Registering craft and swans on the River Thames

Down at Abingdon Marina,

by the slipway, is a notice that says all craft need to be registered.

Swans are the only birds that are routinely registered with a ring. The Swan Uppers have not been to Abingdon for the last two years. There are more unregistered swans than usual.

Most of St Helen’s Wharf seems to be used by registered carft.

There was music coming from The Old Anchor Inn.

Hippy Haze may have been rehearsing. They are next performing on 6th February.

The pigeons had all been listening from the chimneys until they all flew off.

More pigeons flew down from the steeple at St Helen’s Church. All those pigeons were just waiting for the moment somebody started throwing bread into the river.

13 thoughts on “Registering craft and swans on the River Thames

  1. Tricia

    Let’s hope our swans escape this Avian Influenza outbreak. It’s the worst for years and getting worryingly close. Over 20 swans had to be culled at Windsor. Not that far away as the river goes.

  2. Phil

    Nice pictures, and I appreciate your insights on the unregistered swans!

    I think St Helen’s Wharf could be hugely improved if it were to be turned into a pedestrian boulevard. Make it a low, or no traffic area so people can get full enjoyment from the river front.

    It would be great to have seating on the river outside the Old Anchor.

    A low traffic neighborhood here would mean that National Cycle Route 5 could be enhanced so that you can actually cycle along this strategic cycle route.

    Currently car parking is prioritized above a lane for traffic, and the car first planning makes access to the town for anyone wishing to leave their car behind much more difficult than it needs to be.

    1. Daniel

      Funnily enough I have often thought that about making the wharf a more inviting, utilised, social space…. And we are not alone. Various other landlords at The Anchor have also tried to get seating, tables, pontoons etc there as well…all for the same reason. Well done them. Guess what… “Council said no”.

      Still….we got ABITS. Mustn’t grumble…

      1. Phil

        It’s such a shame.

        As demonstrated by the ‘free’ parking, massive attention is given to encourage people to drive, yet when it comes to giving people reasons to linger, or indeed to travel by other means, the town appears to be devoid of any fresh ideas.

  3. Phil

    With apologies to any councillors who are seeking to bring about positive change. I’m sure there are plenty of good ideas, but as someone who likes to avoid driving, and relaxing by river fronts, Abingdon seems to always put cars before people.

  4. Hester

    These ideas sound great – have you fed them in to the Neighbourhood Plan which is currently under development? There were a couple of rounds of public engagement last year and another is just starting now via a new website The St Helens Wharf area features in there so its worth a look.

    1. Daniel

      Hi Hester; no. I admire your enthusiasm but I have long since given up I’m afraid. I think we all know that such initiatives are a lovely sounding idea though.

    1. JP

      In response to John’s query, every craft used on the non tidal Thames, whether powered or not, needs a licence of some sort. You can purchase various licences directly from the lock keepers – these are specific to the craft you are using. For smaller craft such as canoes, kayaks and paddleboards there are various options. For frequent users the most efficient way is to join the British Canoeing. With this membership you get a waterways licence which covers the individual to use over 4500km of waterways including the Thames. As long as you have your membership card with you when you are canoeing / kayaking / paddle boarding you are covered irrespective of whether you are using your own or someone else’s craft. In a double canoe only one of you would need to be a member.

  5. Chris John

    If the EA are serious about every craft being registered (and licensed) they don’t do much about those that aren’t. Take a walk up past the lock to the new shanty town and try looking for licensed craft up there.


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