Sunday, 20 March 2022

01 (Louth Canal Project). The Tetney Haven.

 Some while ago I decided to photograph the Louth Canal from it's source on the North Sea coast of Lincolnshire, UK, to it's final destination in the market town of Louth, 11 miles inland.  It starts it's journey at the Tetney Marshes as an inlet from the North Sea, at this point the waterway is known as the "Tetney Haven".

Well, the Covid 19 pandemic put a halt to that idea but I've decided to make a start and hope I can get some of it done.  I intend to photograph it in stages along it's course and include anything of interest in the areas along the way.

So I began at Tetney Lock and walked out to the marshes where the journey starts.

The start of the walk, from here it's a brisk 20 minute walk to the marshes where the Haven
comes in off the North Sea.  When I left home we had clear blue skies but now clouds began 
to come down from the Lincolnshire Wolds, not the best lighting but here goes anyway.

This is the Tetney Haven and the Sea gates that close to prevent the twice daily tides from
flooding Lincolnshire.  (A brief break in the clouds).

Away in the distance is one of the WW1 forts built in the Humber Estuary.

These are the sea gates, a better view of them on the way back.

In the distance is the Humber Mouth Yacht Club and beyond that the Dock Tower at Grimsby.
The telephoto lens has compressed the perspective as the yacht club is 3 or 4 miles away.

Looking out over the marsh to North Coates Point, wind turbines and a ship out in
the North Sea.

A flock of geese came over, in my youth I spent days & weeks down here bird watching.

This is as far as I walked out onto the marsh.  There's an offshore Monobouy at the mouth
of the Humber Estuary where oil tankers off load crude oil to go to the Conoco Oil Tank farm
at Tetney Lock.  Here is the delivery pipeline as it emerges from below ground to cross over
the Haven.  It goes back underground for a short while where it can be seen in the distance
going over the main embankment.

Just below the pipe is a smaller one discharging fluid of some sort.  Not sure what it was
but it smelled bad!

Here the pipeline arches over the embankment between the marsh and farming fields.

On the return walk, this gives a better view of the sea gates.

Two sets of heavy gates, the pressure of the incoming tide closes them and then, as the water
level lowers on the ebb tide, the water on the inland side opens them again to allow flood water
from the Lincolnshire Wolds to go out into the North Sea.

Looking back along the Haven from the bridge over the flood gates.

WW2 pillbox bunkers and yes, we used to play in these when we were kids.

This embankment has a footpath back to the yacht club and you can see the oil pipe
arching over it. 

Two more views.

The next few photo's show the course of the Haven and where I spent many happy days/weeks
and years of my life fishing & camping.

A view over the farm fields to North Coates village where there used to be an RAF camp
with Bloodhound missiles based there.  The aerodrome is now the home of the North Coates
flying club. 

The final destination for the oil pipeline, the Conoco Tank Farm at Tetney.

Adjacent to the tank farm is a wind farm, ironic to see this renewable source of power next to
the old fossil fuel burning technology.

Olympus EM1 MK2 + 12-100 Pro lens


  1. This is going to be a great photography project! You’ve got me curious about what’s to come. The skies in all of these photos are magnificent, so I’d say the clouds didn’t impair the day at all. What really appeals to me is seeing the areas where you spent time as a kid. You must have felt like you owned the whole world while fishing, birding and exploring the vastness of the area. I’m going to look at a satellite view of the area and I look forward to seeing the next part of this series. Very enjoyable post!

    1. The area holds many happy memories of my childhood & teenage years.
      Thank you for your comments Ann, I'm hoping to show some items of interest along the way, not just the waterway itself. 😊

  2. Goodness, this really could be parts of the Netherlands, David. The open flat landscape, the safety gates to stop the tidal flood and the wind turbines. Is the canal navigable at any stage? I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your project now.

  3. The canal isn't navigable any more, it closed in the 1920's and has become overgrown and the locks fallen into disrepair. Thanks for your comments,always appreciated. 😊

  4. The course of the Haven must have been a wonderful place to visit when you were young, such freedom. I feel quite envious as my young years were in west London, we were grateful for a small field in which to play!
    This is a great project and I look forward to following your journey. Great photos. Good wishes.

    1. Thanks Mike. 😊. I was brought up in terraced housing in Cleethorpes in the hey days of the Grimsby fishing industry,
      Grimsby & Cleethorpes are like one big town. We lived with my grandparents but when I was severn we moved to our own new house in an estate on the edge of Cleethorpes. Within weeks I had explored the open countryside on my bike and discovered Tetney Lock, Tetney Haven & the marshes. Things were safer for kids then I think. I also think we had more common sense. It's still a magical place for me. 😃

  5. Hello David, I am kicking myself that I missed this super post a couple of weeks ago, but I have just greatly enjoyed reading it now. What a cracking project. Your pictures are brilliant. Stunning shot of the wind turbines with boat skirting across the fields. They are indeed funny juxtapositions - new and old forms of energy. And do you know what I'm thinking... maybe sneakily tapping off those sources ;)

    What a shocker about P& O Ferries eh - I did the Hull to Rotterdam (onwards to Amsterdam) ferry many times. You must have grown up looking out towards Spurn Point then? That is a gloriously moody, isolated place. I wonder if you have caught any of the TV programme 'Canal Boat Diaries' (BBC iPlayer)- may be of interest. Can't wait to see the next stretch of Louth Canal. Have a great weekend :)

    1. Hi Lulu, thank you for your lovely & very enthusiastic comments, appreciated & really encouraging. Yes, we have a great view across the Humber Estuary with shipping and the lighthouse at Spurn Point. A regular boat we see is the P&O ferries but their future is a bit no doubt now! I have seen the "Canal boat diaries", lovely program and presented in such a calm way. Enjoy the weekend.