Barry Westby, Managing Director of the company, said: “We’re removing the deposits of leaves and branches and sand that’s washed down the river.

“It’s filled up with silt to such an extent that the boats can’t come into marina.”

Thirteen years ago he hired the machine, but the small company decided to order one themselves this time around.

“The word is they’re going to try and do it a lot more often now,” he said.

But he said the decision to dredge the river was not because of the recent flooding in other parts of the country, but just because the job needed doing.

The digger will be working on the river five days a week for the next three to four weeks.

It won’t be operating at weekends to allow more space for recreational boats.