Dredge the river Avon

In my childhood I can remember the Avon being continuosly  dredged by , I think it was called, the Harry Brown dredger.

in the light of the recent flooding of the portway it occurred to me that if the river basin was  cleared of silt there would be more capacity in the river for water to flow.

Why the contribution is important

1 less likelihood of flooding

2 capacity for larger ships to navigate in to Bristol.

3 more attractive looking river/river bank

4 ??? Is the mud any use for fertilizer/spa treatment ???  - ok - this is a longshot!

by user765200 on January 07, 2014 at 01:10PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.4
Based on: 15 votes


  • Posted by user510424 January 08, 2014 at 16:59

    Dredging the river Avon will do nothing to stop the Portway flooding because this is caused by high sea levels.
  • Posted by user666607 January 08, 2014 at 21:28

    having walked the riverbank for several years, the deterioration is getting worse, and the woodwork that protected the portway has mostly collapsed. It needs repairing as well as dredging!
  • Posted by user815952 January 12, 2014 at 14:31

    I think what is required here is a full survey of the Avon waterway by waterway builders/inspectors, a full report compiled with remedial action procedures fully specified in conjunction with the meteorological office in order to tailor any action to effects of worst-case rainfall and adverse weather, etc.
  • Posted by user411811 January 14, 2014 at 10:06

    surely, the flooding aspect was as Crinion says, due to high sea levels?

  • Posted by user818641 January 15, 2014 at 10:45

  • Posted by user718520 January 17, 2014 at 10:23

    This from our Harbour Master's Office

    Jurisdiction of the river
    The area below mean High Water Springs (the area flooded under a high tide) from Tongue Head to the mouth of the Avon is the responsibility of Bristol Port Company which is a private commercial company the runs the Docks at Avonmouth and Portbury. The Floating Harbour is a Municipal Statutory Port under the management of Bristol City Council. As such the Council do not have the authority or permission to carry out any dredging within the tidal River Avon Seaward of Tongue Head. Any issues of Dredging in this area should be directed to the Bristol Port Company on enquiries@bristolport.co.uk.

    With regards to the river banks and towpaths (area above the High tide level) from Greville Smythe Park to Pill Creak on the south side and the whole of the North Side the responsibility is with Bristol City Council Parks department and Highways. The Structures that are erected within the River (all pontoon and Quay’s) are the responsibility again of the Bristol Port Company.
    Larger Ships cannot come into the Floating Harbour due to the fact that the “Horseshoe Bend” within the river dictates the maximum length that vessels can transverse the river. It has nothing to do with depth, this is why the Bristol Port Company have been unwilling to carry out any dredging. Indeed this is why the Floating Harbour’s commercial activities decreased over the latter part of last century due to the fact that ships being built were larger (due to commercial pressures on ship-owners thus making them more cost effective). The smaller commercial vessels were ageing and over the years were scrapped, so there are very few of these ships still afloat. This was one of the main reasons that an alternative port was sought, Avonmouth and Portbury where these larger ships could be accommodated.

    Actually the “Harry Brown” dredger was never used to dredge the mud from the Docks. This vessel was a “sand dredger” that used to go out into the Severn Estuary to dredge up sand to import into Bristol for aggregate for building purposes, therefore bringing in sand not taking out mud.
    Over the last 3 years, the river has only marginally started to silt up. With the current high rainfall and increased flow of the river, a natural scour of the river is occurring which will remove the silt and push it out to sea. The issue of flooding has very little to do with the river silting up and more to do with the low air pressure, strong South West winds (blowing up the Severn Estuary), the spring tides (that happen over 5 days every 15 days or so) and the fact that we have had a large amounts of rainfall in the River Avon catchment area. All this combined has caused the flooding not just in Bristol but for the majority of the West Coast of the United Kingdom.
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