The Environment Agency (EA) and Canal & River Trust (the Trust) have established a joint Working Group to explore different options for running the 620 miles of EA-managed river navigations. 

According to the EA, it still remains the Government’s ambition to transfer the EA’s responsibility for navigation of the rivers to the Trust, subject to affordability and approval by the Trust’s Board and the Minister, in order to help realise the benefits of a sustainable navigation and give the public greater involvement in the running of the waterways.

Information gathering

The Working Group is at a very early, information gathering stage, and no decisions have yet been made on the details of a potential move.

The group will begin with an information and data gathering exercise looking at all of the EA’s navigations, including: the non-tidal River Thames; the River Wye; the upper Medway; the East Anglian navigations and Rye Harbour. 

As the project moves forward the Working Group will investigate the various potential options required for such a complex move and will be seeking to understand boaters’ views and aspirations as well as those of other stakeholders.  

Representing our members

The RYA supports the EA’s, the Trust’s and Defra’s commitment to finding a sustainable future for the EA’s river navigations and to working with the communities who use them.

As such, we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Working Group’s activities.

Love our inland waterways?  Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating.

Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. 

Find out more by calling 0844 556 9556 or drop us a line at