15.00hrs – 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, neighbours and all river users.
We will keep limitations on the Navigations under constant review in the light of the developing situation and advice from Government. Meanwhile we will endeavor to make sure that everybody can get back to enjoying everything our waterway has to offer when the current restrictions are fully lifted.
Our lengthsmen and maintenance team have been looking after the River Wey during lockdown, and thanks to them we were able to reopen very quickly. They continue to take care of the navigations for everyone, including managing water levels, so please keep your distance from them as they work, but feel free to give them a smile.
Please help us by getting in touch only if it’s essential, as we have a reduced team while our colleagues are on furlough. If you do need to contact us, we encourage you to email us at email@example.com
For the full Government guidance on coronavirus go to http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Thank you all for your co-operation during these very challenging times for everyone.
How will this affect powered boats?
• Privately owned licenced powered boats may be used on the Wey & Godalming Navigations from Saturday 16th May 2020, until further notice. From 4th July 2020 river users can overnight on their vessels.
• Hire boats for day use can be used on the navigations from 13th June 2020 and for overnight stays from the 4th July 2020.
• Do not have anyone aboard that does not live in your home or part of your home ‘bubble’.
• Do not share locks with other boats and observe social distancing at all times.
• Carry suitable cleaning products and wipe down touch points in locks before and after use.
• Wash your hands with soap and water after using locks or touching any surface others may have used.
• If other boats waiting to go through a lock attempt to assist you, use a common-sense approach and politely tell them you can manage on your own.
• At locks ask members of the public politely to move back if you are concerned social distancing may be compromised.
• You must tie up properly in locks, fore and aft. Repair to damaged locks because of a lack of due care and attention puts our teams at unnecessary risk.
• Ensure, when you stop to moor, you know where you are in case you need to call emergency services.
• If you moor, ensure you are on tow path wide enough to support compliance with social distancing (a gang plank could help to achieve this).
• Do not set up tables and chairs outside anywhere that may make social distancing difficult for tow path users.
• Thoroughly check your boat’s electrical and mechanical systems before setting off to diminish the possibility of breakdown.
• Please be patient with other river users.
• Staff will be working on the Navigation, please maintain social distancing and allow them to work safely.
• Please follow any and all instruction given to you by National Trust staff.
• 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.
• Thames Lock office is open and there is no longer a need to book boat passage. When our team are operating the lock, it is essential that social distancing and other public health advice is observed at all times, for the safety of our staff and lock users.
How will this affect self-propelled craft?
- • The public may use the Navigation from Saturday 16th May 2020 in line with government guidelines on exercise, providing social distancing measures are observed at all times.
- • Please ensure you have licensed your craft for the Navigations before using it. For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How will this affect fishing?
Close season ended on 15th June 2020 and you are once again able to fish the navigations but to ensure the safety of all please note the following:
- • When choosing a place to fish please ensure there is sufficient room to enable other towpath users to observe social distancing. Avoid the areas where the towpath is narrow.
- • Do not share equipment with anyone that does not live in your home.
- • The towpath has been busier than usual of late and you may have difficulty finding a suitable place to fish at times whilst maintaining social distancing. Please be
- prepared to collaborate with others to keep mandatory distances and you may find it necessary to seek alternative locations during busy periods.
The usual conditions apply:
- • You must have an Environment Agency rod licence.
- • You must be a member of the relevant fishing club (Godalming, Guildford, Thames Valley or Byfleet) or purchase a day ticket available from club bailiffs.
- • You must follow club rules and regulations and National Trust byelaws.
How will this affect use of the towpath?
- • The public may use the towpath in line with government guidelines and social distancing measures must be 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.
- • Running and cycling are both permitted, but care must be taken, and pedestrians should be given right of way.
- • If the towpath is busy, please cycle or run elsewhere.
What is happening to the weir in Guildford?
- • The National Trust, Guildford Borough Council and the Environment Agency have been working together to repair the collapsed weir on the River Wey at Millbrook in the centre of Guildford, following the breach this winter. Phase one repairs are now complete and the waterway reopened on 20th June 2020. Although it hasn’t been possible to replace the pedestrian bridge in this phase, we are pleased to have the rest of the navigations back to full use so we can all enjoy the unique combination of natural beauty and industrial heritage we are all so passionate about.
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 now. This income helps us to care for the waterway for everyone, for ever.
What happens if these measures are not observed?
The safety of rivers users and National Trust staff and volunteers is our priority. We must all work together in cooperation to make this successful – if at any time the National Trust becomes aware that these measures are not being implemented by all, the use of the river may be suspended.
You can also check the latest river conditions by calling Thames Lock 01932 843106 or the Navigations office 01483 561389 (recorded message not updated at weekends).