A new vision for one of west Norfolk’s most important flood management areas is set to be unveiled to the public

PUBLISHED: 11:35 16 March 2015

Denver Sluice near Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Denver Sluice near Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

Ideas so far for Denver Sluice, near Downham Market, include a visitor centre, water sports and improving facilities for boaters.

Denver Sluice Complex

The Denver Complex coordinates the what is thought to be the most sophisticated and largest combination of sluices in the country.

It plays an essential role, being at the confluence of five Norfolk watercourses: the Ely Ouse, the Hundred Foot, the Tidal Great Ouse, the Cut Off and Relief Channels. The Complex supports river navigation, conservation, agricultural and land drainage and fisheries.

Water is also supplied to three three public water supply reservoirs in Essex from Denver.

The overall operation of the complex is coordinated with the management of the Ouse Washes.

The aim is to transform the site from managing water levels into more of a visitor destination and tourist attraction.

An exhibition at the Denver Complex on Thursday will outline the project’s very early vision.

Ian Bliss, waterways partnerships manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We would like to encourage as many people as possible to come along to hear about the ideas to improve the Denver Complex for visitors.

“We will be on hand to answer any questions and are keen to get views and ideas to help develop the proposals.”

A landscape architect led an initial study and the development of proposals, working alongside local residents and partners to explore how the site could be improved further.

Other suggestions have included ways of improving education of flood risk and the wider environment.

The study is also set to explore the issue of increased traffic to the complex by considering more sustainable forms of transport such as a water taxi link with Downham Market railway station.

The Environment Agency manages the site and is a partner in the Ouse Washes Partnership, a three-year project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The exhibition will be in the Environment Agency office at the Denver Complex on Thursday from 2pm to 7pm.

Do you think Denver Sluice should be transformed into a visitor destination? Email

1 comment

  • The Enviroment Agency remain tight lipped that the Big Eye at Denver Sluice has been inoperable for years because lack of maintenance led to it silting up and it is now deemed too expensive to get working again. The lack of regular flushing has also caused the River Ouse to silt up by around 50 per cent, which would be catastrophic for areas around King's Lynn in the event of a tidal surge. Why doesn't the EDP do some investigative journalism and find out how the EA can make such claims to maintain water levels when their own neglect has made it impossible?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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