The Government has now set out some detail about the first stages of easing the current Coronavirus lockdown. These first steps come in to force tomorrow (Weds 13 May).

With a view to boating, your two main questions are likely to be: Can I visit my boat? And, can I go for a cruise on my boat? These are both covered below.

The Canal & River Trust has today, 5 May 2020, launched a fundraising appeal to help support the dozens of small waterway-based charities across its network which have been adversely impacted by the impacts of coronavirus.

Launched on Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving and unity, the Waterway Charities Appeal will provide support for many small community-based charities at a time when, without help, the coronavirus pandemic could have a devastating impact on them.

Lockage Report


CRT has published the annual lockage ranking for 2019 for those locks that are fitted with telemetry. The five most-used locks were in the West Midlands and North West Regions, as was the least-used lock.






No lockages


West Midlands

North Oxford

Locks 2 & 3 Hillmorton



West Midlands


Lock 2, New Marton



North West


Lock 4, Cholmondeston



West Midlands

Trent & Mersey

Lock 21, Colwich



North West


Lock 1, Wardle



North West


Lock 1, Graving



The Canal & River Trust’s annual national boat count shows that licence compliance on its waterways remains high with 96.2% of boaters holding a valid licence (2019: 96.4%).  This is the fourth highest compliance figure in the last 10 years and is the eleventh successive year with evasion below 5%.

The national boat count sees the Trust’s teams physically recording boats on every stretch of waterway to check if they are correctly licensed.  The COVID-19 restrictions meant they were unable to access some marinas and stretches of canal, while flooding and high-water levels have also prevented access to some rivers to obtain sightings.  This will likely explain a reduction in the overall number of boats sighted on the waterways this year with 33,672 boats sighted across England & Wales, down 1,568 boats on 2018/19.  The numbers of boats sighted on waters where Trust licences are required also reduced by 323 to 31,110.  In comparison, the Trust’s licence system showed that 34,435 boats held valid licences at 31 March 2020, a slight uplift on the previous year (31 March 2019: 34,367).

You can read about it here.


A report from boaters rep, Dave Mendes de Costa.

Yesterday the boater representatives on the CRT Council met with Matthew Symmonds (National Boating Manager). Many thanks to everyone who sent me their thoughts. As expected, the main area of discussion was around Covid-19. The tone was positive, there seems to be a desire to support people, but through individual arrangements rather than blanket measures. So the main message is: If you need support, contact CRT immediately on 0303 040 4040.