Swans on Navigation





The navigation trustees have issued boat owners with a warning

take great care during extreme flood conditions to protect banks and moorings from damage.

It follows a complaint about several recent boat movements on Driffield Canal, including claims about non-compliance of the speed limit on the navigation.

The matter was discussed at a recent meeting of Driffield Navigation Trust when it was decided to ask boat owners to help prevent further damage done by the floods. It is hoped that boat owners will keep their craft in their moorings while the flood water remains particularly high, especially around Bethells Bridge.

Mike Artley, acting chairman of the trust, said: "The usage of motorboats on the navigation must at present be restricted to essential journeys only at a very reduced speed. We hope boat owners will take notice of our advice and help prevent further damage done by the floods by remaining in their moorings for the time being."

Concerns were raised with the trust that any unnecessary traffic on the navigation could lead to further damage to the saturated banks which could be weakened in places by the exceptional flooding.



Bonfire Night Canal Event

Boat owners lit up their craft and joined a cruise along Driffield Canal to Frodingham Landing for a November 5th Celebration. Driffield Navigation Trust organised the free event, and those who joined in the fun of the special evening helped raise more than £700 for the trust.

The event included fireworks, fire pit, boat rides, live music from three-piece band The Sonics, street entertainers, bar and barbecue. The highlight was the arrival of the illuminated boats in the dark to mark the start of the celebration.

New trustees, who recently joined Driffield Navigation Trust, came up with the idea for the trust's first November 5th Celebration. One of them, Christian Jordan, said: "We were involved in a little flotilla of boats sailing to Frodingham Landing after we joined the trust. We thought it would be a good idea to expand on that with the November 5th Celebration and help to raise the profile of the navigation. The event also helped attract a larger audience for the canal, and there was be a real party atmosphere with everybody having a good time."

There were prizes for the best-lit boats. Although it was a free event, visitors were asked to make a donation to the trust, which works to maintain and improve the historic 11-mile navigation.

Driffield Navigation Trust is a registered charity and relies on fundraising, grants and donations for ongoing efforts to make the canal fully navigable again.



Hard at work!

Canal Map Lock Gate Repair


About Driffield Navigation Trust

The purpose of our organisation

EgretThe DNT is a non-profit making organisation which is a registered charity (charity number 503430).

Chairman Mr John Scholey, Vice-Chairman Mr Michael Artley, Secretary Ms Gina Simpson and Press Officer Mr David Taylor.

Registered Office: 57 Main Street, Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 9QN

It is responsible for the Driffield Navigation which is the waterway extending from the market town of Driffield along the Driffield Canal and then the River Hull southwards as far as Aike. The total length of the waterway classed as the Driffield Navigation is 11 miles (18 km). West Beck and Frodingham Beck are associated with this system.

The DNT welcomes donations and legacies.

It is important that the maintenance and administration of the Driffield Navigation for commercial, leisure and recreational purposes is properly funded, and that in addition to this all environmental, conservation and heritage matters receive attention. Such work benefits children, young people and the public in general, including wildlife.

Boat owners are asked to ensure that they pay their annual boat fee of £60 (all except small craft such as canoes and kayaks), and boat clubs are asked to pay a reasonable donation in lieu of individual annual fees on behalf of their members.

Small boat users are asked to note that there is a fee of £5 per day for the launching of dinghies, canoes or other craft at North Frodingham Landing. Under 17s no charge. Honesty boxes for this purpose are provided at North Frodingham landing, Brigham Bridge and Riverhead at Driffield. Regular users with small boats are requested to pay an annual fee of £40.

All payments should be sent to the DNT Treasurer, Mr Peter Markham, at the DNT Registered Office (address above).

(Photo of Little Egret on the Navigation by George Credland)



Enjoy water activities

New water activities have been added to the boat trips operating on the Driffield Navigation and people are being invited to participate in the fun of messing about on the canal. Driffield Navigation Trust has invested in three pedalos, a six-man stand up paddleboard, and other craft, which are being offered alongside boat trips at North Frodingham Landing.

The navigation commissioners wanted to widen the appeal of the canal  by introducing the new activities, as well as continuing excursions on the trip boat Driffield Navigator. Every effort will be made to accommodate anyone wanting to take part in these trips.The cruises are ideal for viewing beautiful countryside, not normally seen from public roads, and observing birds and other wildlife. People can learn more about the historic waterway, or simply relax. This can be the ideal way for a group or family to have a celebration with a picnic and a bottle of champagne. The price of the trips also includes hot drinks and crisps.

Frodingham Landing, which is close to the B1249 Frodingham Bridge, is a popular launching site for water sports enthusiasts with their own  paddleboards and canoes, as are Brigham Bridge, and Riverhead Driffield. The cost is £10 a day per launch, with honesty boxes at the sites for the payments. The four-man pedalos can be hired for £10 an hour.  Navigator costs £12.50 per person for up to eight passengers, for 30 minutes, including the snacks and drinks.

Longer trips can be negotiated and must be pre-booked by contacting 01262 488599, 07770 937772 or 01377 270508.

The Driffield Navigator

Driffield Navigator


Tribute to Derek Madin

Tributes have been paid to a boating enthusiast who played a leading role in the early days of the restoration of Driffield Canal who has died. Driffield Navigation Trust  commissioners have been saddened by the death of Derek Madin who was devoted to making the derelict canal fully navigable again.

Frodingham 1985

Pushing the boats out . . .Mr Derek Madin, new chairman of the Driffield Navigation Amenities Association,
at their annual Public Cruise Weekend held at North Frodingham Canal.



Derek and his family moved to Leicestershire several years ago, but he loved to keep in touch on the progress being made on Driffield Navigation.

Canal commissioner John Jefferson, who was also a member of the disbanded Driffield Navigation Amenities Association, was a friend of Derek's for many years.

He said: "Derek was dedicated to the canal and worked hard on the restoration, not only as a member of the DNAA, but also as a commissioner. He was chairman of the DNAA in 1986 when I was secretary, and had been a stalwart of  the Driffield Navigation since the early 1970s. A lot of the things he did were at Frodingham Landing, and his family want to scatter some of his ashes there as an act of remembrance."

Derek was elected a commissioner and trustee of the navigation in 1983, and acted as the official collector of boat registrations up to 1995.
In 1986, he was nominated as the correspondent with the Charity Commission when the DNAA constitution was amended. Derek was also a
committee member of the northern branch of the Inland Waterways Association. He was leader of the committee which adopted drawings for a British Waterways Board standard design for a swing bridge to replace the temporary fixed bridge at Brigham.  Although the new bridge was
manufactured, planning permission could not be obtained, so it was adapted to replace part of Bethell's Bridge at Hempholme.

Derek also played an active part in canal working parties, and fundraising events, until he moved away from the area. He died just before Christmas, 2021, after being in  poor health for over a year.



The bridge at Wansford

Wansford BridgeAt present the use of the Navigation for its full length by boat traffic other than canoes and kayaks is impeded by a low fixed bridge across the canal at Wansford. This bridge carries the road that connects Wansford and Skerne.

The original bridge had been a swing bridge. This was replaced in 1967 with the present bridge by the then East Riding County Council, when the original bridge had fallen into disrepair. At the time the commercial traffic had ceased using the canal and the idea of the Navigation being used by recreational boat traffic had not taken root.

It is most important that the fixed bridge at Wansford be replaced with a swing bridge so as to allow the movement of boats for the full length of the Navigation all the way to the market town of Driffield. The potential economic benefits to Driffield and the surrounding area could be substantial. Driffield has the potential to become an inland tourist destination with the development of Riverhead.


The Mortimer's Warehouse Project

Mortimer's Warehouse

Work is ongoing to find a suitable community use for this historic building. We wil keep the public informed as the project develops.



The Driffield Navigation

May we always remember our ancesters,
From all walks of life, hardworking and clever.
So behold and this venture admire,
Let its example all inspire.
A worthy monument to human endeavour,
This link with the past may we never sever.

This project should serve as a noble seal,
To the embodiment of a dream and the epitome of zeal.
A combination of imagination, enterprise, skill, sweat and toil.
A fitting way to remember those who had vision,
And those who dug the soil.
What they achievedmay all respect and no one spoil!

A poem by David Credland


Any other articles gratefully received

Have you any material about the driffield Navigation?