River Avon reopens after lock dredged

Hanham lock being dredged
Image caption Excessively high water levels carried silt and debris down the river jamming the lock gates shut

The River Avon between Bristol and Bath has reopened after a large quantity of silt was removed.

Hanham Lock, near Keynsham, has been closed since October while dredging took place to allow boaters to navigate the stretch of water.

The silt built up during a winter of downpours and flooding, the Canal and River Trust said.

The charity has also cleared trees and branches from the cutting and lock gates.

The lock is one of six operated by the Canal and River Trust between the two cities.

'Horrific weather'

Dale Marshall, Canal and River Trust works planner, said: "Everyone has suffered with the horrific weather this winter and unfortunately the Kennet and Avon waterway has been no different, with the river sections bearing the brunt.

"Hanham Lock is the gateway to the Kennet and Avon waterway, so we are pleased to get the dredging work completed, and when the sunshine arrives people can, once again, start enjoying the warmer days on the river."

The trust - which cares for over 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales - had aimed to carry out the dredging sooner, but the continued high water levels meant it was unsafe to do the work.

The River Avon connects Bristol and Bath, where it joins the historic 200-year-old Kennet and Avon Canal.

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