Frequently Asked Questions 


The River Avon – Where is it? (ANT’s River Avon) 

This might sound like a strange question – but is a good question.

‘Avon’ in Old English (and welsh) means ‘River’. For that reason, there are around 9 River Avons in the UK, with 5 in England, 1 in wales and 3 in Scotland.

ANT is the Navigation Authority for the ‘Warwickshire Avon’, and responsible for the navigation of the 47 mile section from Alveston Weir, Stratford upon Avon, on through Bidford on Avon in Warwickshire, through Evesham and Pershore in Worcestershire and onto Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire. (so this is NOT the River Avon in or near Bristol) 

As well as one of the most beautiful rivers on the inland waterway network, the Warwickshire River Avon also makes up part of the Avon Ring, joining the canal network at Stratford and the River Severn at Tewkesbury for a longer trip.  


Licence Questions


Where is the information on purchasing a licence? Visit the licences page where you can now buy your licence online

Do all boats need a current licence before they launch?   YES, it is a condition of the bylaws that all craft require a licence. This includes all boats that are afloat, in moorings or tributaries. 

What other requirements are there to launch a boat? In order to buy a licence, and use a boat on the river, even if its just moored, you will also need to have marine insurance and if applicable for the type of craft a Boat Safety Certificate. Click here to visit the BSS site. 

Previously, I paid in instalments by standing order- is this still available? No, this is no longer available as a standard payment option. However, the Trust has always offered the option to contact the office if you have extenuating circumstances and apply for the option to spread payments, which is still available.

I want to come onto the Avon at one end (Stratford or Tewkesbury) and exit at the other end – what licence do I need? You will need a ‘through licence’. The shorter ‘excursion licenses’ are for craft returning to the same point they entered. 

Can I buy a licence in person rather than using the online option? Annual licences can be purchased by post to the ANT office at Wyre Piddle or by sending your application form by email and either calling to make a card payment or with a bank transfer. Short term licences can be purchased online or by calling 0300 111 2010. Licences are no longer sold at the ANT office in person.  See Licence page. 

When do annual licences run from and to? The annual licences run from 1st January to 31st December, regardless of the date they are purchased. 

Payment options – how can I pay for my licence? The best way to purchase a licence is using the online system. This will take you to the payment page where debit or credit card and PayPal payments are accepted.

Send application form by post and pay by cheque or card payment by calling 0300 111 2010.

CHEQUE – Made payable to ‘ANT’ with the application.

ON-LINE BANKING (BACS) -Please call for details of how to make a bank transfer.

CARD PAYMENT – Please send your application form in advance and call to make payment. 

Non Registration – what can happen if I don’t have a licence? It is a legal requirement to buy your licence BEFORE launching your craft or entering the Navigation. The Trust can only operate, and keep the river open and maintained for navigation with the vital income provided by river licences. If necessary, the Trust will take legal action against boat owners who fail to pay their licence fees and will be subject to debt recovery action through the County Court. In addition, boat owners who make no attempt to register or to satisfy the BSS and insurance requirements are liable to legal action. 

Information for boaters about the River – Locks and Moorings 


Where can I moor my boat – visiting or on a trip? There are public moorings along the river at most of the towns and lock sites. Boaters are welcome to use these moorings for up to a 48 hour stay. These are all listed in the ‘Navigation and Visitor Guide’ that you can purchase here.

and in the Welcome Information Leaflet

Unlike a canal, there is no towpath, and all the land along the river bank is privately owned. So please plan your trip to make the most of the public moorings. 

I’d like to base my boat on the Avon? The Avon is a beautiful place to base your boat. ANT have moorings to rent, and we can also give you information and contact details for all the clubs and marinas along the river. Call the office on 01386 552517 to enquire about mooring options. 

How do the Locks work? The locks work the same as most canal and river locks. You will need a windlass, using the smaller tapered fitting (the ‘Northwich’ type lock key). If you are used to canal locks, then the Avon locks are much bigger. You must tie up using fore and aft lines, as due to the size and the water flow, it is not enough to use a centre line.  On exit, please close all the paddles, but leave the gates you exit through open after use.

Are there lock keepers? Avon Lock at Tewkesbury is staffed, and at weekends in the summer there may be volunteers at some of the locks to help you through, but assume most of the locks will be set up for you to operate manually yourselves.

Where are the Facilities – like water and pump outs? The best way to plan your trip is to purchase the Navigation and Visitor Guide – all the proceeds for this go straight back into the charity, and it highlights the location of all the facilities along the river. On the Maps and Info page is information about the electronic maps that are free to download. There is also a ‘Welcome to the River Avon’ leaflet on the Maps & Info page which is FREE and lists all the facilities along the river. Tokens for the pump out facilities are available from Avon Lock Tewkesbury, The Angel Hotel Pershore, Pershore Town Hall, The Tourist Information Centre Evesham, Stratford Waterways Information Centre (SWIC) at Stratford and may also be purchased from the Maps and Info page and posted to you.

General questions about the river 


What aspects of the river are ANT responsible for? ANT are the Statutory Water Authority that manage, maintain and improve the navigation of the waterway. This means ANT can help with anything to do with river users and boaters, and aspects to do with the navigation. ANT are friendly and approachable, so are happy to take any enquiries, even if this means pointing you onto other authorities or organisations who may have more responsibility over your enquiry. 

Who is responsible for Trees? Trees are usually the responsibility of the landowners, and they should be the ones to manage and where necessary remove them. Trees can also fall into the remit if of the Environment Agency in certain circumstances. 

Who is the contact point, and responsible for other (non-navigation) aspects of the River – including flow, weirs, flooding, water, wildlife etc? This responsibility lies with the Environment Agency 

To report an issue with Swans? Try the Stratford Swan Rescue 

Contact for Fishing on the Avon? The River Avon is well known and well used for fishing. There are numerous fishing areas, all managed by clubs, with events and competitions through the year. ANT do not have anything to do with the fishing along the river. You will require an EA permit/rod licence and permission to fish from an area. If you intend to fish from a craft like a kayak or fishing boat, this will require an ANT licence. Many of the fishing locations are managed by the Birmingham Anglers Association. Fishing rights at Luddington Lock Island are owned by Avon Navigation Trust and a licence can be obtained on this website – click here

When is the closed season for fishing on the Avon? There is a closed fishing season on the River Avon, where no fishing allowed, that runs from mid March to mid June. 

How can I help on the river? A great way to get involved and help us all improve the river is to become a volunteer