RST Facilities: Code of Practice

River Stour Trust – Code of practice for the use of our facilities

If you wish to use any of the facilities owned by the River Stour Trust you must follow this Code of Practice.

In order to promote its main aims towards the preservation, restoration and education of the Suffolk & Essex Stour Navigation, the River Stour Trust owns locks at Flatford, Great Cornard and Stratford St Mary; alongside jetties at Sudbury (Gasworks Cut and Friars Meadow), Great Cornard (near the lock), Stratford St Mary (by the Riverside Garden and also near the lock) plus another at Cattawade Picnic Site. We own the launching ramp/slipway next to the Granary at Sudbury. The Environment Agency is responsible for most other jetties on the River Stour Navigation – see River Stour: locks and facilities – GOV.UK ( – usually provided to assist portage around weirs, and there are also private jetties which should not be used without permission of their owners. We also own the Visitor Education Centre site at Great Cornard and the picnic site near Cattawade, and we lease the Granary at Sudbury. The Environment Agency is responsible for the ramp at Cattawade.

The locks and jetties and launching ramp provided by the River Stour Trust are solely for use by people in licensed craft when navigating the River Stour, and should not be used for other purposes.  The ramp is protected by a locked bollard which can be unlocked with a “Navigation” key; licensed craft owners can buy this key from the Environment Agency.

Users of our facilities on the River Stour should observe all appropriate laws, including the Recreational Waterways Byelaws (1980), the Anglian Water Authority Act 1977, the Environment Agency (Inland Waterways) Order 2010.

Please keep off the lock gates, unless you have to operate Gt Cornard lock, and don’t use the lock gates as a path to cross any lock. No swimming is allowed in or near our locks, it’s unsafe and is forbidden by the byelaws. We ask that all lock users remember to close and secure gates and paddles as well as leaving lock chambers full as a safety precaution.

No fishing – including magnet fishing – is allowed at any of our locks or jetties, or in the Gasworks Cut at Sudbury or in the upstream or downstream lock channels at Gt Cornard, Stratford St Mary and Flatford.

Please do not picnic or loiter on the jetties; no barbecues or fires are allowed on property owned by us.

Please leave no trace of your visit, take your litter home with you.

Please be considerate of other people, don’t obstruct or do anything to interfere with other craft or users when using our locks or jetties or ramp. If you bring an animal with you please make sure it is kept under control and does not cause annoyance to other people or disturbs wildlife.

No events or commercial activities are allowed on any jetty or land owned by us without prior permission. Don’t put up any signs or notices on our property without our permission.

We support the “Check Clean Dry” campaign to help stop the spread of alien invasive species. Please help by following the campaign’s advice on checking your craft and equipment for any live organism, clean and wash your boat to remove anything on it (leave the washings where they are), and dry it before you use it again.

The jetty at Stratford St Mary Riverside Gardens is on land owned by Northumbrian Water Ltd and its use is subject to a licence from them. Amongst the conditions of that licence the following are forbidden:-

  • commercial or business activities,
  • camping or the erection of any structure,
  • lighting any fire or barbecue, or use of harmful or dangerous materials
  • leaving litter,
  • parking any vehicle,
  • doing anything which causes damage or a nuisance or disturbance to other users of the jetty or people on any neighbouring land.

We can provide more details of the licence conditions if needed. Also please take note of the Stratford Parish Council conditions for the Riverside Garden area.

We have jetties for the sole use of our trip boats at The Granary, at the Visitor & Education Centre, at Flatford – by the bridge – and at Dedham – near the rowing boat hire station. Please don’t try and use these jetties for your craft – we need exclusive use of them. At Flatford on the upstream side of the lock please use only the jetty provided by the Environment Agency which is close to the lock.

The locks at Gt Cornard, Flatford and Stratford St Mary will be operated by volunteers from the Trust on request, and craft users should follow their instructions. Please note that paddle boards are not allowed in locks as it’s not safe for them. Craft users must not operate the Flatford lock or Roger Brown lock (at Stratford St Mary) themselves due to the unique nature of these locks; if you wish to operate the lock at Gt Cornard yourself this may be possible, please ask us for further information. The Roger Brown lock at Stratford St Mary has very limited daily and annual usage to comply with water extraction licence conditions imposed by the Environment Agency.

No camping or fires or barbecues are allowed at the picnic site near Cattwade, and the car-park there is for short-stay river users only – no long-term parking is allowed. The car park will be closed for the annual S2C event in autumn and may also be closed and locked shut at other times at short notice.

Please don’t use the Visitor and Education Centre to launch/recover craft without our prior permission, as the site is not always open.