kayaking on the Lea

Discussion on local sporting fixtures and clubs
Joby
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Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 12:09 pm

kayaking on the Lea

Postby Joby » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 2:14 pm

I picked up a kayak at the weekend with the intention of going for a paddle up and down the river (both Beane and Lea) with the kids. Does anyone know if I need any kind of license or permit to do this? I can't find anything online that specifically states one way or another (it seems licenses are required for canals and certain navigable rivers, but not all).

I'm sure this question has been asked before but I can't find the appropriate thread for the answer.

Thanks.

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Darcy Sarto
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Joined: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 7:38 am

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Darcy Sarto » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 3:03 pm

Found this:

http://canoelondon.com/places-to-canoe-in-london/

Which says:

"The River Lee and Limehouse Cut section are managed by British Watersways and, as long as you have a licence, you are entitled to paddle on any section of this waterway, throughout the year.

The registration cost was £30 in 2011. Alternatively, membership of the British Canoe Union (BCU) automatically includes an Environment Agency permit"...

Don't know if it helps?

Joby
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 12:09 pm

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Joby » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 3:39 pm

Thanks. I did see that page but wasn't sure whether it just applied to the London part of the river. However, looking at the British Waterways map it appears that the whole navigable stretch from Hertford is under the administration of British Waterways, so it appears a license is required.

So, second question...has anyone ever seen any British Waterways kayak police patrolling the river on Hartham? ;)

codek2
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Joined: Tue 12 Nov, 2013 4:32 pm

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby codek2 » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 5:12 pm

by the letter of the law to cycle along a towpath you also need a license. Or that was certainly the case a few years ago.

However those licenses were actually free.

Joby
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 12:09 pm

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Joby » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 5:19 pm

You no longer need a license for cycling on the towpath, that was changed several years ago.

Unfortunately the license for canoeing is not free - it comes in around £39 for the year. To be honest, I'm struggling to understand why the license is so expensive (perhaps it contains some kind of public liability insurance) - just looks like profiteering to me.

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Darcy Sarto
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Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Darcy Sarto » Mon 11 Aug, 2014 5:33 pm

Joby wrote:Thanks. I did see that page but wasn't sure whether it just applied to the London part of the river. However, looking at the British Waterways map it appears that the whole navigable stretch from Hertford is under the administration of British Waterways, so it appears a license is required.

So, second question...has anyone ever seen any British Waterways kayak police patrolling the river on Hartham? ;)


Can't say I have - they probably have bigger fish to fry...... (fnar, fnar ;) )

Kateg28
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Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 9:53 am

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Kateg28 » Tue 12 Aug, 2014 8:45 am

I (and my son) are members of Broxbourne Rowing Club and I can confirm you do need a licence for each boat.

The rowing club used to be able to pay a bulk fee for the whole club but a year or so ago it changed and we have to pay a fee for each boat. It is not the cost that is the issue (although that has gone up significantly I think), it is the whole administration of it. The club has many many boats and some of them are in disrepair or mid repair and we have to deal with all that. As a voluntary club, it is a big time overhead. We also store individual's boats so the responsibility of paying the licence becomes and issue.....

Anyhow, rant over.

I will say however that as a result of being on the water a lot, we do see a lot of maintenance of the river and the tow path. After a big storm in October last year, there were several trees down, blocking the towpath completely and partially blocking the actual river. The storm was on Sunday night and into Monday and yet all the trees were dealt with by Tuesday lunchtime and passage was cleared. I was actually impressed.

Joby
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 12:09 pm

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Joby » Tue 12 Aug, 2014 10:27 am

Thanks for the info, kateg28. From the reading I'd done I didn't realise that individual boats needed licensing, just the paddler. This is from the BCU page:

Q.Does everyone in the boat need to be a member?
A.The principle of the licence is that the canoe/kayak which a member is paddling is licensed on the water covered in the scheme so long as the member is actually in the canoe/kayak.
The member may take non-members passengers; however the canoe is unlicensed, if the member is not on board. Passengers do not have third party insurance.

So it sounds like the license you get via BCU membership is for the individual, not the boat.

It's all a bit confusing...

Kateg28
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Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 9:53 am

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby Kateg28 » Tue 12 Aug, 2014 12:44 pm

That is a bit. However it is definitely the boat as we have had to go through them all and get them individually licenced (I was not involved so don't know details). Seems very confusing when it also mentions members. Maybe it is different for Kayaks/canoes as opposed to a club licence?

All our boats can only be used if a rowing club member is in the boat (or supervising from the bank for singles). I am not allowed out on my own in a boat as not deemed competent yet (only started rowing in May).

My son is competent but under 18 so he is also not allowed out unaccompanied although I can be the 'responsible' adult with him :D (although I have to cycle with him, he refuses to row with me as I am so rubbish :shock: ). The club is actually quite strict about safety, rightly so, as it impacts the rowers, the expensive boats and other river users!

I do see a lot of kayaks and canoes when out for a row so there must be a club nearby. Might be worth joining them as there will be a social aspect and help with legalities.

mdja
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu 05 Dec, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: kayaking on the Lea

Postby mdja » Tue 12 Aug, 2014 4:15 pm

You may get some advice here - or maybe even be tempted to join ... http://www.hertscanoeclub.co.uk/ I frequently see them paddling about in the water.

Does the license apply to all types of boat? I've been tempted a few times to take my coracle out in the water, only it needs some repairing...


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