It is with great regret that I have to report the death of Stuart Wilson on Friday, 24th February. Stuart was the inspiration and driving force behind the formation of the Bure Navigation Conservation Trust, and Chairman from its inception until his premature death. In Stuart the Trust was fortunate to have someone who knew all the right people in the upper Bure valley, and he readily used these contacts to help the Trust achieve its objectives. He will be a hard act to follow, but the members of the Trust will continue with the work that he so strongly believed in.


Our thoughts are with Sue and his family in these difficult times.


The funeral will be held at St Faith’s Crematorium on Monday, 20th March at 1:15pm.






The Bure Navigation Conservation Trust exists to help promote the history, flora and fauna of that stretch of the River Bure which was once the Aylsham Navigation. We are also committed to ensuring access via a footpath for the entire length of the Navigation between Aylsham and Horstead Lock.

The Navigation opened in 1779 and closed after a devastating flood in 1912. Wherries navigated the 9.5 miles to Aylsham via locks at Horstead (also known as Coltishall Lock), Buxton, Oxnead, Burgh and Burgh Hall (sometimes called Aylsham Lock). All of the lock chambers remain except for Buxton and the one at Burgh Hall is in a very poor condition, it is also the only one not accessible by existing footpath.

The history of the Navigation is told in the book “Sail and Storm” published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the flood which closed the route. Copies may be available from local booksellers or contact us.

The book and the award it won
The book and the award it won

The book won an award in 2013 from the Railway and Canal Society as the “Book of the Year”.



4 thoughts on “HOME”

    1. Firstly I must apologise for the delay in replying. The EA has no known objections to canoeing the Aylsham navigation but there is no legal right to navigate as that was withdrawn in the 1920’s. This means that riparian rights holders have the say and some do object although most tolerate canoeists and some positively encourage them. The stretch from Buxton Lock through Mayton to Horstead / Coltishall Lock has the least difficulties. From Burgh to Buxton should be fine but some of the property owners in the Mill object to their facilities being used. From Aylsham to Burgh is nearly OK and I know a number of canoeists do venture along there but I should point out that there is no footpath access and the land is entirely private. The water can also be low and there is Giant Hogweed to contend with along that stretch.

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