Maidenhead Waterways
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Our Aims

Restoring our Waterways - Breathing life into Maidenhead

Area MapThe Maidenhead Waterway project aims to restore and enlarge the neglected town centre channels into an accessible waterway that everyone can enjoy, whether for boating, walking, cycling, fishing or simply interacting with nature. Better yet, this will all be in the heart of Maidenhead.

The overgrown, dried up and neglected channels were once substantial lakes and rivers. As the waterway fell into disuse, Maidenhead town centre lost its riverside setting, yet the old channels are still there. Running south from the Thames near Cliveden, the channel divides into York Stream - passing under the historic Chapel Arches - and Moor Cut which crosses Town Moor. The channels re-join at Green Lane and broaden out before returning to the Thames by Bray Marina.

The channels were enlarged in the 1960s for flood defence, a purpose now served by the Jubilee River to the east of the main river Thames. Bray Cut remains up to 14-15m wide, but is largely hidden and inaccessible. It needs some minor work but, as canoeists have proved, is already navigable today.

Video - Background and Aims

The Future of Maidenhead

The Royal Borough adopted the project in 2014 and has lead the implementation, with Friends of Maidenhead Waterway (FoM) in support as the plans have evolved. The restoration of Maidenhead’s waterways is well underway, as one of five key initiatives to improve the appearance, amenity and vitality of our town centre. Consultations on the waterway plans met with enthusiastic public support and, as a result, it was included in the council’s adopted Area Action Plan. the Environment Agency has also provided extensive technical guidance and support for the project.

What is involved?

The project is being tackled in stages, as funding allows. The agreed priority is to restore York Stream and Moor Cut to create a ‘Ring’ for small boats to operate around the town centre. To the south, we also aim to open up the Bray Cut channel to allow small and then eventually larger craft to enter from the Thames.

The work involved requires cutting back or removing the overgrown trees and bushes that obstruct the waterway, selective widening of the narrower sections of the channel and dredging/lowering the bed to increase water depths. The construction of a weir at Green Lane (now complete) has raised and stabilised water levels throughout the town centre. A lock could be added at a later stage to allow larger boats to eventually pass into the town centre from the south. Planning consent for Phase one of the waterway (the ‘Ring’) was secured in 2012 and the project was adopted by RBWM in 2014. Construction of the York Stream arm of the waterway commenced in 2015, along with other key Area Action Plan developments. The York Stream arm is now largely completed, following construction of the weir, fish/eel pass and boat rollers at Green Lane in 2019-2020. Completion by Shanly Homes in February 2021 of a second water basin within the Chapel Arches Phase 3 development provides the final link of the York Stream arm.

Video - Phase 1 Baseline Plan

How can you help?

Please show your support for the project by joining FoMW for just £10 a year - larger donations extremely welcome….!

Becoming a member is easy - simply go to our Membership page to sign up or write to us at the address below. Hands-on involvement is strictly optional, but whatever your skills there is a place for you in the team. We welcome support from individuals, local business and benefactors.

Maidenhead Waterways
Ground Floor
Belmont Place
Belmont Road
Berkshire SL6 6TB