CRT have said this tonight 23 March

Following the most recent announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, we are asking leisure boaters to stop all non-essential travel. As a result, and to help those who live-aboard (along with those who would need to travel to their boat in order to move it) we are suspending the requirement to move every 14 days. The suspension will be kept under review in line with revised government guidance, applying initially until 14 April.

We ask everyone to be considerate and make sure at least a minimal amount of essential movement is maintained to keep vital boater facilities and services accessible to those that need them. We will continue to maintain boater facilities and pump out cards are available from our online shop. (We will be urgently reviewing the implications for face-to-face sale of pump out cards and facilities keys from our public offices).


With immediate effect NABO recommends that cruising liveaboard members find a safe mooring with reasonable access to services and supplies and hunker down. Non liveaboard boaters should not visit their boats unless advised it’s safe to do so.

There are no instructions on BSS examinations in the current advice from CRT. If yours is due, talk to the license office and get their guidance. We are pressing for examinations to be supended for the critical period and will keep you advised. 

Listen out for further Government and/or CRT announcements.Their web site is here

Stay safe out there.


CRT have just issued these very welcome FAQs on boating in these difficult times.

You can read them here.

There is no relief on BSS examinations as yet. We have asked for three month extension and we will continue to press for this.

Whilst many will be able to get this important safety inspection completed, inevitably there will be those at high risk who simply cannot have an examiner in their home.

If you are in this position, let us know.

Remember too that the examiners have concerns too. If you are having an examination, it is polite to make them tea and then leave the boat whilst it is going on!



Following feedback from a series of meetings held with disabled boaters over the last year, CRT will now provide ‘Trust Aware’ permits to boaters who have been given reasonable adjustments to their cruising requirements under the Equality Act 2010. On a case-by-case basis, this could involve overstays on visitor or towpath moorings or adjusting their cruising range. The permits are intended to let other people know that the Trust is aware of the situation and that there is permission to overstay or move in a limited range. Boaters can choose whether they want to display them; it is not a CRT requirement. There are around 240 boaters with approved adjustments and another 140 adjustments in the process of being arranged. The permits will be the size of a licence disc, but will be printed on yellow paper to clearly distinguish between the two.

CRT have announced the publication of the two reports on the spliway failure at Toddbrook in 2019.

They have said

The Canal & River Trust welcomes the Government-commissioned Independent Reservoir Review report from Professor Balmforth which examines the cause of the damage to Toddbrook Reservoir last summer and makes recommendations for the improvement of reservoir safety across England and Wales. 

Both the Balmforth report and a separate independent report by expert reservoir engineer Dr Andrew Hughes, commissioned earlier by the Trust and also published today, identify that serious hidden design flaws, inherent in the concrete auxiliary spillway from the time of its installation in 1970, caused its partial collapse on 1 August 2019 following several days of heavy rainfall.

Since the incident last August, the Trust has implemented measures to enhance reservoir inspection and maintenance and will now be fully reviewing both reports and acting on their findings to ensure the ongoing safe stewardship of the reservoirs in its care.

You can read the details here.

There are links to the two reports.

The NABO team will review the reports and provide some comentary in the next NABO News in April.

CRT have said that they are starting a winter tree and hedge manangement programme. They say that the works will focus on preserving navigation and ensuring sightlines are kept clear, rather than cutting back every metre of overgrowth. We actively manages vegetation all year round, but large-scale activities are best suited to winter when the waterways are quieter and disturbance to wildlife is minimised..

We have a list of the target areas and you can see it here, with the accomanying qualifications. If you know of other places, pleas elet us know and we can follow up.

Dont forget that all towpaths should be cut to edge and woody growth removed by the end of March 2020.