Skerne and Wansford Parish Council

The Driffield Navigation - once an important trading route between Driffield, Capital of the Wolds, and Hull runs through Wansford.

In the mid 20th century, the navigation was allowed to fall into disrepair. However the Driffield Navigation Trust volunteers have been working to restore the canal to its former glory and the latest project has been the renewal of lock gates at Wansford Lock and the construction of a bywash.

This was officially opened on July 4 2009.

Skerne and Wansford's waterways were of strategic importance to the villages.

The West Beck - part of the upper headwaters of the River Hull and the UK¿s most northerly chalk stream - was navigable as far as Wansford.

Early records show that during the 1200s when Edward 1 was conducting his border wars with William Wallace the riverport of Wansford was busy as grain, grown on the Wolds, was shipped from the village to Hull and thence to Newcastle, from where it was transported to feed the English troops.

The Driffield Navigation was built from 1760-1805 by canalising the northern half of the River Hull to improve shipping between Driffield, in the heart of East Yorkshire, and the Humber via the port city of Kingston upon Hull.

It's system of manmade canals, canalised river and navigable river including the Driffield Canal, parts of the River Hull, West Beck and Frodingham Beck.

These navigable waterways north of Aike are managed by the Driffield Navigation Trust, who have almost finished works to restore navigation between the Humber and Driffield.
It was built as an amenity for the local community in the 18th Century.

Now, in the 21st Century, it's role has changed but it is still, perhaps even more so, a great asset to the area and various communities of people whose lives are enriched by contact with some aspect of this priceless rural waterway.

A carpet mill once stood on the banks of the canal - where Mill House is today. Water was used to drive the mill and transport the goods.


A grain mill stood on the Nafferton Beck, which runs through farmland from Nafferton Mere to the navigation. The wheel remains a feature of the private house on the land today.

Today the West Beck is known for its fine, private, fishing. Fishing is also permitted on the canal. However users must have a rod licence and purchase fishing permits.

For more information about fishing on West Beck click here.