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Thread: Do I actually need a licence to paddle ?

  1. #1

    Default Do I actually need a licence to paddle ?

    Must I have a licence to paddle on the Grand Union or the Ouse ?
    In theory what could anyone possibly do to me or my boat if I dont display one?

  2. #2
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    Yes, you should have a waterways licence to paddle non-tidal waters. The BCU membership is a small price to pay for the use and upkeep of permitted rivers and canals. Realistically I'm not sure if anything would be done if you were stopped, but for <> £30 a year is it worth arguing or risking it?

  3. #3

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    Thanks, I was minded to buying one and I'm about to , its just that several people have said theyve never had one and never will, similar to the rod licence we need for fishing(which I always buy) , I know people who have never bothered in 40 years of angling but knowing my luck I'd get collared by a BW inspector... .
    BCU = British Canoe Union?

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  5. #5
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    woops! think I have just slipped up. I have just purchased a 30 day explorer licence from canal and river trust. Did not know that a licence was included in BCU membership. Looking at joining up anyway but can I assume that I would have been better of with one of their licences.

  6. #6
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    Just to be clear, you only need a licence for rivers which are governed by a number of agencies for example the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and the Canal and Rivers Trust. There will be a few more and you can find a list on the BC website. All other rivers are covered by the general presumption of public access since there are no laws instituting controls.

  7. #7

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    All other rivers are covered by the general presumption of public access since there are no laws instituting controls
    I'm sure you chose your words carefully, but I would express it slightly differently; I'd say that all other rivers are covered by the public right of navigation (PRON) that's existed since the time of the Magna Carta, and hasn't been removed except in specific cases such as the ones you mention. It could be argued that if the river bed belongs to the riparian owners, the law of trespass controls access - but a PRON takes precedence in a similar (but not identical) way to a PROW over dry land.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricogee View Post
    woops! think I have just slipped up. I have just purchased a 30 day explorer licence from canal and river trust. Did not know that a licence was included in BCU membership. Looking at joining up anyway but can I assume that I would have been better of with one of their licences.
    Just wait a month then join the BCU/Canoe England/whatever-its-called-this-week. But yes, its normally better value to join up, in fact its the only obvious reason to join the BCU really.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  9. #9

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    I dont want to hijack the thread but wasnt sure if was worth starting a new one but as a newbie I was wanting to paddle a stretch of the River Tees near me around Yarm area. I have found it difficult to find out if I need a licence for my Inflatable Kayak. This stretch used to be tidal but since the installation of the barage it is not but this thread suggests that legally it still is and you do not need a licence. Could anyone clarify this please. http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/f...ic.php?t=87922

  10. #10

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    barryd, the Canal & River Trust appear to control the section from Tees Barrage to Low Worsal (upstream from Yarm) which means you either need a licence directly from them, or via BCU membership

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    barryd, the Canal & River Trust appear to control the section from Tees Barrage to Low Worsal (upstream from Yarm) which means you either need a licence directly from them, or via BCU membership
    Thanks. I started having a look at the canal and river trust site last night but had to fill in all sorts of details and still couldnt figure out what the cost or details were. It mentioned insurance as well. Do I need that? Sorry if these all seem like typical newbie questions. Just had a look at the BCU site and it looks like for £42 it covers you for everything and mentions covering your liability. So if I join the BCU can you pretty much paddle anywhere and your covered?

  12. #12
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    The current fee for the C&RT is £45 and you need to show details of your insurance on the application form, the BCU includes both for £42 so it's a no-brainer from a finance point of view, it also covers many other waterways other than those covered by the C&RT licence. Even if you have no interest in the other activities of the BCU it still makes sense to join for the licence and insurance.

    Waterways covered :- https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/g...-arrangements/
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    The current fee for the C&RT is £45 and you need to show details of your insurance on the application form, the BCU includes both for £42 so it's a no-brainer from a finance point of view, it also covers many other waterways other than those covered by the C&RT licence. Even if you have no interest in the other activities of the BCU it still makes sense to join for the licence and insurance.

    Waterways covered :- https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/g...-arrangements/
    Thanks very much. As you say its a no brainer. What a great forum this is. I think it was a Kayak dealer that recommended it to me on a motorhome forum. I am sure I will have lots more to ask but apologies to Kickstart61 for jumping in the thread.

    EDIT: Im not sure I like being called "Quiet member" Thats not me at all!

  14. #14

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    Great reading..I love it when a thread 'expands'
    Im hoping to launch my new Apache tomorrow after a 40+ year break from paddling - wish me luck!

  15. #15
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    Hi
    I am hoping to paddle on the Ouse at the weekend and the EA require registration as they are in charge of the waters.
    I called them to see how to register my canoe ( an un powered craft) and it cost £35 a year for ALL EA controlled waters BUT members of canoe Britain, BCU or whatever can canoe for free.
    As a point of interest the BCU comes with a £2M insurance cover so is good value for money for that alone.
    They did say that the BCU licence should be displayed on the boat but agreed that having it available was acceptable.
    Very nice helpful lady at the EA.
    Hope this helps
    ming.
    Canada 2011, Wales 2012, France 2013, Ireland 2014, Scotland 2015 England (Thames) 2016 - ( Thames again 2017)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming View Post
    They did say that the BCU licence should be displayed on the boat but agreed that having it available was acceptable.
    I haven't been a BCU member for a few years, but in the past I used a variety of inflatable and folding boats on the inland Thames. At the time, the licence was printed on adhesive plastic, a bit bigger than a postcard. I found by experiment that it wouldn't stay stuck on a boat that was being rolled up when not in use. My solution was to stick it to a piece of stiff plastic to which I attached cord loops. I threaded a deck elastic through the loops to display this on the assembled boat, then unfastened it when I was putting the boat away.

    I don't remember ever having my licence examined, but I always felt I'd rather have it anyway, to avoid any possible aggro.

    Mary
    Not in Oxford any more...

  17. #17
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    I have been asked for my licence one at a thames lock.

    Impcanoe

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    I have been asked for my licence one at a thames lock.

    Impcanoe
    Yes, I have been asked as well when I had a heavy canoe: licence lock-through, otherwise portage. Luckily for my back I had the licence :-)

  19. #19
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    I have now joined british canoeing(assume this is a new name for BCU). Did not find the application form very good but ended up with a receipt, but gather that the licence will be sent on by post. also mentioned different add on insuranses to cover actual canoes and equipment. it made no mention of third party insurance although most people say this is included in membership. anybody able to confirm if this is so.

  20. #20
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  21. #21

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    I joined the British Canoeing this week.. I had to email re. the licence, they replied next day saying it will take up to 10 working days to be delivered but in the meantime use a copy of the membership invoice as proof. Agreed the website isnt clear enough about this..

  22. #22

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    First glorious weather of the year plus the start of the holiday season means that it's taking more than 10 working days at the moment, unsurprisingly (three weeks and counting!)

  23. #23
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    Your Canoe England (BCU) licence comes through the post. A hard plastic thing with your number on it.
    The insurance is a third party liability for £2M which is a peace of mind should you damage something. It comes with the membership and is worth it for that alone IMHO
    I didn't insure my now but dependant on price will probably do so this time as I am using it a lot more now.
    Ming the helpful
    Canada 2011, Wales 2012, France 2013, Ireland 2014, Scotland 2015 England (Thames) 2016 - ( Thames again 2017)

  24. #24

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    ..Still no sign of it..3 weeks and counting...

  25. #25
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    Still waiting on mine too - 2 weeks now

  26. #26
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    I would phone them. Mine was with me within a couple of days as was my replacement and my renewal.
    Canada 2011, Wales 2012, France 2013, Ireland 2014, Scotland 2015 England (Thames) 2016 - ( Thames again 2017)

  27. #27
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    I am still waiting for mine. will ring them if it doesn't arrive in the next few days.(three weeks and waiting!! )

  28. #28
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    No sign of mine either so I have printed the receipt and hope that will do if challenged...I have no problem paying for membership just so long as British Canoeing keeps winning medals at the Olympics!
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  29. #29
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    The money for Olympic athletes comes from the government, not from your membership subs.

  30. #30
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    my membership/licence arrived today (with a free lanyard...wow). 3 weeks and 3 days so don't give up hope yet.

  31. #31

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    Ooh, thanks for reminding me about mine. I paid them on July 11th and it's still not here, so do I have the record? I have sent them an email. It would be lovely if the expiry date was a year from them sending it rather than a year from me ordering it, but I am not holding my breath (except when trying to roll my watercraft, of course.)

  32. #32

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    Hi! I'm in the process of buying a canoe for primary use on the Medway. If the canoe will mostly be used by myself and fiancé and maybe at times my Dad, do I need to buy three memberships?
    I also noticed that the canoe has to be registered on the Medway - is this covered by a single membership?
    Sorry about all these questions!

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzy View Post
    Hi! I'm in the process of buying a canoe for primary use on the Medway. If the canoe will mostly be used by myself and fiancé and maybe at times my Dad, do I need to buy three memberships?
    I also noticed that the canoe has to be registered on the Medway - is this covered by a single membership?
    Sorry about all these questions!
    Depends on who is in the canoe at any one time! If you are all in one boat then only one person needs to have a membership. However, anyone in a boat on their own needs to have their own membership (does that make sense? if not, more information here: https://f58619eed67ecf47f9c5-6963513...e-17082015.pdf )

    You don't need to register your canoe on the Medway as well, just one or the other will do.

    British Canoeing membership sounds like it'd be the better option for you, especially if you'd be tempted to explore further afield, as it covers many other waterways. It also comes with the added bonus of third party insurance (I don't know anyone who has had to use that though!)

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Denise View Post
    Depends on who is in the canoe at any one time! If you are all in one boat then only one person needs to have a membership. However, anyone in a boat on their own needs to have their own membership (does that make sense? if not, more information here: https://f58619eed67ecf47f9c5-6963513...e-17082015.pdf )

    You don't need to register your canoe on the Medway as well, just one or the other will do.

    British Canoeing membership sounds like it'd be the better option for you, especially if you'd be tempted to explore further afield, as it covers many other waterways. It also comes with the added bonus of third party insurance (I don't know anyone who has had to use that though!)
    Thanks so much!!

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