SUPs, Dinghies, Canoes and Kayaks: a Code of Conduct for the Avon Estuary

Because SUPs and kayaks are highly portable and may have been used on other waterways, it is vital before they are put into the waters of the Avon, that boats and boards are checked for contaminants, cleaned and dried  – ‘CHECK – CLEAN – DRY’! Non-native species cannot survive long term desiccation.


  • Check all vessels (dinghies, kayaks, SUPs) and equipment (trailers, dive gear etc.) which can be removed from the water and used elsewhere
  • Clean them thoroughly
  • Dry completely before using again


Biosecurity is becoming increasingly important to protect this MCZ environment against encroachment by a wide variety of invasive species.   This biosecurity policy is universal throughout the South Devon AONB.  See




  • Parking around the Avon is very restricted;  park legally and do not park along the Tidal Road (for obvious reasons!)
  • Respect the environment and those living nearby.  Limit noise and do not litter.
  • Wear a suitable buoyancy aid.
  • Do not OVERLOAD your vessel!
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times.
  • Do not underestimate the forces of nature; know your limits.  The wind and tidal flow in the estuary can be very strong.  Paddle into the elements first, to make the trip home easier.
  • On SUPs, always wear the leash so you don’t lose the board.
  • Always carry a signalling or communication device. A whistle is a simple and effective device, or a waterproof and fully charged VHF radio or mobile phone, or flares.  If you get into difficulty, stay with your kit as it will keep you afloat and make you easier to find.  If help is essential, call the Coastguard on 999.
  • Give other craft plenty of space for manoeuvre.
  • Watch out for swimmers; they may be very difficult to see!
  • Keep clear of the water ski zone which is marked by buoys.  Travel as close to the banks as possible.
  • Keep clear of all moorings.
  • Although not advised, if paddling at night or in restricted visibility, ensure you have an all-round white light visible.
  • Consider taking out Personal Liability insurance to cover yourself in the event of an accident involving other people or their property



The Aune Conservation Association – November 2020