These are unprecedented times and the National Trust Wey and Godalming Navigations has been working hard to make sure our response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic follows Government advice, in the best interests of the health of our staff and volunteers, visitors, neighbours and all river users.
Following the recent changes announced by the Government about the UK’s response to the Coronavirus emergency, we have taken the decision to reopen the Navigations over the coming weeks.
We will keep these limitations under constant review in the light of the developing situation and advice from Government. Meanwhile we will endeavour to make sure that everybody can get back to enjoying everything our waterway has to offer when the current restrictions are fully lifted.
Our lengthsmen and maintenance team have been looking after the River Wey during lockdown, and thanks to them we are able to reopen very quickly. They continue to take of the navigations for everyone, including managing water levels, so please keep your distance from them as they work, but feel free to give them a smile.
Please help us by getting in touch only if it’s essential, as we have a reduced team while our colleagues are on furlough. If you do need to contact us, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full Government guidance on coronavirus go to http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Thank you all for your co-operation during these very challenging times for everyone.
How will this affect powered boats?
. Privately owned licenced powered boats may be used on the Wey & Godalming Navigations from Saturday 16th May 2020, until further notice.
. Day trips only are permitted, you may not overnight on board, and you must return to your home mooring by sunset.
. Do not have anyone aboard that does not live in your home including family.
. Observe social distancing at all times.
. Do not share locks with other boats.
. Carry suitable cleaning products and wipe down touch points in locks before and after use.
. Wash your hands with soap and water after using locks or touching any surface others may have used.
. If other boats waiting to go through a lock attempt to assist you, use a common-sense approach and politely tell them you can manage on your own.
. At locks ask members of the public politely to move back if you are concerned social distancing may be compromised.
. You must tie up properly in locks, fore and aft. Repair to damaged locks because of a lack of due care and attention puts others at risk.
. Ensure, when you stop to moor, you know where you are in case you need to call emergency services.
. If you moor, ensure you are on towpath wide enough to support compliance with social distancing (a gang plank could help to achieve this).
. Do not set up tables and chairs outside anywhere that may make social distancing difficult for towpath users.
. Thoroughly check your boat’s electrical and mechanical systems before setting off to diminish the possibility of breakdown.
. Please be patient with other river users.
. Staff will be working on the Navigation, please maintain social distancing and allow them to work safely.
. Please follow any and all instruction given to you by National Trust staff.
. We will do the very best we can to keep open the essential facilities we provide (e.g water supply and chemical toilet disposal), for those who need them. However, we will not be able to offer the sale of keys at this time other than at Thames Lock by appointment.
. Thames Lock remains closed until the River Thames is open for navigation, other than that for emergency boat movement, which should be communicated to the lock keeper in advance in writing. Should it be necessary for our team to operate the lock, it is essential that social distancing and other public health advice should be observed at all times, for the safety of our staff and lock users.
How will this affect self-propelled craft?
. The public may use the Navigation from Saturday 16th May 2020 in line with government guidelines on exercise, providing social distancing measures are observed at all times.
. Please ensure you have licensed your craft for the Navigations before using it. For details contact email@example.com
How will this affect fishing?
. All fishing rights are currently suspended on the Navigations until the season starts on 15th June. Further information will be released before this date.
How will this affect the use of the towpath?
. The public may use the towpath in line with government guidelines and social distancing measures must be observed at all times.
. Please be aware that in places the towpath is narrow, and the public will need to collaborate to keep the mandatory distance from others.
. Running and cycling are both permitted, but care must be taken, and pedestrians should be given the right of way.
. If the towpath is busy, please cycle or run elsewhere.
What is happening to the weir in Guildford?
. Urgent repairs are now underway on the breach at Millbrook in the centre of Guildford and we plan to re-water this length of the navigation in mid-June. We thank all river users for their patience during this time, as we worked with partners to address this issue. We look forward to having the navigations back to full use when the current movement restrictions are lifted, so we can all enjoy the unique combination of natural beauty and industrial heritage we are all so passionate about.
Do I still need to license my boat?
. A reminder that boat licensing on the Wey is for a full year from January to December, so if you have a boat on the navigation it should be paid for now. This income helps us to care for the waterway for everyone, for ever.
What happens if these measures are not observed?
. The safety of rivers users and National Trust staff and volunteers is our priority. We must all work together in co-operation to make this successful – if at any time the National Trust becomes aware that these measures are not being implemented by all, the use of the river may be suspended.