The parish council and the Duchy of Cornwall own the entire foreshore here; all the land below Mean High Water is Duchy owned, and everything above that belongs to the parish. Ownership of this higher land was transferred back to the parish council in 2017. In 2019, the Avon estuary was designated a Marine Conservation Zone, and as such is subject to the management strategies of an ecologically sensitive area. Part of this particular foreshore is categorised as secondary saltmarsh, and for conservation reasons this limits the area which we can use for our moorings.
The foreshore here is managed by the parish council on behalf of the parishioners of Aveton Gifford for recreational use of the river, and the council provides 21 annual permits for residents in this parish who wish to keep rowing boats and dinghies here. In the past these areas have also been used for dumping old boats & fly tipping, so in the interest of ensuring they are kept free, any unauthorised or abandoned boats will be removed, and if not claimed, the parish council also acting on behalf of DoC, reserves the right to dispose of any unauthorised, derelict or abandoned boats, trailers or other boat junk..
Parish moorings –
These parish moorings are for the use of regular users of the river only, and are not a place for storage of a boat used infrequently or not at all, particularly if you have space at home to store it. There is a steadily increasing waiting list of boat owners for only 21 moorings.
Most of these moorings are only suitable for small or lighter weight boats – unfortunately the only area of foreshore permitted for moorings is some distance from the river, and this can seriously limit the ease of launching and getting back to the mooring. For this reason, there is a maximum overall length of 14 ft, and no more sailing dinghies will be accepted.
It has been noticeable that since 2019 a number of boats on these moorings have not been moved or used during the months when they could have been used, irrespective of Covid-19 restrictions which in practice only affected use of the river during the first Lockdown in 2020. This may be because they are too heavy to use easily, or maybe because the owner just wants somewhere to put it.
Before applying for or renewing a mooring agreement the parish council asks that you please consider carefully whether you will regularly use your boat, and if so, whether you would realistically get more use of it by using a trailer or launching trolley. Trailers used for this purpose can be left in Timbers car park while you are on the river.
Applying for or renewing a mooring permit
The agreements will be renewed every April for the coming year, and a maintenance fee of £20 has been introduced. Your agreement to the terms and conditions (included below) will be needed before renewing,
To register your boat you will have to sign an agreement form, and you will also need to provide a photo of your boat so that it is easy to identify it (There may be a few that look similar, and a photo will remove any doubts!) You will be allocated a numbered mooring post that will be for your own use only, for one boat, and you will also get a sticker to place on your boat which will show the year it has been issued (Registrations will need to be re-issued annually).
This year payments for the annual registration have been made directly to the parish clerk, but in future, an online payment app will be used instaed for all new mooring holders and annual renewals.
And once you’ve got your permit…..
There are two things that we need boat owners to do please. The first is a condition to always moor your boat fore and aft – the best solution would be to use a stern anchor. This helps to stop boats ending up on the Tidal Road after having been blown the other side of the mooring post on a high tide, and it also helps to stop boats bumping into the one next door – both meaning there is much less chance of your boat being damaged. Also, a lot of the foreshore here is Secondary Saltmarsh, and this is ecologically important for carbon capture. The parish council can use it for moorings, but we do have to minimise damage there – if you use fore and aft moorings you will limit the amount of grass and ground under the boat which will be worn away.
Secondly, each mooring will have only one boat allocated to it, and if other boats suddenly appear tied up to your post, it will give a chance to try to track down an owner or to see if it has blown upriver on a high tide. We hope this will mean that we can deal with extra boats straight away, and this should be a much better way of keeping our moorings and foreshore clear, so please let us know if it happens.
Dom Webb, helped by Ros Brousson has taken over responsibility for looking after these moorings, so if you need to contact them, their details are