Crown Estate Scotland has been working in partnership with RYA Scotland, the local sailing community and Clydeport (the statutory Harbour Authority) and will soon begin the process of removing of unlicensed moorings in Holy Loch as they act upon feedback as part of the 2017 mooring tenants survey.

The Clyde’s Community Marine Officer working for Bidwells – Crown Estate Scotland‘s coastal managing agents – identified a number of potentially abandoned and unlicensed moorings in the Holy Loch during an initial survey in June 2018.

Every mooring was inspected to identify and sticker those which may be abandoned and requiring removal. The survey is being undertaken in partnership with Peel Ports – Clydeport (the Harbour Authority for the River Clyde) and has the support of the local Mooring Associations and other organisations involved in the management of the River Clyde.

Any abandoned moorings that are removed will be reported to the Police as lost property. This gives anyone wishing to claim their own equipment the opportunity to recover their property.


Dr Darren Hirst, Partner at Bidwells said: “There is high demand for moorings in the Clyde because of the its sheltered location and proximity to large populations, whilst still showcasing the beauty of Scotland’s coastline.

“With many of the more popular mooring areas reaching capacity, it’s important to ensure available space is being used in a way that is fair and well-managed, to benefit sailors and others who use the coastline.

“The vast majority of moorings users are very responsible – tackling any problems caused by unlicensed moorings is the fair way of ensuring access.”

Abandoned moorings can be a hazard to sailors and deprive others of the space which, in this location, is at a premium. Each licensed mooring is allocated a unique identification tag, which allows the Community Marine Officers to identify and follow-up those that may be unlicensed or abandoned. Where owners cannot be identified, action may be taken to remove the mooring to free up space for others to use.

Paul Bancks, Asset Manager, Crown Estate Scotland said: “As manager of just under half of Scotland’s foreshore and virtually all the seabed, we want to maximise the opportunity for the marine leisure and tourism sectors. Making sure that moorings are properly licensed is a key part of this, and with sailing becoming an increasingly important part of Scotland’s rural economy, we will play our part in helping business and communities realise their potential.”

A key component of the process has been the promotion of Mooring Associations and Groups, which allow some of the more popular mooring areas to be managed locally. Bidwells Community Marine Officers and Regional Managers work with the local mooring owners to help establish these Associations, balancing the often competing demands in these high use areas so as to ensure that any arrangements put in place are a success in the longer term. Over the years, the team has helped to establish and restructure around 120 Mooring Associations and Groups, representing around 3,350 installed moorings.

RYA Scotland’s Cruising and General Purposes Committee supports a network of volunteers around Scotland to identify potential threats to the rights of the boating community and to help inform consultations such as the Crown Estate Scotland mooring tenants survey.

Graham Russell, RYA Scotland Planning and Environment Officer said.

“Our members have been looking for the removal of unlicensed mooring in a number of popular locations and we welcome this practical process in Holy Loch undertaken by Crown Estate Scotland and their partners Bidwells and look forward to further surveys in other locations across Scotland that are affected by abandoned moorings.”