IWA West London Branch

20 August 2020

IWA West London Branch is creating a strategic plan for the Flight. The plan will focus on the recovery and upkeep of the side ponds, and woodland adjacent to the lock flight. This is part of a partnership agreement with Canal & River Trust.

Hanwell Flight, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is a wonderful place of canal architecture and engineering with an abundance of wildlife situated just west of London near Ealing. The Hanwell Flight consists of six locks constructed in 1794, which raise the water level by about 53ft in half a mile. Each lock was built to accommodate a 14ft wide barge or two 7ft wide narrowboats side by side. Many of the locks had ‘side ponds’ beside them operational from 1816 as a means of saving water. One of the lock pounds (the water space between locks) has a ramp into the water known as Horse Steps to aid the rescue of towing horses that had fallen into the canal.

A series of monthly work parties at the locks are planned to improve the locks. Work is likely to include a range of activities such as vegetation control; gardening; litter picking; surveying; restoration work; heritage preservation and habitat creation.

Due to social distancing guidelines places are strictly limited but the hope is to increase capacity as guidance is relaxed. Contact the branch for availability and more information by emailing