Friday, December 14, 2012

Nene Stoppages Update

Lock works planned for December have now been re-scheduled for the the New Year. As a consequence the work will restart on 2 Jan 13 and run to end Mar 13 with only one very small window 1-3 Mar when the whole river is open. Link to EA notice below:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Party

All welcome to celebrate the festive season at the Camboaters Christmas Party

Tuesday 18th December, 7pm onwards
Riverboat Georgina (will be stationary on Jubilee Gardens)

The bar will be open and there will be nibbles, but feel free to contribute any
festive food!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nene Stoppages

The Fen waterways are effectively cut off from the rest of the Inland Waterways, from now until the end of February 2013. The Environment Agency are carrying out a series of maintenance works on five locks on the river Nene over the winter. The dates overlap such that the only gap is between 21 Dec and the 02 Jan. This would be enough time to travel the length of the river, providing it is not in flood, but at that time of year, flooding is very likely. EDIT: Weekend passage is possible by arrangement with the EA.


Islip - 05 Nov 2012 to 07 Dec 2012
Irthlingborough - 12 Nov 2012 to 26 Nov 2012
Ashton - 26 Nov 2012 to 21 Dec 2012
Elton - 02 Jan 2013 to 01 Feb 2013
Orton - 28 Jan 2013 to 28 Feb 2013

Due to essential maintenance work the above locks will be closed during the periods stated. 
The Agency regrets any inconvenience caused.
For further information please call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 
between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and ask for the Waterways Team in the 
Anglian Region.

The Nene is currently in Strong Stream Advice and navigation is not advised. Additionally, the sunken boat at Ditchford lock has yet to be rescued, and so that lock is also closed until further notice.

Friday, October 26, 2012

AGM 2012

Thanks to those who came last night, it was a good evening.
The pumpkins were lovely!

The Committee for the coming year is composed of

Chair: James T
Secretary: Amy T
Treasurer: Xina M

Hannah C
Charlotte S
Ally C
Lee C
Madeleine C
Adam C
Athena W
Lee H

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Social Thursday 25th

Camboaters Autumn Social and AGM

@ the Waterman pub, Victoria Avenue

Thursday 25th October
7pm - AGM
8pm - Social

All welcome!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Newsletter: Welcome and Links

The Autumn Camboaters Newsletter will shortly be arriving on all boats.

Read it here: E-Newsletter

For more detail about the meeting we had with the Cam Conservators, click here.

Here on the Camboaters website, you will find latest news about events on the river and news about flood warnings etc. Also, there is a mailing list/message board linked but not run by Camboaters, which is widely used by boaters, for commenting on goings on, advertising things for sale and wanted, and generally sharing news. You can find it by clicking this link above, on this website, or following this link. Although it's Yahoo based, you can sign in using your Facebook or Google account, so no need to create a new ID to use it. However, you will need to be approved for membership of the list by the administrator, so this may take a day or so. It's worth signing up though. 

We also post on Twitter @camboaters

and there is a linked Facebook page: Cam Buccaneers

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meeting with the Cam Conservators

Tuesday 18th September 2012, 6-7.30pm
Meeting Room 3, St Andrew’s Hall, St Andrew’s Road, Cambridge CB4 1DH


Conservators: John Adams, Pip Noon
Camboaters: Amy T, James T, Xina M, Madeleine C, Ally C, Lee C, Julia

Welcome and apologies 

The City Council sent their apologies, saying that they needed more time to prepare answers and would attend the next meeting. AT to ask them to prepare written answers to questions


How do the Conservators plan to tackle the increasing problem of overstayers/illegal moorers on the visitor moorings and the Commons?
Daily checks are now carried out on the visitor moorings, and there is a seasonal river bailiff. Photos of overstayers are emailed to Pip. Conservators can only force boats to move if they are causing a navigational issue. It was pointed out that the boats illegally moored next to the Stourbridge waterpoint cause navigational problems as waiting boats have nowhere to moor and must hover in mid stream. Needs to be taken up with City Council.


What is the Conservators’ long term strategy for dredging?
There isn't one. This is also the strategy of the Environment Agency, who are now taking a hands off approach -  the rivers need to be allowed to take their natural shape, except in exceptional circumstances like the silting at Denver sluice. The Cam Conservators are taking a similar approach, and only carry out minor spot dredging eg below Jesus Lock and Baits Bite. The silt is not considered contaminated, but the cost of large scale dredging is prohibitive. The river is not becoming more silted up, but is at an equilibrium, bar the short term effects of floods. Silt can be shifted around on the bottom but not removed. there are no funds for maintaining a target depth for moorings, and it is the action of boats moving in and out which is best at maintaining depth.
Part M is to be dredged (just upstream of railway bridge on the Common side)to allow for additional residential mooring space.

What is the process by which problem areas for silting are monitored?
The river is surveyed every few years and the upcoming width monitoring survey will also look at the depth. Otherwise, they rely on people to let them know about problem areas. 

How are efforts to secure tree-cutting permission progressing?
Every tree needs a separate licence every time it is trimmed, because the trees are on Tree Preservation Orders or on private land. South Cambs DC, where most of the towpath trees are located, allow a block licence for tree trimming, but the City Council are more reticent - they are more concerned about loss of visual amenity, hence the need for such an admin-heavy, longwinded process every year. The Conservators are working to set up a block licence for the future for the Coumcil's trees at least, but it is proving difficult.

Licences/Finances    ]
When will the option to pay monthly be introduced?
This is to be decided at the January meeting, with discussion on Sept 27th.

Can you reassure us that the cost of doing so will not be passed on to licence holders?
The cost of setting it us has yet to be worked out, but is likely to be small and so would be trivial if spread over all registered boats. This is also for the Conservators to decide at the January meeting, with some discussion in the Sept 27th meeting .

Are there plans to increase revenue from the properties owned by the Conservators?
An independent property portfolio expert is going to produce a report suggesting what is best for all the properties.


Are there plans for improving communication with boaters? 
It was suggested that a newsletter including a diary of events would be produced by Camboaters and the Conservators would send it to all powered boats.
Also, a notice asking visitors to look over at the event calendar on the board and be aware of rowers will be placed in the lock control cabinet, so it can't be missed. Pip is also to meet with the hire boat companies to make sure that they are saying the right things.
A slow down for moored boats notice is also been proposed for Stourbridge

How regular should these meetings be?
Every 6 months.

Should the City Council’s officers be invited to each meeting as well or attend certain meetings for specific agenda items only?
They should attend every meeting, if possible

Any Other Business

Mention of the need for a meeting between river users. In Bedford, they have a River Users Forum with representative from all users getting together to discuss issues. Perhaps a similar format could work for the Cam 

Date of next meeting 

5th February 2013

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

River Meeting

Members of the Camboaters Committee will be meeting with the Cam Conservators and the moorings group of the City Council next Tuesday evening. We hope that these meetings will become more regular - a forum for open discussion fo river matters has been sorely missed!

If you have any additional concerns which you would like us to raise, let us know by commenting here or emailing

Topics we plan to cover at the meeting:

Licencing payment plans - when will the monthly payment plans be introduced?
Why are licence payers funding Cam Con property holdings if they are not making
a profit?
Dredging - including spot dredging for particular areas
Riverside moorings situation 
Safety and Services
Mooring regulations enforcement - why are some mooring rules not enforced?
Waiting list transparency

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strong Stream Advice removed.

Please be advised that the Environment Agency has cancelled its Strong Stream Advice warning for the River Great Ouse (see attached notice). River levels remain above average on the River Cam, in particular between Baits Bite and Bottisham. Navigators are advised to take precautions when approaching locks and weirs.

This evening, the final races of the annual ‘Town Bumps’ will take place between Baits Bite Lock and Chesterton. The first race will start at 17:45 hr and races should be completed by dusk.

On Sunday 22 July Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society Ltd will be holding a Club Match on the River Cam. Anglers will be using pegs near the railway bridge (Long Reach), between the A14 road bridge and Baits Bite Lock, and below Baits Bite Lock towards Clayhithe, from 09:00 hr to 15:00 hr. Navigators making passage along these reaches are asked to keep a look-out for lines/poles and to keep speed and wash down to a minimum when passing competitors.

Works to clear the large tree which is part-obstructing navigation near the Fort St George public house, Midsummer Common, will commence on Monday 23 July. For short periods whilst winching is in progress it may not be possible to navigate past this obstruction. Navigators must heed the instructions of the bank party in attendance. It is expected that these clearance works may take up to two days. Thank you to everyone for your patience over the last week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Strong Stream Advice Warning for River Cam

Message from the Cam Conservators:

The Environment Agency has also advised us that heavy rainfall is expected to affect Cambridge between 00:00 hr and 07:00 hr tomorrow, Friday 6 July. River flows may therefore be above normal and navigators should assess conditions before setting out. Information on river status for the River Cam can be found at the following links:

Baits Bite Lock:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Midsummer Common Bug Hunt


You are warmly invited to help with a Bug survey of Midsummer Common on 1st
July 2012. This is to help provide a list of invertebrate species that are
found on the common and to enjoy a day out in the sun. Budding young
naturalists, and families are particularly welcome as are the more
experience entomologists among you.

The survey will involve unearthing all the invertebrates we have on the
Common, so your help will be gratefully received. I will be setting some
pitfall traps the day before which will be used to collect many beetles and
other soil bugs. Also, I will be setting out some special pan traps which
are painted with a UV light to attract pollinating insects, including bees
and butterflies so we can examine them. On the day much help will be needed
in emptying the traps and for spotting and sweep netting insects on the

Hopefully, by the end of the day,no stone or log will be left unturned an
we will have a huge list of creatures to include in the Common's management
plan - and to help conserve them.

See the website next week for updated information.

EMAILING ME, Robert Day, at, so I can get a rough idea
of numbers and equipment.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Special General Meeting Tues 29th May

The next meeting is to be a Special General Meeting as we need to discuss some
points of the Constitution itself (see links to minutes of 3rd May meeting)

It will be held on Tuesday 29th May at 7:30pm in the Waterman. All are welcome.

EDIT: thanks to all who attended, minutes to follow later.

The meeting minutes from the 3rd May are here:\

Thursday, May 3, 2012

River Cam: Strong Stream Advice warning, Thursday 3 May 2012

Subject: River Cam: Strong Stream Advice warning, Thursday 3 May 2012
Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 16:25:28 +0100

To all river users
We strongly advise that no-one should attempt to navigate today, Thursday 3rd May, because we are currently experiencing very high flows on the River Cam.

Moorers are reminded to put out flood poles to prevent vessels from drifting landwards with currents. It is the responsibility of craft owners to adjust mooring lines to account for the rise and fall of water levels. If you neighbours are absent, please do them a good favour and ensure that their lines and means of anchoring are secure. Where water has overtopped the riverbanks, please be careful of any submerged hazards including irregularities and cavities in the riverbank or floating debris.

The Environment Agency is forecasting that these flow conditions will continue for at least 24 hours. If you have any queries about water levels on the River Cam, please telephone the Environment Agency general enquiries line (03708 506 506).

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

Pip Noon

River Manager
Conservators of the River Cam
Baits Bite Lock
Fen Road
CB24 6AF

Telephone: 01223 863785

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Open Meeting

Tuesday 3rd April
7:30pm in the Waterman on Chesterton Road

All welcome!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Riverside Moorings

At a meeting of the Community Services Scrutiny Committee, this report on how to proceed re the railings issue was delivered. The Council are likely to take control of the area, and they plan to consult on what to do next: