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Mid-May 2020

Recreational use of Exeter Ship Canal is now permitted under the latest government guidelines


Dear <<First Name>>

As always, and especially now, I hope you and yours are safe and well. 
Here is the latest information from Exeter City Council and Exeter Port Authority on what we may and may not do on the Canal and the Estuary during the current phase of the coronavirus lockdown.
‘From Wednesday, 13 May, kayaks, wind-surfers, kiteboards, fishing from shore, paddleboards (SUPs), sailing dinghies, personal water craft (jet skis), motorboats and sailing vessels will be permitted in the Exe Estuary and Exeter Ship Canal for recreational purposes. All users are reminded to ensure that equipment is of a sufficient standard and is used with proper conduct.
‘You can continue to use towpaths for walking, running and cycling, but be mindful of other users and people living in boats along the water.
‘Boat skippers may only be accompanied by persons permanently residing at the same address or, where the vessel is sufficiently large to maintain social distancing, by one other person from a different household.’
Harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw added: ‘Please think before undertaking your exercise. Users must follow social distancing guidance. Please be considerate and allow our staff time to assess the level of service they are able to provide.’
The Friends of Exeter Ship Canal are members of the Inland Waterways Association, which is also calling on people to think first of others when using canal towpaths. ‘It can be difficult to keep to the Government’s safe distance guidelines,’
 the IWA warns.
Friends news
While the worries and pressures of the coronavirus are all around us, why bother with the local canal? One answer is for the better days that lie ahead. You can read our proposals to restore a maritime buzz to the Canal Basin on our website. We sent these proposals to city councillors who are also Exeter Canal and Quay Trust members, and to council officials as the first step to build support. Now we shall try to establish the nucleus of a partnership to take the project forward.
We also have to face up to the question of our AGM! It should be held no later than 30 June each year. With the committee’s approval the AGM has been fixed provisionally for that date. In a month or so, in light of lockdown developments, we will decide whether the meeting can take place then or would be better postponed until later in the year.
The usual deadlines for submitting motions to the AGM have been suspended. Unsurprisingly there has been interest in holding a virtual AGM via Zoom. It would be very useful to know if members who are not on the committee would prefer a virtual AGM in principle to postponing it until the autumn if it looked likely it could be held then. Please would you drop me an email with your thoughts by clicking this link?
Volunteer work and Topsham Lock Cottage
I am very sorry to say that Jack Nott has had to resign as the Friends’ Volunteer Co-ordinator as well as from the committee because of current ill health. We send Jack our very best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.
The gap that this leaves is for one of the most satisfying roles in our group — arranging the volunteer work parties that people enjoy so much and which leave a visible mark of improvement on the canal. In addition, there is the project for a canal visitor attraction at Topsham Lock Cottage as soon as the lockdown restrictions are eased enough to allow us to start. These activities are the heart and soul of what we do — if you are interested in succeeding Jack or would like more details, please email me
And finally, do look after yourselves, be safe and keep well.
We look forward to seeing you at a Canal Friends event as soon as can be.

With all best wishes

John Monks
Friends of Exeter Ship Canal
01392 493559


We are always keen to welcome new members who are supporters of the canal. If you know anyone who may be interested please feel free to forward this newsletter to them.

Membership is:
Individual – £8 a year
Family – £15 a year
Lifetime – £100

Corporate or business membership can also be arranged.
For all membership enquiries please contact Richard Crisp, membership secretary:
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