Open air Action meeting events

The Canal and River Trust lied to us. They are imposing reduced ‘water safety zones’. They are still taking 295 mooring spaces away.

We are organising events in Hackney and Broxbourne

The Hackney event will be at Daubeney Fields on Sunday 24rd October * at 11am

The Broxbourne event will be opposite the Rowing Club on the same day *Sunday 24th * at 3pm


Together as a community we will stop CRT behaving in this way!
Our actions will win!

Call for boaters to disobey CRT’s no mooring restrictions

After a successful campaign against the ‘safety zones’ which were to be implemented on the Lee Navigation in Broxbourne and Hackney, Canal and River Trust (CRT) advised the public that they would not be introducing them; unfortunately, we now know this to be not fully true.

Due to the actions of our community, much of the so-called ‘safety zones’ was scrapped. CRT claims that they are willing to discuss safety in a constructive way via the newly formed ‘Lee Navigation Forum.’ However, instead of engaging with the users of the waterways as promised, they are continuing to introduce the ‘no mooring’ sections of the ‘safety zones’, resulting in the unnecessary removal of 295 mooring spots. There is absolutely no justification for this.

With 140 people signed up already to disobey the restrictions, we encourage people to moor in the places with new ‘no mooring’ signage and pledge on the NBTA website to ignore CRT’s ‘Safety Zone’ mooring restrictions.

Mooring protest pledge here:

Here is a template letter for enforcement:

If enforcement contacts you, you can send them this letter. The NBTA will put our full support behind anyone who disobeys the restrictions.

We are organising events in Hackney and Broxbourne.

The Hackney event will be at Daubeney Fields on *24th October * at 11am

The Broxbourne event will be opposite the Rowing Club on the same day *Sunday 24th * at 3pm


Bring your boats, bring yourself.

Together as a community we will stop CRT behaving in this way!
Our actions will win!

Find the new poster to put on your boat here:

 We are moored here in protest poster | National Bargee Travellers
Association – London Branch (

Template letter ‘safety zones’ enforcement

Download and print here:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am moored at my current location in accordance with the Public Right of Navigation, which has existed on all navigable natural and canalised rivers, including the River Lee, since Time Immemorial.

The Common Law Public Right of Navigation was first codified in the
Magna Carta of 1215. Halsbury’s Laws of England, 5th edition, paragraph
691, states:

“The public right of navigation includes the right … to remain for a
convenient time, to load and unload, to moor and fix temporary moorings in the waterway”

The length of time that can be considered “convenient” cannot be
determined in advance. According to Moore v British Waterways [2013]
EWCA Civ 73, paragraph 63, a reasonable right of stopping:

“….must depend upon circumstances. You cannot lay down à priori what is reasonable”.

This Common Law right cannot be extinguished by Byelaws or Terms and Conditions.

Canal & River Trust does not have the authority to restrict mooring on the River Lee. I am moored at this location in good faith and in accordance with the law. In view of this, any sanctions applied to me in relation to my current mooring would not be supported by the law and would be challenged by the National Bargee Travellers Association.

Yours faithfully,

Boat Owners

Lost of moorings in Somerset stopped

Bath & North East Somerset Council were planning to get rid of a stretch of 14 day moorings in Saltford, on the River Avon. 

Well, that was until a boater with the support of the Community Law Partnership challenged them with a Judicial Review of the Council’s decision. The Council then backed down from removing the 14 day moorings. They are now still 14 day moorings for everyone to use if they want.

A win somewhere is a win for us all.

Boaters put in more than they take out

From time to, CRT comes out with statements saying boaters are using up too much of CRT funds, however the truth is very different. In fact over the years, boaters pay more and more. The last published Annual Report in 2019/20 stated that CRT received £41.6 million in income from ‘Boating and mooring’. In which 21.6 million was from just boat licences. On the other hand when asked how much they spent on boater facilities in the same year, it was just over 2 million. Of course, more is spent on the upkeep of the waterways than boater facilities however it would near impossible to tell much each waterway user should pay for what. 

Nevertheless, in general it looks like we as boaters put in a load more than we take out. So next time CRT says something like ‘too many boats are causing too much strain on facilities’, call it what it is, bullshit.

CRT backsdown over safety zones

NBTA London statement on Canal and River Trust’s response to the River Lee Water Safety Zones stakeholder engagement exercise.

Yesterday’s climbdown response by Canal and River Trust (CRT) to the stakeholder engagement with respect to the River Lee Water Safety Zones, carried out by Hopkins Van Mil, represents a massive victory for the boating community of London.
Supported and facilitated by NBTA London, boaters in London have come together to organise against CRT’s attempts to remove hundreds of casual moorings on the River Lee. In a little over six months we have succeeded in forcing CRT to abandon their draconian proposals to make life on the Lee more challenging for boaters.
Through a campaign which included leafleting boaters and non-boaters on the towpath, two flotillas in Broxbourne and Hackney, one of which saw over fifty boats cruising the Lee between Clapton and Hackney Wick, and coverage in national and local press, we have highlighted the negative impact of CRT’s unreasonable and misguided proposals on our community.
As the result of our actions, CRT has today retracted their proposals for the “safety zones”. NBTA London would like to congratulate the hundreds of boaters from London and around the country who have contributed to this victory.
CRT still believes that the “safety zones” are necessary in some form or another, so our work on this is not necessarily finished. But now they know our community has the taste of success in this campaign and we shall not just stand by while they make any new attempts to introduce measures which will have a negative effect on our community.
The full engagement report by Hopkins Van Mil can be found here:

CRT’s response to the stakeholder engagement can be found here:


In the recent infamous Zoom meeting in which Canal and River Trust (CRT) attempted to manage the discontent of boaters with the River Lee “safety” zones, Ros Daniels, regional director for London and the South East, referred to those of us who were resistant to their attempts to justify their proposals as “these people”.

It is perhaps tempting to regard the “these people” comment as a slip of the tongue, but it is nearer to the truth that in fact it is merely reflective of how CRT truly regards boaters without a home mooring who cruise the London waterways (and other locations). To CRT, and its predecessor British Waterways (BW), we have always been “these people”. And further more, there has always been too many of us.

In 2011, claiming that boat numbers on the Lee and Stort was too high, BW attempted to impose 6 neighbourhoods covering the whole of the Lee and Stort (4 on the Lee, 2 on the Stort). Boaters would be allowed to stay in a neighbourhood for only 14 days (7 on the Stort and Hertford Union) before moving to the next. Like the CRT’s safety zones, BW’s
proposals were founded on wafer thin evidence, which Sally Ash, BW’s head of boating, said was collected “informally” And like CRT’s “safety zones”, there was no consultation.

Later, in 2014, Sally Ash, now working for CRT and once described as the most hated person in CRT, blamed boaters without a home mooring for spoiling everybody’s enjoyment of the waterways.
The Lee & Stort mooring strategy led to the formation of London Boaters as a campaigning group to defend the rights of boaters in London, and resulted in an humiliating retraction at their hands.

But “neighbourhoods” were not dead. Failing to learn from BW’s mistake, CRT picked up the idea in 2014 and trialled them on the Kennet and Avon. Despite struggling to form anything approaching a legal proposal. Predictably, the trial crashed and burned…until the
next time CRT looked at trying them on parts of the K&A, which along with London, is CRT’s main target for new “policies”, in 2016.
The executives at CRT pay lip service to supporting liveaboard boaters and the benefits of having them on the water; but the examples of how CRT’s continual attempts to justify its existence target boaters without a home mooring could fill a book.

Whether it is mooring plans, boating strategies, number management or “safety” zones, the fact remains that it is we who are affected disproportionately negatively.

That is the price of being “these people”.

A volunteer organisation formed in 2009 campaigning and providing advice for itinerant boat dwellers on Britain’s inland and coastal waterways