Protect Fish in the Grantham Canal with a New Pump

by Paul Abel in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,551

raised so far



To pay for a solar pump which will draw water from the Trent and protect fish in the Lady Bay section of the Grantham Canal at all times.

by Paul Abel in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th March 2023 we'd raised £4,356 with 126 supporters in 24 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

We would hire a dredging company to restore the depth of this section of the canal to its original profile, thereby dramatically increasing the ability of this stretch of waterway to create conditions in which carp, tench and perch can grow to their full size. 

We have had discussions with Aquatic Solutions UK, a company which has been used previously to cut Norfolk reed on the Grantham Canal using their amphibious machine, the Truxor.

A dredging operation using the Truxor with a pump attachment would be able to remove the silt in the angling stretch of the canal and restore it to its original depth and profile. 

Funds of £16,700 + vat (£20,040 inc VAT) would be needed to meet the cost of this additional work.

Who are we?

The Grantham Canal Fish Conservation Society (GCFCS) is an angling club dedicated to the protection of fish stocks and habitats in the Grantham Canal.

Why are we crowdfunding?

Last summer, the loss of water in the Lady Bay section of the Grantham Canal caused innumerable fish mortalities and a tragic loss of habitat for ducks, swans and other wildlife.

This is a proposal to fund the installation of a pump which will enable a year-round supply of water for the canal to come from the River Trent.  We are working closely with the Environment Agency to find the best location for the pump.


Due to the culverts connecting the different sections of canal, water fed into the canal by the Environment Agency will raise and maintain a constant depth from along the entire distance between Trent Lock and Gamston Bridge, a mile to the south. This is a very simple solution to a serious threat to fish and other wildlife in this part of the Grantham Canal.


Unfortunately, the Grantham Canal is a remainder waterway and its owner, the Canal and Rivers Trust, simply don't have the funds to maintain it without public fund-raising. 

However, angling clubs are eligible to apply for grants from the Environment Agency to fund projects under the Fisheries Improvement Programme and we will be submitting a bid to this scheme. It will massively strengthen our case if we can show that the local community is fully behind it, and that many have donated to the cause.


                      No More Scenes Like This

As a sports organisation, we will also be applying to Sport England under their Active Together grant programme which also requires match funding from the local community. Sport England will start appraising our project when we have raised 25% of the requested amount.  

Please donate whatever you can afford, because when we reach a total of £2,500 Sport England will come on board, and they will be able to raise the total sum to £5,000.

How we’ll spend the money raised

We are aiming to raise as much as possible via this crowdfunding campaign before the Environment Agency grant submission deadline of 5th March 2023. The basic cost of the solar-powered pump will be £6,000, so this is the absolute minimum that we need to raise to make sure that the canal's water level isn't going to drop during another long period of dry weather.

This campaign aims to raise £6,000 before we even know the outcome of the grant application, and it is therefore a vital contingency in the event that the grant money doesn't come through. If the grant application is successful, and we find we have surplus funds at our disposal, the additional money can be invested in dredging the canal. 

In summary, we aim to raise £9,500 before the end of the campaign, comprising £6,000 for the pump and a further £3,500 to be spent on the following items:

1) a second-hand workboat with a small outboard:  £1,000

2) Re-stocking the canal with juvenile carp, tench and perch:  £750

3) An application of Siltex (fine soluble chalk to reduce the acidity of the water). This activates bacteria which feed on organic matter in the silt. : £1,350

The silt comprises 90% black sludge mainly derived from decaying leaf litter. Siltex is used to increase the alkalinity of water and a balanced pH allows sludge-eating bacteria to thrive. This should increase the depth of the canal, allowing it to better cope with long dry periods.

4) A cordless pond vacuum to remove decaying leaf litter from the bottom of the canal: £400

After these items, a dredging operation would be the next priority: £16,700 + vat (£20,040 inc VAT)  is estimated to be sufficient to cover the cost of removing the silt in the angling stretch of the canal to its original depth and profile.

How you can play your part

1. Donate. Please contribute as much as you can. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!

2. Get Involved. Send me a message by clicking on "Contact Project" and we can discuss how you can contribute as a volunteer. You can also message us through our Facebook page, The Grantham Canal Fish Conservation Society.

Community impact

As soon as the pump has been installed and the canal has been re-stocked, group "responsible angler" coaching sessions will be run by our club. These will be free of charge, and we expect the take-up from within the local community to be high. It will be an occasion to bring people together, learn new skills on an inter-generational basis, and provide people with a shared on-going interest in either fish habitat monitoring or just fishing in its traditional sense.

The Canal is a haven of peace and tranquillity which is appreciated by people from all parts of Nottingham. It is no coincidence that the stretches of the Grantham Canal which are maintained by Angling Clubs contrast dramatically in their upkeep when compared with 90% that has no Angling Club to look after it. 

When droughts cause distress to fish and other wildlife in the Canal at present, people are extremely concerned and feel powerless to intervene.  We will be able to train members to respond quickly to emergency situations and rescue fish in times of drought or water loss. Risk of this happening may continue to arise in stretches of the Canal which will not benefit from a new pump and we will be on hand to help with the relocation of fish to areas with a permanent supply of water.

Fully-grown fish are a great source of visual interest, and many people have childhood memories of trying to spot fish from a platform or a bridge: this is a timeless pleasure which parents and grandparents are very fond of sharing with future generations.

People also take immense satisfaction in spotting other wildlife in the canal: a wide range of ducks, swans, enormous dragonfly, herons and even a family of kingfishers are sightings which help improve the quality of life for nature lovers and local residents. Our project will increase the canal as walking route between Nottingham and the surrounding countryside, as well as being a destination in itself.


This project offered rewards

£1 or more

10% discount at Radcliffe Road Cycles

Radcliffe Road Cycles will give a 10% discount on fitting new bike brake blocks.

£10 or more

£10 Reward: Invitation to the Official Opening

You will receive an Eventbrite invitation to the official opening of the New Pump

£10 or more

Matchman Supplies

A discount of 10% (up to a maximum discount of £50) on any purchase from Matchman Supplies, 4 Ella Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5GW.

£10 or more

£10 Reward from Emma Williams Ceramics

A discount of £10 on low fired decorative ceramic bowls and brooches. See

£20 or more

£20 Reward: a place on a group coaching session

£20 Reward Take part in a free 3-hour group angling coaching session which will show you how to fish successfully in the canal in a responsible way. The reward is open to all members of your family.

£20 or more

Just Jo Design: 10% off store items and designs

Just Jo Design is an online store and design service which sells unique decorative household items. Jo also designs stunning websites. This reward entitles you to a 10% discount off the price of an item in her online store, or a website design commission.

£40 or more

A Signed Portrait by Sarah Reed of Faithful & Wild

This framed print which can be seen at is being offered by Sarah Reed of Faithful & Wild, Pet Portraiture to anyone who donates £40 or more to the Crowdfunder campaign.

£40 or more

Original Paintings by Nicholas Wright

Local artist, Nicholas Wright has kindly donated 3 original paintings (see which usually sell for £50 each. A single painting of your choice is on offer to anyone who donates £40 or more to the Crowdfunder campaign. Please ring Nicholas on 07752294247 to arrange to see them in his studio gallery.

£50 or more

£50 or more and become a Founder Member

3 years of angling membership for the price of 2 (normally £25 per year for adult anglers)

£10 or more

GreenPlan Garden Design Consultancy

A visit to any garden in West Bridgford, spending up to an hour planning and costing a garden design/ makeover. Also provides expert lawncare advice. Contact Jeremy Glynne-Jones on 07813 866736.

£20 or more

Domestic Energy Performance Review worth £50

EPC Solar Solutions will provide an energy performance assessment of any house in West Bridgford, and advise you on the cost and benefits of improving your Energy Performance rating. Phone 07973 169820 to book an appointment.

£40 or more

£30 voucher for 2 meals @Lady Bay PopUp Cafe

The Lady Bay PopUp Café is donating a £30 voucher when buying meals for 2 people.

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