We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Navigation advisory group

Maintaining canal and river navigations for use by boats is at the core of what the Trust does. We want to ensure that our managers’ decisions are well informed by those who navigate the waterways regularly.

Boat on the canal Boat on the canal

The Navigation Advisory Group comprises boaters with a variety of backgrounds to bring as broad a range of perspectives as possible to decision making.

There are two sub groups:

Navigation Operations

Advice relating to safety standards, waterway operation, maintenance & repairs, and customer service standards.

  • Sue Cawson - historic narrowboat owner and champion of navigation issues for the Historic Narrowboat Club. Current chair of SUFBRS – the society responsible for the care and restoration of fly boat Saturn.
  • John Baylis – extensive experience of national boating issues amassed through 45 years of boating. Ex-chairman of the IWA Navigation Committee, a post held for 12 years. Ran restoration of Frankton Locks on Montgomery Canal for Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). Now largely uses his metal and design work skills through work with WRG.
  • David Fletcher – engineering consultant in the oil industry, boat owner and Chairman of the National Association of Boat Owners.
  • Mike Carter – Committee member of the Commercial Boat Operators' Association (CBOA), owner of a mooring basin and more latterly owner and proprietor of a repair yard/dry dock. Currently operates as a marine surveyor and consultant. Owns two historic craft. Mike was appointed as chair of the Navigation Operations (sub group) from Spring 2013
  • Kevin East – professional background in the telecoms industry on the civil and mechanical engineering side. Waterway and environment manager at Canoe England and a member of the Canoe Camping Club National Council.
  • Nigel Stevens - Nigel and his wife operate a hire fleet and full service boatyard with moorings in Yorkshire. Nigel was a Waterway Recovery Group organiser, and chairman of London IWA in the early 70s and later worked for the restoration of the Rochdale Canal.  He is a past chairman of the British Waterways Advisory Forum and the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators. He is a member of the Manchester & Pennine Waterway Partnership, and served in the Trust’s first Council as an elected member for boating business.
  • Gareth Jones has 25 years boating experience and currently lives on a narrowboat moored in a marina on the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal.  He has travelled and continues to travel the canal network extensively and has also worked for a season as a trip boat skipper running a boat across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Gareth is a member of the RBOA
  • Steve Wood lives on a converted historic working boat and travels the canal network extensively. He is passionate about the canals and restoration and is a Committee member and work party organiser for the Burslem Port Trust, leads the Uttoxeter Canal project, and is Deputy Chairman of IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch.  His IT skills have assisted these organisations to build websites and he has subsequently built a business around this 
  • Tony Stammers, Head of Health & Safety


Council member Vaughan Welch sits on this group as an observer to ensure that the wider council is kept fully briefed on its work. 

Licensing & Mooring

Advice relating to boat licensing and moorings policies and the way in which they are implemented. 

  • Paul Le Blique – a professional engineer and narrowboater of many years. Currently responsible for Navigation Authority Liaison for the Association of Waterway Cruising Clubs (AWCC).
  • Tim Parker – former chairman of Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO). Retired recently from Black Prince Holidays Ltd – a major hire fleet – where he was managing director.
  • Beryl McDowall – has lived on boats since the late 1960s and has worked on commercial craft for many years particularly on the Grand Union Canal south and River Soar. An officer of the Residential Boat Owners' Association (RBOA) since 1999. Owns small-scale mooring site on River Soar as well as leading a small C&RT volunteer group.
  • Mike Annan – Over 30 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector, more recently (before retirement) as CEO  of various housing associations. Currently chairman of the Buckingham Canal Society. Mike is also the chair of the Licensing & Moorings sub group.
  • Diane Warner - has been boating for over 10 years on both wide and narrow beam boats, living aboard and continuously cruising.  Diane has regularly volunteered with the Trust and the WRG, and administers two waterways-related Facebook groups.
  • Samantha Worrall - lives on her boat on the Kennet & Avon Canal and works for Julian House, a charity offering direct support to the socially excluded, as Gypsy, Traveller and boater outreach and engagement officer.
  • Dave Williams is a liveaboard boater who has extensive experience as a finance director and currently runs an internet payroll bureau.
  • Mark Tizard is vice chair of the National Association of Boat Owners.  With over 35 years of boating experience, Mark currently spends three to four months a year cruising away from his home mooring.  Formerly a director of two technology companies with a wealth of change management experience, Mark also fundraises and volunteers for various charities.
  • Lee Wilshire is a member of London's Better Relationships Group and is working on a number of projects on the canal network, from affordable moorings to a recycling barge. Lee, who is a planner and urban designer, lives on his boat.
  • Alison Tuck has been living aboard for 11 years, has been a continuous cruiser and now runs a business from her boats. A former chair of the Roving Canal Traders’ Association, Alison was one of the Trust’s first volunteer lock keepers, adopted the Warwick Bar stretch of the Grand Union Canal where she has her home mooring and has recently taken up canoeing.
  • Jon Horsfall, Interim Head of Boating
  • Matthew Symonds, Strategy & Engagement Manager

NAG (L&M) Terms of Reference

Last date edited: 21 February 2018