Bude Canal Dredging Programme – What you can expect

We are preparing to dredge the canal and want to let you know what will be happening and how it might affect you.

Why is the canal being dredged?

  1. Reinstate a safe navigable depth for watercraft
  2. Restore the role of the canal in carrying flood waters as part of the flood defence strategy for Bude
  3. To make the canal more resilient to the impacts of climate change, such as the low water levels experienced in the drought of 2022

When will the programme take place?

Exact dates will depend on a number of factors such as weather conditions, however we hope to begin in late January/February 2023 and to complete by the end of the 23/24 financial year.

What to expect:

Canal and adjacent paths

The canal will be closed for the duration of the dredging programme. Sections of the tow path and cycleway will also be closed when works are underway.

Keeping the canal and paths open would present an avoidable health and safety risk whilst the operations are ongoing, so in order to keep people safe and ensure the operation goes as smoothly as possible we will close the canal throughout the operation.

Sections of the tow path and cycleway will also need to have access restricted at times, whilst dredging machinery is moved, or when it’s working too closely to public areas. However we will do our best to limit these times of restricted access, and will fully re-open the path, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Activity providers will be notified in advance and should let their customers know. There will be cordons and signage on site indication the closure to the general public and visitors.

Harbour and Crescent Carparks

Part of the Harbour Carpark will be closed whilst it is used as a compound for the programme. Likewise, half of the Crescent Carpark will be closed whilst it is also used as a compound for the programme. These locations will be inaccessible whilst used for the dredging works. Access to premises will be retained, though may involve a diversion around the compounds.

Impact on leisure and businesses

Restoring the canal is a benefit to leisure and business in the long-term and every effort is being made to limit impact of the dredging programme on leisure and businesses by carrying out the works outside of the main summer season.


Dredged material from the harbour and upper wharf will be stored temporarily in the adjacent carparks and then transported away by lorry. Due to the volumes of silt involved, it is anticipated that removal will take a period of about 5 weeks.


As organic matter held within the silt begins to breakdown one it is exposed to oxygen it is highly likely that it could smell. You could expect an eggy odour or a gassy smell. Sensors will be installed on-site to monitor the release of volatile gasses.

Where to find out more information:

The scheme is being deliver by Cormac Solutions.

You can get in touch via: customerrelations@cormacltd.co.uk Telephone 0300 1234 222

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