Coronavirus Statement – River Wey & Godalming Navigations – 5th November 2020
These are unprecedented times and the National Trust Wey and Godalming Navigations has been working hard to make sure our response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic follows Government advice, in the best interests of the health of our staff and volunteers, visitors and all river users.
Since the first lockdown ended over the summer we have done our best to maintain our sites and services as close as possible to business as usual, keeping waterways and facilities open for everyone to enjoy afloat and on foot, subject to following Government guidance. However, following the announcement from the Government about the England’s new restrictions, we have taken the difficult decision to introduce limits to the use of the Navigations once again to support the instruction to stop all non-essential travel.
We will keep these limitations under constant review in the light of the developing situation and advice from Government. Our priority is to keep our staff, volunteers, visitors and river users safe, and we will be working to make sure that everybody can get back to enjoying everything our waterway has to offer when the current restrictions are lifted.
Our lengthsmen and maintenance team are continuing to take care of the navigations for everyone during this difficult time, but on a reduced timetable and only undertaking urgent and necessary work, including managing water levels. Please keep your distance from them as they work.
Please help us by getting in touch only if it’s essential. If you do need to contact us, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full Government guidance on coronavirus go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Thank you all for your co-operation during these very challenging times for everyone.
How will these restrictions affect powered boats?
We are asking the owners of all boats kept or used on our navigations not to make any journeys on their boats, other than to access essential services and facilities.
We will do the very best we can to keep open the essential facilities we provide (e.g. water supply and chemical toilet disposal), for those who need them. However, we will not be able to offer the sale of keys at this time other than at Thames Lock by appointment.
We advise river users to stay at home rather than self-isolating aboard, unless your boat is your primary residence. This is so you do not put yourself at increased risk or place additional burden upon our facilities or the emergency services.
Thames Lock is now closed other than for emergency boat movement, which should be communicated to the lock keeper in advance in writing. Should it be necessary for our team to operate the lock, it is essential that social distancing and other public health advice should be observed at all times, for the safety of our staff and lock users.
How will these restrictions affect self-propelled craft?
The public may currently use the Navigation in line with government guidelines for exercise and providing social distancing measures are observed at all times.
It should however be noted that both British Canoeing and British Rowing are awaiting clarification from the Government on the status of these activities, and our position may change as further details are forthcoming.
How will these restrictions affect fishing?
Fishing is a permissible form of outdoor recreation, requiring an Environment Agency rod licence. You can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual, and social distancing measures must be observed at all times.
How will these restrictions affect use of the towpath?
The public may use the towpath in line with government guidelines for one form of exercise per day, and social distancing measures are observed at all times. Please be aware that in places the towpath is narrow, and the public will need to collaborate to keep the mandatory distance from others.
Do I still need to license my boat?
A reminder that boat licensing on the Wey is for a full year from January to December, so if you have a boat on the navigation it should be paid for. This income helps us to care for the waterway for everyone for ever.