Best Practice


  • be considerate and respectful
  • respect the freshwater and marine environment
  • follow safety recommendations
  • be seen as a welcomed visitor

Follow these simple guidelines:

  • Leave the environment as you found it
  • Take your litter home with you
  • Keep noise to a minimum
  • Familiarise yourself with the local area, its sensitive places and protected areas
  • Canoe a safe distance away from wildlife
  • Do not damage bank side vegetation when launching or landing
  • Where possible keep to any designated paths or launching points
  • Do not 'seal' launch or drag boats to avoid wearing away natural banks. Float your canoe for launching, lift out when landing and carry it to and from the water. 
  • On coastal waters take care on shingle beaches - they may be nesting grounds
  • On rivers, avoid paddling over gravel banks in low water conditions – they may contain fish spawn.
  • Report pollution, wildlife problems, damage, incidents etc. to the relevant authorities.
  • Leave no trace of your visit 

Show Consideration for others:

On land

  • Stay away from houses and private gardens.
  • Change discreetly, using public facilities where possible.
  • Drive sensibly at all times.
  • Car parking - do not obstruct roads or entrances to buildings or farm property.
  • Ensure your kit does not cause an obstruction when unloading.
  • Leave gates positioned and property as you find it.
  • Avoid damage to fences and walls.

On water

  • Follow the general rules of navigation and any local by-laws. Obtain any necessary licences.
  • It is good practice when canoeing to respect and try not to obstruct other water users.
  • Keep a look out and be aware that larger vessels may not see you and are less maneuverable.
  • In confined waters, keep to the edge of the deepwater navigation channel.
  • Keep the numbers in your party consistent with safety, the nature of the stretch of river, and the impact on your surroundings.
  • When offering assistance to those in need, on or off the water, do not put yourself or fellow canoeists at risk.
  • Show consideration to organised bankside activities, and give way as required to on-water events.


  • Keep a look out for anglers while paddling. Anglers can be hard to spot on banks.
  • Co-operate to avoid lines, nets, and swims.
  • If it is unclear where to pass lines or swims, then quietly attract the attention of the angler and agree a route to follow.
  • When an angler is playing a fish from the bank or wading, stop some way off and await their acknowledgement to proceed.
  • Do not linger in pools or swims occupied by an angler.




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