Avon Navigation Trust
Welcome to the website of the Avon Navigation Trust, the statutory navigational authority for the River Avon.
The navigable reaches of the River Avon are from Alveston Weir above Stratford-upon Avon, for 47.2 miles, winding its way through the Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire countryside, to Tewkesbury where it joins the River Severn. We hope you will enjoy the natural beauty of the river and find this website useful.
Avon Navigation Trust is a Registered Charity. The objectives of the Trust are to administer, maintain, improve and extend the River Avon for navigation for the use of the public.
The Trust is governed by a board of Trustees on the Council of Management, who are all volunteers, appointed by the ordinary members of the Trust in General Meeting. The Council meets bi-monthly to decide on policy and direction, and to agree on the planned works programme.
Day to day operation of the navigation is delegated to the Chief Executive who has a small team of administrative staff and works team, with the help and assistance of volunteers. The Chief Executive works from the Trust’s offices at Mill Wharf, Wyre Piddle, near to Pershore, supported by the Office Manager and Company Secretary. The works team is made up of welders, fitters and boatmen to maintain the navigation.
Reach Masters and other volunteers help the Trust with light maintenance work, manning locks on busy days, and assisting boaters. The only staffed lock on the navigation is Avon Lock at Tewkesbury, with a full-time in the season lock keeper who checks and collects licence tolls.
The Trust is an independent charity supported almost entirely by revenue from tolls for boat licences. It receives no funding from central or local government.
Avon Navigation Trust – history
The River Avon is believed to have been formed after the last ice age and its long history has helped shape the towns and communities it flows through. The recorded history of the Navigation on the River Avon can be traced right back to Charles I Letters of Patent in 1636 and the following 1751 Act of Parliament secured the right to navigate and put systems in place to manage the navigation.
The Lower Avon Navigation Trust (LANT) was constituted in 1950 and the Upper Avon Navigation Trust (UANT) in 1965 with a further Act of parliament in 1972. LANT and UANT amalgamated in 2010 to provide one continuous navigation authority on the river and renamed to become – Avon Navigation Trust (ANT)
Engineering Facilities & Work Boats
The Trust’s maintenance yard and wharf is next to the offices at Wyre Piddle, and includes moorings for the work boats, cranes, excavators, engineering workshops, equipment stores, and spare gear supplies. The Trust has it’s own fleet of work boats, including tugs, hoppers, barges and work flats used to carry out maintenance on the river and also conduct contract work earning much needed funds to help supplement income to maintain the navigation. The Navigation also has a wharf and store area at Luddington Lock.
You can support the work of the Trust by becoming a member. Members do not need to become involved, but they can attend the Annual General Meeting, ask questions, comment on how the river is run, nominate new members and trustees, and vote. In return the Trust sends a regular bulletin to keep members up to date with the latest information about the navigation, and related news and events.
Membership costs a minimum of £10.00, however you may wish to donate more and sign a Gift Aid declaration if you are a UK tax payer, this adds valuable funds towards the Trust’s objectives. You may apply to be a member on this website, or contact the Trust’s office if you would like us to send you an application form.
We need your help to run the navigation. Volunteers provide much needed assistance to the Trust; their work is vital in maintaining and improving this historic waterway, and to create goodwill and a friendly relationship amongst the boaters and other users on the beautiful River Avon.
Can you help with weekend lock duties in the summer months, painting, grass cutting, and general maintenance? Do you have a special skill or qualification? Would you like to join a works party or crew on one of the Trust’s work boats? If you can spare a few hours and would like to volunteer to help, please let us know.
Reach Masters are regular volunteers nominated to assist the Trust on a short stretch of the river including a lock. They notify the maintenance crew of any faults with the lock gear, help with painting and keeping the area tidy, and occasionally help boaters on busy weekends. The Reach Masters and Associates meet regularly and get support and training from the Trust’s staff. If you would like to become a Reach Master please contact the office.