What is the Link?

The Stafford Riverway Link is the historic canal and river navigation linking the centre of Stafford to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal at Baswich. It once connected the town to the national waterways network and its restoration will benefit recreation, wildlife and the local economy.

From a restored canal basin at Baswich, boaters will be able to access the town’s shops and tourism sites and boost its economy, walkers and cyclists will have an improved towpath, canoeists, paddle boarders, wildlife and flood relief will all benefit from a less obstructed river channel and more stable water levels.

Stafford Riverway Link Community Interest Company (SRL CIC) was formed to promote the restoration for the benefit of the local community, and is run by volunteers with a growing public membership.

We plan, promote and publicise the project, research its history, raise funds, and hold regular volunteer work parties restoring the canal basin at Baswich. We also pride ourselves in establishing partnerships with local education bodies and commercial supporters to support the restoration.

History and Heritage

Work started on the 1½ mile navigation in 1814 to link Stafford Town Centre with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Baswich. It involved constructing a roving bridge, basin, aqueduct, lock and lock house at Baswich, and straightening and deepening the River Sow. In the centre of Stafford, a short channel was cut parallel to the river leading to a coal wharf near Green Bridge. The waterway opened in 1816 and was navigable until the 1920s. Although its main purpose was to carry “coals, lime and merchandise”, the waterway was popular with pleasure boaters. It was owned by Lord Stafford and leased to the Staffs & Worcs Canal Company from 1838 until 1927.

See our full history
The Future

We will continue working with Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency and other partners to advance the project by:

Completing excavation and construction work on the Basin.

Constructing the Roving Bridge at the Junction with towpath and farm access.

Connecting Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to the Basin.

Construct a Footpath/cycle path from the Basin and along the River Sow to join the current footpath at Fairway that leads into the town centre.

Preparing the River Sow to create a navigable link into Stafford Town Centre.

Constructing the Lock from the Basin.

Constructing a navigable channel from the Lock into the River Penk and River Sow.

Want to help?

We offer memberships to the Stafford Riverway Link, and we also accept donations