The majority of the River Stour is in private ownership, consequently use of the river for boating and general access is significantly impacted.
Upstream of the city of Canterbury there is no ‘Right of Navigation’ on the River Stour, this means if you wish to navigate the upper part of the River Stour you need to in theory get permission from every riparian land owner where you wish to navigate the river, consequently the upper part of the River Stour is rarely navigated.
In Canterbury the only river navigation is by commercial punting companies but downstream of Canterbury from Fordwich there is a right of navigation for 19 miles following the river along the rest of its course out to the English Channel at Pegwell Bay. Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners oversee Pegwell Bay to three quarters of a mile above Sandwich, but there is no navigation authority directly responsible from the rest of the stretch to Fordwich however the river is maintained for flood risk along here by the Environment Agency.
Canoe Wild operate predominantly along the 5 mile stretch of the River Stour from Fordwich to Grove Ferry. They provide kayak and canoe tours along the River Stour allowing you to take in the local area and wildlife at a leisurely paddle. For more information please visit their website.
After fishing or navigating along the River Stour the Check, Clean and Dry procedure is strongly recommended to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals in the River Stour. Water users may be unknowingly helping to spread invasive species from or to the River Stour via their equipment, shoes and clothing.