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River Douglas

The River Douglas is navigable for 4 miles.  The River runs from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal – Rufford Branch to the River Ribble.

Facts & Stats


The year the Act of Parliament was passed allowing Thomas Steers and William Squire to make the River Douglas navigable to small ships between Wigan and the River Ribble.


The year the Douglas Navigation was finished.  By 1783 it had been superceded by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

35 miles

The River Douglas is 35 miles long but navigable for just 4 miles (6.4km) between Tarleton and the River Ribble.

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.