The River Wey Navigation was opened in 1653 making it one of the oldest waterways in Britain. The Godalming Navigation opened in 1764 and together they make up around 20 miles of navigable waterway through the heart of Surrey. They have been owned and maintained by the National Trust since the 1964 for the benefit of river users, walkers and wildlife. Today they are looked after by the Lengthsman Team, Maintenance Team, Visitor Services and Administrative Team.
The Lengthsmen look after the wildlife, plants and trees with the help of lots of fantastic volunteers who don’t mind getting muddy either. Another vital element of our work is operating the weirs (day and night) to control water levels. The six Lengthsmen ( – a historical title, 2 of us are women ) are each responsible for their own particular ‘Length’. Mine runs for over 2 ½ miles from just below Papercourt Lock, through Newark and Walsham Gates to Pyrford Lock.
The Maintenance Team take care of the historical infrastructure dealing with structural maintenance, navigation issues and engineering works to ensure the smooth running of our waterway. We’re lucky to still have the expertise in our team to replace our own lock gates, maintain all the locks and maintain our fleet of working boats.