Basingstoke Canal Update
The Basingstoke Canal authority have issued the following Navigation Update.
Following the latest guidance from Government that no-one should be undertaking non-essential travel no powered boats should be moving on the navigation until further notice.
Unlike other navigations who permit living aboard a cruising boat permanently, there should be no-one living aboard a cruising vessel on the Basingstoke Canal (with the exception of the 22 houseboats whose vessels rarely move from their serviced moorings); all other vessels will therefore be leisure vessels. Therefore, no one should need to move a boat to get to essential water or sanitation points at the present time. Should you feel you have a valid reason for an essential boat move please contact the Canal office to discuss your situation.
All trip and hire boat operations on the Canal are currently closed.
Ash Lock is now closed, and Locks 25-28 and Woking Town Centre will be refilled with water but not reopen as planned.
Canoeing and other forms of personal paddling
Personal paddling as a form of exercise is permitted – if the activity is in line with all government advice and measures, so that;
- A paddler must live within a close proximity to the Canal (i.e. adjacent to, or in walking distance);
- No vehicle travel is required to access the Canal and you do not enter a club, centre, facility or a stored boat shed;
- The activity is once a day and is for a short period of time;
- Activity is conducted alone or with household members, not in groups, with paddlers following social distancing measures and being two metres apart;
British Canoeing offer some additional helpful guidance about paddling in the current circumstances on their website and social media platforms.
Towpath and Canal Centre
Our current position is the Canal towpath and open spaces remain open to local visitors but please do not drive to visit us.
Walking, cycling and running in the countryside close to where you live is great for your health and wellbeing. Individuals must carefully follow the Government’s social distancing guidelines – a critical measure when out on the Canal towpath. If the path is particularly narrow or constrained, you should make other users aware of your presence and stand aside and wait for others to pass at a wider place. Please be respectful of other people’s space – keep your distance.
All our facilities at the Visitor Centre at Mytchett are now closed (including function room, campsite, toilets and Café). If you are local and walking these spaces, please follow government guidelines on social distancing. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others
A reminder that no-one should be fishing or angling on the Canal. Firstly, it doesn’t fit the Government’s advice as your once a day exercise, and secondly, because it is still closed season until 15 June.
Other Canal news
Our contractor carrying out bank protection work have stopped working, but the contractor working at Deepcut locks will complete the essential maintenance works there, before ceasing operations too. The towpath is likely to reopen at Deepcut top lock by the middle of next week.
The ranger team are the only members of staff out and about, everyone else is working from home – the Canal Centre number will divert to a member of the team who will be able to help you with any enquiries. Please let us know if you see any people congregating in groups, and our rangers will work with other authorities to ensure that they are dispersed.
Our Rangers will be out patrolling the whole site and managing water levels to keep everyone safe. Do not be alarmed if you see water levels varying as we are currently refilling areas of canal that were drained for winter maintenance before the sun and wind dry the canal bed out and cause it to crack.