Access and the Environment


Did you know a contribution of membership income is passed onto the waterway authorities?

As paddlers the environment and waterways are vitally important to us. Part of the joy of paddling is being immersed in nature and wildlife. We’re committed to helping protect these special places and seeking greater public access to water for recreation.

By becoming a member of British Canoeing you’re supporting the work we do with our partners to coordinate nation projects and campaigning to improve access, protect our waterways and the environment. The key ways in which we do this and things you can do to get involved are outlined below.

Waterways Protection

The waterway authorities carry out a vast range of work to ensure our waterways are maintained. A few of the important jobs they do are:

  • Remove invasive non native species including floating pennywort which can clog entire waterways in days.
  • Remove flood debris so you can paddle safely down the river.
  • Install check, clean, dry points so we can all help stop the spread of invasive non native species between waterways.
  • Maintain put ins and take outs on the waterways and repair bank damage.

And of course a whole host of other things too… paddle responsibly and make sure you’ve got your waterways licence!

Choose to Go Green

When joining us as a member you have the option to Go Green. This will ensure all our future communications and your membership will be completely digital. You’ll get instant access to all your membership benefits and a digital card. If you delete it accidently you can log into this Hub’s dashboard and download another to your phone. Easy.

Also, by going Green we’ll commit to ring-fencing £2 of your membership fee to support the work of paddle cleanups and our Clear Access Clear Waters campaign.

Clear Access, Clear Waters

This is British Canoeing’s campaign for fair, shared, sustainable open access for all. We are continually lobbying and developing resources and information to drive this area of work. The campaign’s aim is not only to seek greater public access to water for recreation, but also to secure the protection of our natural environment.

We believe the waterways of England and Wales should be open for all to access, for sustainable recreational pursuits. Here are a couple of things you can do to further support this campaign and help support us to make a greater impact.

  • Sign our petition and contact your MP: We are asking the Government to review current policy toward access on waters in England and Wales. Signing the petition or contacting your MP to make them aware of the issues will help us achieve this.
  • Organise a Paddle Clean Up: Become a champion of your waterways by organising a local on the water clean up. We’ve got resources and information to help you coordinate this.
  • Check, Clean, Dry: Help us to stop the spread of Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) from one waterway to another. By thoroughly checking, cleaning and drying your paddling clothing and equipment.

Environmentally friendly membership

We’ve changed our membership packs to ensure they are as environmentally friendly as possible. Including using 100% recyclable paper and membership cards, alongside using water-based glue and vegetable-based inks. We also have an active environment and sustainability working group that is looking at ways in which we can further improve our process and plans across the organisation.

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