If you’re like me, you may have enjoyed paddling on vacation but never tried the UK activity. With the recent focus on stays and people who vacation closer to home, sales of paddleboards have exploded!
There are a few things you should know before going on the water. The first is that there is a good chance that you will need a waterway license to paddle in the UK.
Do I need a permit or a waterway license to use my Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)?
Not all UK waterways require a license. However, if you are paddling, kayaking or canoeing in England or Wales, it is quite likely that you will be crossing waters that require a permit.
Over 5,000 km of waterways are managed by the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and other waterway authorities.
Why do I need a license?
Because you may be entering! This is a hotly contested topic that is currently being examined by the government. However, when you join a partner like British Canoeing, you help maintain the waterways you paddle by providing the necessary services such as starting point maintenance, shore maintenance, and removal of invasive species that paddle and more can complicate.
How do I get a waterway permit?
The most comprehensive waterway license for England is included in a British Canoeing “On the Water” British Canoeing membership. If you live in Wales, join in Canoe Wales membership;; in Scotland you can join Canoe Scotland (Scotland has “roaming rights” and you don’t need a permit) and if you live in Northern Ireland you will join the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.
Here is a complete list of Waterways covered by British canoeing Membership. This Paddlepoint’s card also gives some ideas of locations. If you just think you will be paddling on your local waterways, you can buy a license directly from this authority.
What do I get with a UK canoe membership?
With the British Canoe Memberships “On the Water” you get a full Waterways license to paddle 5,000 km of waterways In the United Kingdom.
Another benefit is member discounts, including 20% off Cotswold, Snow & Rock, Runnersneed, 10% Halfords & Dryrobe. They also offer tips for members on the latest trails. You’ll also join a community of 38,000 like-minded paddlers!
Is the water permit for the ship or per person?
It is per person. Family discounts (see below)
What does a paddle license cost?
A British canoe license “On the Water” for adults costs £ 45. You can take part British canoeing here.
Other British Canoe Memberships:
Youth (under 18) £ 27
Adolescent (19-22) £ 35
Adults (23+) 45
Common £ 80
Family membership discount
There is a discount for family memberships. A family of 2 adults and 2 children can join for £ 122 (instead of £ 144). Additional children cost £ 10 each.
Unfortunately, British canoeing doesn’t make it easy to find family membership! Here is a PDF that explains how to get family membership.
Hope you can make it to the water soon!
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