How we monitor boat movement

How we monitor boat movements on the Trust's canal and river network

Checking boat licences Checking boat licences in Birmingham

Our process starts with the local teams patrolling the banks with hand-held computers. When our team record the location of a boat, it is recorded against a kilometre of each waterway. You can see the locations of all our kilometres lengths by checking our bespoke map.

14 days or less

All boats are required to move every 14 days (or sooner if notices require) unless they are at their home mooring. When boats stay longer than they’re allowed at a particular spot or area it can prevent others visiting. It may also be an indication that the boater has encountered a problem which is preventing them from moving on.

If our sightings records flag up that a boat has remained in the same general area and we are not aware of a reason why, we will send a reminder to ask them to continue their journey or make contact so we can discuss the matter. If multiple reminders are sent over a period of time then this may prompt us to review the case and see if further action is required.

With around 33,000 boats sharing 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, some rules to fairly share the mooring space are helpful.

“Please pass on our thanks to the officer who looks after Nantwich on the Shroppie. She has been so helpful following my husband’s accident.”


Please respect the time limits!

Your boat's licence includes permission to tie up for short periods along the towpath when you take a break from cruising. A short period means up to 14 days, or less if there's a sign along the bank indicating something different.  

One of the great things about canal boating is the ability to tie up almost anywhere. However, every boater depends on boatyard services in one form or another. These businesses are only viable because of the numbers of leisure boaters, who in turn depend on being able to tie up for short periods to go ashore.

If you need to stay in a particular area for an extended period, please be sensitive to other boaters' short term mooring needs and if necessary, seek out a home mooring. If you need to stay longer than the usual maximum stay time because you've broken down or some other similar emergency please contact our team as soon as possible to let us know as we may be able to arrange an extended stay.

“Just wanted to thank you so much for allowing us our overstay. I am feeling a lot better now and we moved on at the weekend but it was a much needed rest and made appointments much easier to get to at the time."


Last date edited: 3 March 2017