The Rothen Group have extensive experience in carrying out all types of dredging on inland waterways. Our proactive, knowledge based approach ensures even the difficult spot dredging of moorings, winding holes and bridges can be undertaken.

Using floating dredgers, modular pontoons or long reach excavators working from the bank, we can accommodate your project needs. In addition we are fully licensed to dispose of your material in a cost effective manner which ensures low environmental impact.

Waterway Dredging - Wide beam digger pontoon with excavation
Dredging - Narrowbeam digger pontoon with 2.5t excavation
Dredging - Long reach mini digger on ditch bank
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What is canal and waterway dredging?

A canal dredging definition is simple – it involves the removal of sediment from the bottom of a body of water. By removing these items from the canal via dredging operations boats can more easily navigate the UK’s waterways.


Additionally, removing materials like built-up sediment, mud, rubbish and other debris can improve water quality. As a result, plant and animal ecosystems in the canals can more easily flourish. In a nutshell, this is why canal dredging is important – it helps those who use the canals for business and pleasure purposes on a daily basis, while also safeguarding the UK’s natural environment.

Why is canal dredging in the UK so important?

The Rothen Group, as specialist waterway and civil contractors, work on behalf of the Canal River Trust, Environment Agency and private waterway owners to perform this vital service that keeps canals and rivers navigable, and their natural ecosystems intact.


No two types of project in this area are the same, which is why dredging contractor expertise is necessary. Services can involve maintenance dredging on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis in specific areas prone to debris and sediment build-up. This can include around bridges and channels feeding into the canal, as well as widened areas used to turn boats, also known as winding holes.


Alongside this, more sporadic main-line maintenance dredging may take place, which involves working on a stretch of canal mile-by-mile over a longer period. In both instances, this usually requires the use of excavators either on the water or on the canal bank to collect debris from the canal bed.


The cost of dredging canals can vary depending on the amount of dredging equipment used, and the complexity of the project. For example, the width and shallowness of a canal may necessitate narrower boats and pontoons, with shallow drafts. The structural integrity of the canal bank may also make using land-based canal dredging equipment impossible, so a different approach may be needed.


Consequently, specialist marine engineering companies like The Rothen Group use multiple types of canal dredging equipment to keep our UK canals clear. This includes a fleet of unique modular pontoons and floating dredger boats for use on the water, and long-reach excavators that can work from the bank side.