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Canal and River Licences


(Published January 2022, replacing July 2018)


Most inland waters in England and Wales are privately owned and permission must be gained from the owner before carrying out any activities on these waters. There are some places where permission is not required:- the sea, most stretches of tidal water and some public and common law navigations. There are also waters which require licences in order for them to be used. This page gives details of these waters and the licensing authorities who manage them.

Identification of craft

All boats operated owned or operated by members on behalf of the Scouts must have a unique identifier. This could be in the form of a sticker (boat stickers are available from Scout Store), clearly marked number, or simply be part of a small fleet made up of different coloured boats. Some craft such as dinghies already have unique numbers which could be used for this purpose. The unique identifier will enable groups to monitor the checking, maintenance and use of each boat. This will also assist with the long term planning for renewal and the budget implications associated with such renewals.


Licensing Authorities