Code of Conduct for Manually-Propelled Craft on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation


Care for Wildlife

  • Avoid disturbing nesting birds along the river banks, particularly in spring time.
  • Avoid damaging beds of waterweed.
  • Stop your activity if you are clearly disturbing any wildlife.


Stay Safe

  • Use the river in a safe fashion and ensure that you have the appropriate safety equipment.
  • Ensure that any groups of young novice boaters are led by suitably experienced responsible persons, with an appropriate number of qualified instructors.
  • Don’t drink alcohol during and just prior to your trip on the river.
  • Follow instructions given to you by your craft provider and / or group leader.
  • Obey the general rules of navigation and any local bylaws.
  • Avoid crossing the bows of oncoming craft of any kind, at close quarters.
  • In particular remember that larger craft are less maneuverable and cannot use such shallow waters as small craft.
  • Give precedence to those engaged in organized activities and have regard to any instructions given by officials
  • Hail to draw a person’s attention to a situation which might result in inconvenience, damage or collision. Please treat, and apply, a hail as a friendly warning and not an insult.
  • If you trail a line for safety, remember it could get caught in another craft’s propeller. Fit a highly visible float or buoy to the trailing end.
  • Avoid ingesting river or canal water and cover open cuts or sores. If you have flu-like symptoms within a few days of using the waterway tell your doctor and mention the possibility of Weill’s Disease.


Help Keep a Healthy River

  • Take your rubbish away with you.
  • Avoid damage to banks, the riverbed and bankside vegetation - this can lead to erosion. You can help by only launching and landing at purpose made launch points.
  • In particular avoid dragging craft and equipment over, or stepping onto, the edges of soft banks.


Be Fishing Friendly

  • Pass anglers with as little noise and disturbance as possible and avoid loitering in pools if anyone is fishing.
  • Keep away from banks being fished, and from fishing tackle.
  • Comply with reasonable directional requests.


Consider Other People

  • Avoid colliding with moored or moving craft.
  • Park sensibly without causing obstruction, do not block gateways or load and unload vehicles in awkward places.
  • Keep noise to a minimum.
  • Get changed out of public view.
  • Whenever possible come ashore at recognized landing places; do not trespass on private property or moorings.
  • Inexperience boaters should avoid mooring areas until they have full control of their craft.
  • Always carry a valid licence, and where provided display a licence sticker on your craft.