Although most experienced paddlers will have heard of a Waterways Licence, it’s pretty understandable that those people who are completely new to kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding and may have just treated themselves to a new craft recently; may not have.  What follows here then is a quick guide to getting yourself a Waterway Licence together with the other benefits of taking out a British Canoeing On the Water Membership.

Britain’s waterways are owned, maintained and operated by a myriad of different individuals and organisations.  As such, you need permission in the form of a licence to paddle on them.  Much like people who enjoy fishing require a permit to fish in a particular stretch of water, a Waterways Licence gives you access to a whopping 4500km of British Waterways.  On many stretches of inland waterway a Waterways Licence is actually legal requirement and people falling foul of having one can face hefty fines. 

The good news is that at £45 a year, the British Canoeing Waterways Licence is an affordable way for you to get out and explore new stretches of river and canal.  What’s more, is that the money generated from each British Canoeing Waterways Licence is reinvested into the waterways to make them cleaner, safer and more accessible than ever before.  From flood damage repairs and managing water quality and levels, to stocking rivers with fish and aquatic life and repairing erosion; a Waterways Licence goes a long way to keep the environments that we all love to spend time in in the best condition possible.

Furthermore, a British Canoeing On The Water membership with included Waterways Licence provides members with Public Liability Insurance so you can paddle with ease of mind and access to discounted craft insurance.  Finally, membership also makes you part of a nationwide community of kayakers, canoers and stand up paddle boarders and gives you a voice and a platform as part of the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign, which fights for better paddler rights and access – something which has become ever-more important over recent years as some waterways are considered closed to paddlers and off-limits!

Basically, there’s not a lot to dislike about the British Canoeing On The Water membership.  You get access to thousands of kilometres of waterway, help to sustain, protect and improve the waterways that you love to paddle on and join a community of paddlers striving to open up access to even more disputed waterways. 

Interested?  Get one here:

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