Recreation : Management : Voluntary management schemes : Codes of practice

Examples of codes of practice

1.    Personal Watercraft Code of Conduct, Pembrokeshire, UK

This code was developed through consultation with Pembrokeshire personal watercraft group, the Pembrokeshire Coast national Park, Pembrokeshire County Council and the coast guard to promote the responsible use of personal and fact powered water craft within Pembrokeshire.

It identifies the need for training and boat handling skills. In addition, it outlines the importance of the site for nature conservation and providers users with a checklist of sites to avoid at particular times of the year due to the needs of local wildlife.


2.    Canoeists Code of Conduct, UK

The Canoeist’s Code of Conduct issued by the British Canoe Union includes the Central Council for Physical Recreation water sports code. This encourages members to make or comply with suitable arrangements for access to the water and to behave responsibly while on the water. The code also includes a reminder to ‘avoid using areas important for wintering wildfowl, nesting birds and spawning fish in the appropriate season’. An interpretative leaflet, ‘Canoeists and Wildlife’ describes birds, animals and plants commonly seen by participants.


3.    Recreational Power Craft Strangford Lough, UK

The Strangford Lough management committee began consultation on a code of conduct for recreational powered craft in 1995. The code was considered necessary because the committee had received a number of complaints about personal water crafting and water skiing and there was a build up of pressure for bylaws to be introduced to ban those activities in certain areas. The committee felt that the code of conduct, summarised below, would be a more acceptable and cost effective approach to dealing with the issue.

This code was given the support of the Strangford Lough Management Committee, Sports Council for Northern Ireland, Ards Borough Council, Down District Council, Royal Yachting Association (N.I), Association of Strangford Lough Yacht Clubs, Northern Ireland Federation of Sub-Aqua Clubs and was originally published in June 1995.

Indications showed that the code was a useful measure in reducing conflict. The code has been given further practical support through the development and three year trial of buoyed signs at mooring areas to remind users of the voluntary code and the need to reduce speed within 200 meters of any shoreline including islands.


4.    Voluntary Code of Conduct

Recreational Power boat users in Strangford Lough should:

  • Avoid mooring areas as sites for recreation. Any passage in these areas should be at low speed to minimise wash and disturbance, i.e. not exceeding five knots
  • Elsewhere avoid areas within 200 meters of the waters edge at any state of the tide, except for take off and landing operations. Dive boats, anglers etc., approaching or leaving sites within 200 meters of the waters edge should do so at low speed as in 1 above.
  • Approach the shoreline, raft or slipway in as direct a manner as possible when within 200 meters of the waters edge
  • Avoid polluting or spoiling the Lough or its islands or shoreline by careless disposal of packaging, oils or fuels, and dispose of all refuse ashore in a responsible manner.
  • Observe and respect signs or markers on slipways, shore, or islands where it is indicated that landing or takeoff is not permitted.
  • Stay well clear of seals and birds to avoid causing disturbance.
  • Observe the principles of good seamanship, avoid causing excessive wake or wash and respect the rights of other Lough users by extending due care and courtesy to them.

Please create an awareness and observance of these principles with other Lough users

Divers Code of Practice for Strangford Lough


5.    Conservation

Strangford Lough is a Statutory Marine Nature Reserve. many species within the Lough are rare, slow growing or sensitive to human interference. Shellfish Stocks are already under considerable pressure from fishing.

  • The collection of any plant or animal within the reserve is strongly discouraged.
  • Do not use spear-guns, spears, gaffs, etc.
  • Dive carefully- careless fining shows incompetence and damages marine life.
  • Seals are protected by law and are particularly sensitive to disturbance at haul out sites. Bird and seal colonies should not be approached.
  • Dive boats should keep to a slow speed (5 knots) when within 200 m of the shore to minimise wash and disturbance.
  • Leave wrecks undamaged for the enjoyment of other divers. All ‘finds’ must be reported to HM coast guard, who acts for the Receiver of Wrecks in Northern Ireland.
  • Notify the Environment and Heritage Service or HM Coast Guard if you see pollution within the Lough.

Take nothing but photos - leave nothing but bubbles


Next Section