Frequently asked questions

What you need to wear
We will provide buoyancy aids, boats and paddles (if you are an experienced paddler please bring your usual kit).
If you paddle you will get a little wet, so bring a complete change of clothes to paddle in. Sporting gear such as tracksuits or jogging gear is ideal. Woolly jumpers are also okay.Cotton clothing such as jeans and t-shirts tend to retain water and you will get colder.
You must wear shoes of some kind, such as diving/swimming shoes, plimsolls or thin soled shoes (not flip flops/crocs). Bulky shoes and boots may not fit inside the kayaks. If it is cold a woolly hat and a lightweight nylon jacket or cagoule would also be useful.

What's the difference between a canoe and a kayak
Both originate from ancient craft which were used for hunting, food gathering and travel. A kayak is based on the Inuit boats, you use a double ended paddle and sit in the boats. A canoe is often associated with the North American Indians but in fact has been used by many cultures across the world. It can be paddled kneeling or sitting and a single blade paddle is used. . In the UK we tend to use the word canoeing to cover both.

Can I paddle anywhere
That's a rather complicated issue. The bed and banks of all rivers and canals are privately owned. There is a right of access on all rivers and canals maintained as navigations subject to a payment for a license where required.  Where navigations have been abandoned it can be unclear if there is still a public right of access. In England & Wales, you can kayak anywhere you like, free of charge, on tidal waters except those which are off limits (e.g. exclusion zones, danger areas). The effect of the tide extends far up many rivers. More information can be found at the River Access Campaign or in the book by Reverend Douglas Caffyn. Canoe England Membership includes a licence to paddle on 4500km of Britain's waterways.

Canoeing and Kayaking are 'Assumed Risk water contact sports' that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.
Community Web Kit provided free by BT