With the recent scorching temperatures, many visitors to picturesque areas in Essex like Dedham will consider taking their kayak or paddleboard out on the River Stour.

But how many visitors know the law on taking small craft out on the waters?

Here's what you need to know

All craft must be registered to take to the water on any part of England’s Inland Waterway network (canals, rivers, navigations).

You can either register your craft with the Environment Agency or become a British Canoeing member.

Further information on doing so is available here.

The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the section of the Stour that runs from Brundon Mill (upstream of Sudbury) to Cattawade (near Manningtree).

Gazette: Dedham is a popular spot for visitors during the summer monthsDedham is a popular spot for visitors during the summer months

Through navigation is possible for all types of craft from Sudbury to Great Henny, travelling through Great Cornard Lock, it is ideally suited to lighter craft, such as canoes and kayaks.

These craft can be portaged between the various structures along the route.

However, it is possible to navigate larger craft using the restored locks.

Unpowered craft (i.e. those that are paddled, rowed or sailed) are permitted to travel the whole length of the Stour Navigation, from Brundon Mill to Cattawade.

Powered craft, with certain specified exceptions such as the River Stour Trust trip boats, are restricted to the stretch between Ballingdon Bridge and Henny Street.

The speed limit is 4mph.