Environment Agency fees: Is it time to rock the unlicensed boat?

I've mentioned before in this column that I have a certain amount of sympathy for the Environment Agency because, in this age of austerity and Government cutbacks, it has struggled to meet all its commitments to river users because of a lack of funds.

Overstaying their welcome no more


Huzzah! I’m delighted to learn that the Environment Agency has signed up with a company who, for a trial period, will help to enforce the mooring regulations on parts of the Thames including Walton and Weybridge.

Licences up, but there’s a reason

Sunbury Lock

Well, I guess it was inevitable, wasn’t it? The Environment Agency is putting up boat licence fees for next year by 4.6 percent – that’s inflation plus two percent.



What kind of lunatic ignores danger signs?

Paintings illustrate beauty of river

Walton Bridge in watercolour

Photographs are great for keeping a record of what’s happening on our lovely river – but somehow paintings capture more of the spirit of an event that even the best photograph in my view.

Remember landing?

The annual Beaulieu Boat Jumble takes place in Hampshire this weekend

It always worries me that, bit-by-bit, our public rights can be eroded away simply because we don’t know when – or how - to protect them.

Do the decent thing

I get really angry with people who drive their cars on the road without paying the annual road fund licence. They are the kind of people who obviously think they’re more important than the rest of us and that the law doesn’t apply to them.

Seeing red over diesel

A change in European law means that, with effect from January 1 2011, a new type of gas oil will be required for diesel-powered boats on inland waterways – but that change could create real problems for some skippers.

Policing the river now DIY

While a lot of attention is being focused on the Surrey Police initiative called Project Kraken – designed primarily to encourage a kind of neighbourhood watch on the river to spot possible terrorist activity – many local residents are still unhappy with the lack of a permanent dedicated officer on our stretch of the Thames.

Some Kraken results

At the tail end of 2009, Surrey Police announced the launch of Project Kraken – an initiative designed to alert people on our stretch of the river to the dangers of terrorist and criminal activity on the non-tidal Thames.