Langport River Project

The River Parrett has been Langport’s greatest asset for as long as there has been a settlement here. Indeed, the fact that you could cross the river here is what made it an attractive place to settle.

In the past the river brought water-borne trade. Goods were ferried up the river from Bridgwater, and unloaded at Langport to be taken further inland by road or in smaller boats by water. The coming of the railway put an end to that source of prosperity, and now the river’s potential is for leisure use.

For the past few years a community group, facilitated by South Somerset District Council and Langport Town Council’s Project Officer, has been preparing plans to develop the river for greater community use and as an attraction for visitors. This group, the Langport River Group, includes representatives from various community interests such as boat owners, business owners and youth groups, as well as Langport Town Council and the Inland Waterways Association.

In 2016 the Town Council purchased Cocklemoor and the Huish Bridge Slipway and car park from the Environment Agency. This allowed the Group to make an application for grant funding for a project to develop the River Parrett at Langport.

The project’s aim is to facilitate greater use of the River Parrett between Oath Sluice and Muchelney by installing appropriate infrastructure that will enable and encourage commercial, public, private and commercial water-based activities.

This means:
• repairing the former weed ramp at Huish Bridge so that it can be used to launch trailer-towed boats and other small craft
• installing floating pontoons at Huish Bridge, Cocklemoor, Great Bow Wharf and Muchelney so that people can disembark at those locations to explore the area
• refurbishing the path between Cocklemoor and Huish Bridge
• resurfacing the car park at Huish Bridge
• increasing the number and quality of fishing platforms

The project will cost in the region of £120k. The Group has applied for EU funding under the LEADER programme to meet a significant element of this cost, and has been invited to submit a full application. The deadline for submission is towards the end of August.

The Group’s vision is that improving the river infrastructure will:
• Make the river attractive for trail boaters
• Facilitate the operation of public trip boats
• Attract rowing, canoeing and kayaking to the river
• Make the river attractive to commercial operators
• Improve the access for anglers
• Increase the use of Cocklemoor and the riverside by the community and visitors alike

If you would like to support this project and feel that it would benefit you, or a group or organisation you know, please send a letter of support for the application for EU funding to the Town Clerk, Langport Town Council, Bow Street, Langport T10 9PR or email townclerk@langport.life. Your letter should arrive by the end of July.

If you would like any further information about the project, please contact cllrseaton@langport.life .

 

huish bridge slipway

Huish Bridge slipway in its current condition

 

floating pontoon

Possible style of floating pontoon