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Navigating The Backs

From 03rd February to 02nd March 2023 powered vessels will not be able to navigate The Backs as the main arch at Trinity Bridge will be closed for restorative works.

5.12.2022- 30.6.2023

Works are to be carried out on the TRINITY AVENUE BRIDGE, Trinity College, commencing 5th December 2022.  The works will restrict the navigation under the bridge along the 'Backs', with the closure of one barrel arch at any time. Signage will indicate which arches may be navigated. We encourage all river users to take caution when approaching the bridge. The main bridge  arch will be closed between 03/02/23-02/03/23 when access to The Backs, by powered vessels, will not be possible. Outside of this time frame applications to The Conservancy to navigate the Backs, in a powered vessel, will considered on a case by case basis up to 31/03/23. 
Any concerns or queries should be directed to:

Temporary closure towpath

The towpath (Halingway) is to be temporarily closed from 0900hrs-1700hrs from Chesterton, adjacent to Fen Road, along to Grassy Corner. 

This will be from Tuesday 10th January 2023 to Friday 15th January 2023 and from Monday 16th January 2023 to Friday 20th January 2023. 

Fencing protecting the working area will be removed daily by 1700hrs. 

We would like to thank those living adjacent to the towpath who have been patient whilst waiting for this work to commence which needs to start before the bird nesting season is upon us. 

For Contact details, please see the Get In Touch tab

Mud barge between Pike & Eel car park & railway bridge


A large mud barge has been placed by our contractors 

between the Pike and Eel car park and the railway bridge adajacent to the river bank today Mon 23rd January.

Due care needs to be taken by river users when approaching this in vessels. 

It is being used to collect tree cuttings and arisings and is likely to be in situ for one week.

Navigation and Towpath Update 18/11/2022

Seasonal Activity

Autumn has arrived and with it a change in the emphasis of work along the navigation and towpath. The cycle of weed cutting along the length of the navigation has now come to an end. Weed cutting will continue but on an ad hoc basis in areas where the growth needs further control.


The Conservators of the River Cam are the owners of the towpath between Chesterton in Cambridge and Clayhithe, this is a stretch of approximately 3.8 miles. The responsibility of managing the majority of trees which line this stretch is also that of the Conservancy. A new programme of Tree Management has been introduced in 2022 to ensure the appropriate treatment of the trees is undertaken and the safety of members of the public who use the towpath.


At the end of October 2022 and over the following couple of months, the tree management programme will begin. This will tackle the trees lining the towpath focusing on those in the Chesterton area and include pollarding, coppicing and felling when necessary.


Users of the Towpath (Halingway) are asked to be mindful of any safety advice while the work is being carried out

Coming Up:

Looking forward into 2023, between January and March, works will begin in repairing a stretch of revetments in the area of the A14 bridge. Once dates for this work have been confirmed, we will add these to the diary and noticeboard.


Further information, when it's available, will be added here and to our calendar.

Note on Pennywort:

Pennywort is an invasive species which is to be found along the river Cam and in other waterways around the country. As such managing it is the responsibility of the Environment Agency, however the Conservancy and it's contractor works alongside volunteer groups in removing it from the river where possible. Groups such as Cam Valley Forum and the Cam Sailing Club are particularly active in monitoring it and initiating clearance. If you spot pennywort, please let us know, where possible we will try and organise it's removal.


Boat Registration

Annual Registration
The 1st of April to the 31st of March the following year represents the registration period for all boats/vessels that  use the River Cam. River users should be aware that to use a vessel on the navigation without a valid licence representing the vessels annual registration, is a breach to the Conservancy Byelaws. The byelaw requirements for this are set out in our byelaws section 8. Registration of Boats. Please ensure your vessels are appropriately registered.

The Conservancy send out reminders to register to current licence holders each February, therefore it is important for vessel owners to ensure that the contact information held is accurate and up to date. Please contact our team to update your details should they change during the year.

For Applications and further information please visit the Boat Registration Tab.

Visiting Vessels

Visiting Powered vessels that hold a valid Anglian Pass, available from the Environment Agency, clearly displaying their unique vessel number are considered registered to use the Conservancy navigation. It should be noted that all necessary conditions of the Anglian Pass must be met.

Details of the Anglian Pass may be found on the following website page:

It should be noted that there are no Visitors Passes or Visitor registrations other than the Anglian Pass. Vessels visiting for event participation should contact the Event Organiser for details regarding accessing the Conservancy  navigation.

Conservator's response to public consultation 2021
Please see this link for document

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