The River Foss Society is a friendly active society, dedicated to the conservation and improvement of the River Foss and to introducing people to the enjoyment of the Foss and other bodies of water.

We enjoy a regular programme of walks, talks and visits. We also publish a quarterly newsletter reporting on problems, events and activities on the river.

The Society ensures that the 28 mile Foss Walk, going from the river’s source in the Howardian hills down to its junction with the Ouse at York, is maintained and covered annually.

The natural environment of the River Foss is observed and supported by members. They take part in several litter picks a year and also work to keep choking Himalayan Balsam weed under control.

River Foss Society and the Inland Waterways Association have cooperated in promoting the Castle Mills Lock in York as a gateway for boats to explore the navigable stretch of the River Foss and have worked together to have special days for restored barges and pleasure craft on the Foss. Some of our members have been trained as lock operators and can be booked to save boaters large fees.


  • conserve the river’s natural environment
  • prevent pollution in the river
  • restore natural habitats along the river for its vegetation, fish and all animals
  • improve the river for everyone by making it a better place to walk, fish and enjoy other recreational activities
  • help prevent floods in the future by working to control water better

We’ve already:

  • opened up rights of way along the river and regularly walk them
  • supported the planned reinstatement of a footbridge
  • held regular litter picks and weed control sessions
  • promoted significant improvements in water quality
  • established nature reserves by the river
  • raised awareness of the Foss by talks, exhibitions and leaflets and riverside boards
  • played an active role in monitoring development and planning applications along the river
  • organised visits

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