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Boat and fishing licences

Boat licences

If you want to navigate any type of barge, boat or canoe on a navigable river or canal, you will need a licence issued by the individual waterway's owners or managers - there is currently no national licence arrangements (except for canoes issued by Canoe England). Before issuing a licence, most waterways require all boats to comply with the Boat Safety Scheme, and may require you to hold a Boat Safety Certificate to prove this.

For some major rivers, such as the Thames, the Environment Agency is the licensing authority. The majority of boaters however hold licences issued by the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) who manage most canals and a number of rivers in England and Wales.

The Basingstoke Canal and the River Wey & Godalming Navigations however are not managed by the Canal & River Trust. Separate licences are required from The Basingstoke Canal and the National Trust.

Fishing licences

The standard fishing licence required everywhere is the Environment Agency Rod Licence.

In addition to a rod licence, anglers require a licence, permit or day ticket from the holder of fishing rights on a particular waterway, pond or lake.

There is generally a "closed season" where fishing is banned to allow fish to breed. Many coarse fisheries are closed 15 March to 15 June but the precise season will vary depending on the waterway and the type of fishery.

You can find more information on fishing on the Basingstoke Canal website, see above.