The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society has been working on the restoration of the Pocklington Canal since its formation in 1969. The lower half of the canal, from the River Derwent at East Cottingwith to the village of Melbourne, was restored for navigation in 1987 and, since then, work has continued on the upper section with the restoration of three locks.
To mark the bicentenary of the opening of the Pocklington Canal in 1818, a further 2 miles of the canal were reopened in 2018, enabling boats to navigate as far as the Bielby Arm. This project, carried out over a period of three years, involved the fitting of new gates at Thornton and Walbut locks, and extensive dredging.
As its next project, the canal society planned to restore Sandhill Lock. This lock is in a very dilapidated condition and the bulk of the estimated £200,000 cost has been raised. However, despite lengthy negotiations, CRT has not given permission for this work to go ahead. In the absence of this permission, the society is now looking at an alternative project. This is the dredging of a short section near Coates Lock and the reinstatement of a winding hole. These works would open up a further ½ mile to navigation.
The Pocklington Canal has nine locks. Four are currently navigable and one (Coates) just awaits some dredging to bring it into use. Of the remaining four locks, one (Sandhill) requires extensive work, while the other three are in a fair condition. It remains the ambition of the society to see the restoration on the full length of the canal so that boats will be able to reach the original terminus at Canal Head, which is a mile from the centre of Pocklington.