The River Stour Trust was set up in 1968 to protect and enhance the right of the public to navigate the River Stour, which is one of the longest and most beautiful rivers in East Anglia. Because of the pressures to take away the right of navigation, the Trust has become a vigorous campaigning body, regularly fund-raising and organising many river-based activities.
Since its formation, the Trust has restored Flatford and Dedham Locks, Flatford Barge Dock (in association with the National Trust), the Quay Basin, Gasworks Cut and The Granary at Quay Lane, Sudbury and rescued an original River Stour Lighter as well as organised regular working parties to maintain the locks and structure in its care.
In 1997, the Trust opened the new "Millennium Lock" at Great Cornard, creating through navigation from Sudbury to Great Henny and in 2006, opened its new Visitor Centre adjacent to Cornard Lock to offer facilities for visiting schools and other groups.
Building on the success of Cornard Lock, the Trust now seeks to restore through navigation from Sudbury to the sea, by reinstating the remaining 10 locks. Meanwhile, the Trust actively encourages use of the River Stour by small craft, organising events for all age groups and abilities on different parts of the river.
It is also keen to promote the use of small, electric craft, which are environmentally-friendly and silent in operation.