and capable of carrying ten people.
In 2021, the annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities was once again held on the River Great Ouse. 
The River Witham is a river almost entirely in the county of Lincolnshire in the east of England. It rises south of Grantham close to South Witham at SK8818, passes through the centre of Grantham, passes Lincoln at SK9771 and at Boston, TF3244, flows into The Haven, a tidal arm of The Wash, near RSPB Frampton Marsh. The name "Witham" seems to be extremely old and of unknown origin. Archaeological and documentary evidence shows the importance of the Witham as a navigable river from the Iron Age onwards. From Roman times it was navigable to Lincoln, from where the Fossdyke was constructed to link it to the River Trent. The mouth of the river moved in 1014 following severe flooding, and Boston became important as a port.
The River Welland is a lowland river in the east of England, some 65 miles (105 km) long. It drains part of the Midlands eastwards to The Wash. The river rises in the Hothorpe Hills, at Sibbertoft in Northamptonshire, then flows generally northeast to Market Harborough, Stamford and Spalding, to reach The Wash near Fosdyke. It is a major waterway across the part of the Fens called South Holland, and is one of the Fenland rivers which were laid out with washlands. There are two channels between widely spaced embankments with the intention that flood waters would have space in which to spread while the tide in the estuary prevented free egress. However, after the floods of 1947, new works such as the Coronation Channel were constructed to control flooding in Spalding and the washes are no longer used solely as pasture, but may be used for arable farming.
The River Nene is a river in the east of England that rises from three sources in Northamptonshire. The river is about 105 miles (169 km) long, about 3.7 miles (6.0 km) of which forms the border between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. It is the tenth-longest river in the United Kingdom, and is navigable for 88 miles (142 km), from Northampton to The Wash.
The River Ancholme is a river in Lincolnshire, England, and a tributary of the Humber. It rises at Ancholme Head, a spring just north of the village of Ingham and immediately west of the Roman Road, Ermine Street. It flows east and then north to Bishopbridge west of Market Rasen, where it is joined by the Rase. North of there it flows through the market town of Brigg before draining into the Humber at South Ferriby. It drains a large part of northern Lincolnshire between the Trent and the North Sea.
The River Lark is a river in England that crosses the border between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. It is a tributary of the River Great Ouse, and was extended when that river was re-routed as part of drainage improvements. It is thought to have been used for navigation since Roman times, and improvements to its navigability were made in 1638 and in the early 18th century, when locks and staunches were built. The upper terminus was on the northern edge of Bury St Edmunds, but a new dock was opened near the railway station after the Eastern Union Railway opened its line in 1846.
The River Little Ouse is a river in the east of England, a tributary of the River Great Ouse. For much of its length it defines the boundary between Norfolk and Suffolk.
The Old Bedford River is an artificial, partial diversion of the waters of the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. It was named after the fourth Earl of Bedford who contracted with the local Commission of Sewers to drain the Great Level of the Fens beginning in 1630. It provided a steeper and shorter path for the waters of the Great Ouse, and was embanked to prevent them flooding the low ground of the South Fens. Throughout the project, the Earl and his Adventurers faced disruption from those who were opposed to drainage schemes. The project was deemed to have succeeded in draining the fens in 1637, but that decision was reversed in 1638. After a lull during the English Civil War, when much of the work was damaged, the Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden worked with William Russell, the fifth Earl of Bedford to complete the drainage. Disruption and unrest continued while the work was carried out, resulting in the Adventurers employing armed guards. A second river, the New Bedford River, was cut parallel to the first channel, which then became the Old Bedford River. At some point, the Old Bedford River was split into two parts, when the upper section was diverted into the River Delph at Welches Dam, and the lower section was joined to the Counter Drain. Both parts retain the name, but are not connected to each other. The area between the two Bedford rivers acts as a large washland, which holds floodwater when the river channels cannot cope with the volume of water in them.
The New Bedford River, also known as the Hundred Foot Drain because of the distance between the tops of the two embankments on either side of the river, is a navigable man-made cut-off or by-pass channel of the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. It provides an almost straight channel between Earith and Denver Sluices. It is tidal, with reverse tidal flow being clearly visible at Welney, some 19 miles (31 km) from the sea.
The Aire and Calder Navigation is the canalised section of the Rivers Aire and Calder in West Yorkshire, England. The first improvements to the rivers above Knottingley were completed in 1704 when the Aire was made navigable to Leeds and the Calder to Wakefield, by the construction of 16 locks. Lock sizes were increased several times, as was the depth of water, to enable larger boats to use the system. The Aire below Haddlesey was bypassed by the opening of the Selby Canal in 1778. A canal from Knottingley to the new docks and new town at Goole provided a much shorter route to the River Ouse from 1826. The New Junction Canal was constructed in 1905, to link the system to the River Don Navigation, by then part of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.
The Ouse is a 35 miles long river in the English counties of West and East Sussex. It rises near Lower Beeding in West Sussex, and flows eastwards and then southwards to reach the sea at Newhaven. It skirts Haywards Heath and passes through Lewes. It forms the main spine of an extensive network of smaller streams, of which the River Uck is the main tributary. As it nears the coast it passes through the Lewes and Laughton Levels, an area of flat, low-lying land that borders the river and another tributary, the Glynde Reach. It was a large tidal inlet at the time of the Domesday book in 1086, but over the following centuries, some attempts were made to reclaim some of the valley floor for agriculture, by building embankments, but the drainage was hampered by the buildup of a large shingle bar which formed across the mouth of the river by longshore drift.
The River Nar is a river in England, a tributary of the River Great Ouse. It rises at Mileham near Litcham in Norfolk and flows 15 miles west through Castle Acre and Narborough, joining the Ouse at King's Lynn. It has had a variety of alternative names, such as the Setch, the Sandringham, and Lynn Flu, though these are rarely, if ever, used today. In 2011 the Nar was recognised by the Environment Agency as one of the top ten most improved rivers in England and Wales.
The South Forty-Foot Drain, also known as the Black Sluice Navigation, is the main channel for the land-drainage of the Black Sluice Level in the Lincolnshire Fens. It lies in eastern England between Guthram Gowt and the Black Sluice pumping station on The Haven, at Boston. The Drain has its origins in the 1630s, when the first scheme to make the Fen land available for agriculture was carried out by the Earl of Lindsey, and has been steadily improved since then. Water drained from the land entered The Haven by gravity at certain states of the tide until 1946, when the Black Sluice pumping station was commissioned.
The Market Weighton Canal ran 9.5 miles (15.3 km) from the Humber Estuary to its terminus near Market Weighton. It gained its Act of Parliament in 1772 and opened in 1782. The 3.5 miles (5.6 km) closest to Market Weighton was abandoned in 1900 and the right of navigation through Weighton lock was lost in 1971. However, as of 2002 the lock was passable and the canal usable up to the junction with the River Foulness where silt has made it impassable. Also there is no right of navigation under the M62 motorway bridge to the north of Newport.
The Middle Level Navigations are a network of waterways in England, primarily used for land drainage, which lie in The Fens between the Rivers Nene and Great Ouse, and between the cities of Peterborough and Cambridge. Most of the area through which they run is at or below sea level, and attempts to protect it from inundation have been carried out since 1480. The Middle Level was given its name by the Dutch Engineer Cornelius Vermuyden in 1642, who subsequently constructed several drainage channels to make the area suitable for agriculture. Water levels were always managed to allow navigation, and Commissioners were established in 1754 to maintain the waterways and collect tolls from commercial traffic.
The Fens Waterways Link is a project to improve recreational boating opportunities in the counties of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, England. By a combination of improvements to existing waterways and the construction of new links a circular route between Lincoln, Peterborough, Ely and Boston is planned. The project is being organised by the Environment Agency and financed from the Regional Development Agency and the European Union.
The Wisbech Canal was a broad canal from Wisbech, Isle of Ely in the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire, England. It ran from the River Nene at Wisbech to the Well Creek at Outwell now in Norfolk, which gave access to the River Great Ouse. It was abandoned in 1926 and filled in during the 1970s.
The Middle Level Commissioners are a land drainage authority in eastern England. The body was formed in 1862, undertaking the main water level management function within the Middle Level following the breakup of the former Bedford Level Corporation.
Downham West is a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk The parish is 47.6 miles (76.6 km) west of Norwich, 16.3 miles (26.2 km) south-south-west of King's Lynn and 96.2 miles (154.8 km) north of London. The nearest town is Downham Market which is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north east of the parish. The nearest railway station is at Downham Market for the Fen Line which runs between King's Lynn and Cambridge. The nearest airport is Norwich International Airport. The parish of Downham West, in the 2001 census, has a population of 285, rising marginally to 286 at the Census 2011. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.
The Cambridgeshire Lodes are a series of man-made waterways, believed to be Roman in origin, located in the county of Cambridgeshire, England. Bottisham, Swaffham Bulbeck, Reach, Burwell, Wicken and Monks Lodes all connect to the River Cam, while Soham Lode connects to the River Great Ouse. All have been navigable historically, but some are no longer officially navigable.
The Bedford Level Corporation was founded in England in 1663 to manage the draining of the Fens of East Central England. It formalised the legal status of the Company of Adventurers previously formed by the Duke of Bedford to reclaim 95,000 acres of the Bedford Level.