Avon Navigation Trust
Welcome to the website of the Avon Navigation Trust, the statutory navigational authority for the River Avon.
The navigable river Avon runs from Alveston Weir above Stratford-upon Avon, for 47 miles, winding its way through the Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire countryside, down to Tewkesbury where it joins the river Severn. We hope you will enjoy the natural beauty of the river and find this website useful.
ANT is run as a charity. The objectives for which the Trust is established are the preservation, maintenance in good order, and improvement of canals, navigable rivers and inland waterways 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 Exectutive 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. The works team is made up of welders, fitters and boatmen, they work as required, up and down the river, maintaining the navigation.
Reachmasters and other volunteers help the Trust with light maintenance work, manning locks on busy days, and assisting boaters. One lock on the Navigation, Avon Lock at Tewkesbury, is manned with a full-time in the season lock keeper who checks and collects licence tolls.
The Trust is a 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 the 1st 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 Navigation Trust’s maintenance yard and wharf is next to the offices at Wyre, and includes moorings for the workboats, cranes, excavators, engineering workshops, equipment stores, and spare gear supplies. The Trust has it’s own fleet of workboats, 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 suppliment our other income. 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 or 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 as little as £10, but adds valuable funds. Application forms to join are available here, or contact the Trust’s office if you would like us to send one.
We need your help to run the Navigation. Volunteers provide much needed assistance to the Trust; their work is vital to maintaining and improving this historic waterway, and they create goodwill amongst the boaters and other users on our beautiful river.
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.
Reachmasters 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. They 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.