Legislation

  • Regarding rivers less than 4% of rivers in England and wales have public access.
  • A right to navigate in most tidal waters means one can sail a boat through without permission this often but not always means you can swim there too.
  • Some non-tidal rivers have right to navigate acts. 
  • Local by-laws often prohibit swimming in stretches of river. 
  • British waterways do not permit any swimming in any of its canals. 
  • Laws around lakes are the same with it being easy to trespass a lake if they are privately owned and no right to navigate is established in them. These often have no or limited public access for that reason.
  • There are however over 400 areas of water designated as bathing water which are monitored by the environment agency.