Show search form

British Canoeing update on paddlesport activity

First published 26 March 2020

Updated 20 April 2020

Members will recognise that we are in a very fast changing situation, responding to the advice and guidance  related to the Coronavirus situation.

With regards to paddlesport activity, British Canoeing has issued the following guidance:

In light of the government’s Stay at Home measures and following guidance issued by the Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust, which impacts the usage of waterways, British Canoeing strongly recommends that all paddlesport activity should cease on rivers, waterways and coastal areas until further notice.

This is in line with government advice requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, avoiding social gatherings and all non-essential travel.

Environment Agency

Guidance issued to British Canoeing - 7 April 2020

The Environment Agency is asking the owners of all boats, kept or used on our managed waterways, not to make any journeys on their boats other than to access essential services and facilities.

This guidance applies to all boats and craft, powered and non-powered.

The only boat movements supported at this time are for live-aboard boaters who need to access essential services, and for commercial operators who provide essential services to support those living on the water.

We have advised that all other boat movements should stop and we do not consider boating for recreational purposes, powered or unpowered, to be adhering to the government guidelines.

Environment Agency Update for Boaters 3 - 20 April 2020 - PDF

Environment Agency Update for Boaters 2 - 2 April 2020 - PDF

Environment Agency Update for Boaters dated 26 March 2020 - PDF

Canal & River Trust

The latest information from the Canal & River Trust is available on their website and includes the following guidance:

Can I still canoe or kayak?

No, we have suspended canoeing and other paddle sports on our waterways for the time being.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

The RNLI is advising the public not to use the sea for exercise or recreation

HM Coastguard

Latest HM Coastguard advice: Visiting coastal areas during COVID-19

Port of London Authority

COVID-19 restrictions on recreation and leisure activities

Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park Authority is urging people to avoid travel and remain at home in a plea to help protect its rural communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay at Home

The new measures announced by government state that people in the country will only be allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:

• shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;

• one form of exercise a day – such as a walk, run or bike ride - alone or with members of your household;

• any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

• travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Coronavirus General Guidance

For general queries related to Coronavirus, please follow government guidance. The latest information can be found using the links below:

National Associations

We recognise that decisions that apply to activities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taken by the devolved administrations.

For further information and current advice on paddlesport activity please contact:

Scottish Canoe Association - Upated advice 12 April 2020

Canoe Wales 

Canoe Association of Northern Ireland