21 Jun 2022
A new £300k mooring was officially opened at The Chester House Estate at Irchester, near Wellingborough on Friday 10th June by the Nenescape Landscape Partnership.
The floating pontoon is the result of an exciting collaboration between Nenescape, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Environment Agency. This location was chosen because it will benefit boaters and the community on and around the river, improve access to other transport links, and increase the use of leisure activities. Not only does it create a fantastic resource for watersports enthusiasts using the River Nene for recreation, it allows them to moor up and explore the estate which opened to the public in October last year and support the plethora of small businesses based there.
This mooring represents a river wide Nenescape initiative, led by the Environment Agency called Enabling access from waterway to land. This project has also seen improvements to moorings at Alwalton and the development of a partnership website called nenevalley.net, which aims to provide residents and visitors with information about the river and wider Nene Valley.
Nenescape Chairman, John Griff, said:
“Opening this mooring has been a real labour of love for everyone involved. We’ve worked closely with the Environment Agency and all the Nenescape partners over the last couple of years to ensure the impact to the flora and fauna along the river was minimal and the benefits to the community are maximum.”
This included floating the (size) mooring downriver in Spring 2021. The lakes on the north of the River Nene are a designated Special Protection Area due to their important habitats for a variety of internationally protected bird species. With this in mind there will be continued monitoring at the mooring.
Ian Bliss, Waterways Partnerships Manager for the Environment Agency, said:
“We are delighted to be part of Nenescape. The Environment Agency who manages the River Nene navigation, has hugely benefitted from this National Lottery Heritage funded collaborative project which brings together partners from along the River Nene between Northampton and Peterborough to celebrate, protect and conserve the natural and built heritage of the landscape.
As the first official visitor to the new mooring, Ian Tuckley with his traditional, tug-decked narrow boat was on hand to recall the working heritage of the river.
He said: “from here you can easily reach one of the oldest of the Nene Valley’s historical sites. You approach on foot across the meadow and the majestic farm house looms over you. Once inside it’s high walls, you discover the museum, archive and small shops, plus we had a tasty breakfast and Tinx got dog treats too! I’d encourage everyone to unplug their shoreline and plug into the sheer natural beauty and tranquility of these surroundings.”
It is hoped the new mooring will be embraced by all users along the River Nene this summer.
Mr Griff added: “I’d like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate the official opening with us. Locals and tourists alike will be able to benefit from the new mooring and facilities at the Chester House Estate this summer. Whether they are hiring a canoe at Rushden Lakes or on a SUP safari, the mooring makes the site and the river accessible for all.”