Rivers in York

Temporary disruption to navigation in the River Foss from 19 March to 5 August 2018

Work is scheduled to the Blue Bicycle Restaurant Building, 34 Fossgate, York from 19 March to 5 August 2018.

As part of this work, scaffolding will be erected in the River Foss at this location and will reduce the width of the river channel for vessels navigating it at this point by 1.2m. Appropriate warning signage will be in place upstream and downstream of the area.

During the 2 week period from 19 March to 1 April 2018 scaffolding will be erected and, due to the requirements of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, silt curtains will be installed downstream of the area between Piccadilly and Fossgate Bridges. These will stretch from each bank and will therefore prevent navigation beyond that point until 1 April 2018 when the silt curtains will be removed. The silt curtains will have to be installed when removing the scaffolding and we will give further details of this in due course.

If you need more information regarding this temporary disruption, please contact Valerie Inwood on telephone: (01904) 553358 or email: valerie.inwood@york.gov.uk. The scaffolding contractor is Sangwin Group; their contact is Andrew Newbitt, telephone: (01482) 329921 or email: andrew.newbitt@sangwin.co.uk

Both Blue Bicycle Management and ourselves apologise for any inconvenience this temporary disruption may cause.

The management and operation of York’s rivers is taken care of by several organisations.



48 hour visitor moorings are located between Scarborough Railway Bridge and Lendal Bridge on the northern riverbank. Boaters need to be aware that parts of this area are also used by tour boats, a seasonal boat-based café and for Royal Gun salutes.

In flood conditions, the moorings are completely submerged. The Canal and River Trust are responsible for the enforcement of mooring bylaws. Toilet, Elsan, refuse disposal and fresh water facilities are available within the Starr Inn complex.

Please note: we do not have any residential moorings.

Life buoys

Life buoys are inspected weekly and missing or damaged belts and ropes are replaced. To report a missing or damaged life buoy, contact us quoting the unique number of the life buoy housing.

Water quality

For water quality issues, please contact the Environment Agency. To report a pollution incident, call the Environment Agency 24 hour pollution hotline, telephone: 0800 807060.


Fishing is free on River Ouse and Foss on river banks we own in the city centre, however a rod licence is required; visit the Environment Agency website for information.

Here is a list of council-owned river banks in York:

  • RSPCA / Landing Lane downstream to North Street Gardens, Terry Avenue (starting once you are past the residential moorings downstream, stopping once reach the farmland)
  • River Ouse - west bank
  • River Ouse - east bank
  • Clifton Bridge downstream to Marygate Landing Skeldergate Bridge downstream to York Motor Yacht Club
  • River Foss
  • Foss Basin
  • West Bank - Huntington Road upstream to Yearsley Bridge South / East bank - Upstream of the new bridge to Peasholme Green to Layerthorpe Bridge, then Monkbridge Gardens upstream to Yearsley Bridge

Flooding and warping

Many of York's riverside footpaths and parks regularly become unusable when river levels are high, including:

  • Dame Judi Dench Walk
  • Kings Staith
  • Queens Staith
  • Tower Gardens
  • New Walk
  • Terry Avenue
  • Rowntree Park

Once river levels recede and when re-flooding is not thought to be imminent, riverside footpaths are cleared of silt, mud and debris; this is known as 'warping'.

For more information on flooding, contact the Environment Agency's Floodline on tel: 0845 9881188.

See emergency plans for flooding in York.

More about York's local rivers

See information on:

The River Derwent rises on Flyingdales Moor and reaches the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh. It marks York's eastern boundary for 16km (10 miles), running through the parishes of Kexby, Elvington and Wheldrake.

The area around Wheldrake is the start of the internationally important Lower Derwent National Nature Reserve; for more information, visit Natural England.

Also see

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