The Summer of 2022
Did you encounter problems during the summer of 2022? Many boaters did! Lock closures, drained locks, field fires, cracked towpaths occurred during one of the hottest summers so far.
The summer of 2022 saw the population of the UK subjected to three months of the warmest weather on record reaching 40.3 degrees in July, consequently England had its 6th driest summer on record since 1995 this continued until the very end of August when the UK welcomed rain with open arms.
Due to the extreme heat the towpaths all over the country started to crack and form major breaks in the ground, this would cause walkers and boaters watching every move they made to prevent injury.
Along with the footpaths the growing concern increased with the canal level reducing rapidly. During the summer a drought was declared by the National Drought Group across most of the canal network. Canal and River Trust worked very hard to keep the boating community up to date with any lock closures and obstructions they found. Water testing took place daily in different parts of the canal network to help the public navigate along the canals, notices was pinned to the locks to encourage people to close the lock gates correctly to help maintain water levels.
Restricted opening times were introduced in some parts of the south, Grand Union Leicester line and the north/ south Oxford and Coventry canals. The population of the boat community would have been disrupted by the drop in water levels, a lot of our customers struggled to get to their planned routes forcing them to stay in the marina or along the canal side for many weeks even months. Some saw it as a great start to their new adventure jumping in feet first! But many found it a nuisance.
As a business, we had many obstacles to work around, the main obstacle being lock closures to doge. Our biggest issue we had to face was an alarming fire in Briar Hill Northampton right next to the Grand Union canal where a boat mover of ours was stuck due to the fire and the low water level. Luckily our boat mover was able to move further enough away from the fire reversing the boat backwards to safety. You can read all about it here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-62486637