who we are and what we do

The Burnham Overy Harbour Trust is a registered charity (No.287315) set up in 1982 to manage the harbour and creek for the benefit of its users. The objects of the charity are

- to manage the harbour area in line with environmental and heritage objectives

- to maintain and improve the creek and harbour and regulate access to the creek for those purposes

- to co-operate with relevant organisations to promote water safety and application of byelaws

The Trustees of the Charity are:

Peter Beck

The Earl of Leicester

David Hart QC

David de Stacpoole



The land and creek at Burnham Overy Harbour was bought by the Earl of Leicester (the Holkham Estate) in 1922 and is leased to the Burnham Overy Harbour Trust (the Charity) for £10 a year. To read a copy of the lease, click


The Charity operates under a constitution which ensures the harbour is managed fairly and in the interests of all harbour users and local people. To read a copy of the constitution,click


Harbour Warden 2021


The Harbour Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of John Thompson to the position of Harbour Warden. John is a qualified boatman and a CL65 right-holder.





pdf Harbour Warden Notice

Common Rights

Much of the land leased to the Charity forms part of CL65, a registered Common and is therefore subject to common rights. Common rights involve the entitlement to take a specific product from land belonging to another, in this case the Holkham Estate. The rights of common and the names of the rights holders in relation to CL65 are registered at Norfolk County Council. The rights holders are entitled to exercise their registered rights (grazing, wildfowling etc.) unhindered as well as such further ancillary rights as are reasonably necessary to exercise their registered rights. All other rights remain vested in the landowner who has granted a lease to the Charity which in turn has appointed a Management Committee.



The Management Committee is responsible for the operation of the Harbour and it includes representatives from Scolt Head and District Common Rights Holders, Burnham Overy Parish Council, Norton Parish Meeting, Overy Sailing Club, The Holkham Estate, Natural England, The Boathouse and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk BC


Harbour Warden

John Thompson


Management Committee

Scolt Head and District Common Rights Holders: Peter Connor

Burnham Overy Sailing Club: Richard Warner, Andrew Green

Natural England: John Ebbage

Holkham Estate: Jake Fiennes

Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council: Tom de Winton

Burnham Overy and Norton Wildfowlers: Simon Raven

Burnham Overy Parish Council: Katherine William-Powlett, Pam Thompson

Burnham Overy Parishioners: Ian MacKechnie-Jarvis, John Lumley

Burnham Overy Boathouse: Tim Gatti


Co-opted by the Management Committee

Buoys/Wells Harbour Liaison:

Channel/Groynes: Kevin Gathercole

Projects: John Lumley



Hon. Acting Chair: David Hart QC

Hon. Secretary: Peter Low

Hon.Treasurer: Jonnie Usher


The Management Committee meets 4 times a year in the Village Hall at Burnham Overy. All meetings start at 7pm apart from the AGM which starts at 6pm. The dates of the meetings in 2018/19 are:

Friday 11th May - Minutes (draft until approved) Minutes 110518

Friday 13th July EGM - Please note this meeting will take place in Burnham Thorpe Village Hall and start at 7pm - Minutes (draft until approved) Minutes 130718

Friday 26th October - Minutes Minutes 261018

Friday 8th February 2019 - Minutes (draft until approved) Minutes 080219

Draft BOH&CT Constitution (10.04.19 revision) Draft Constitution

Friday 19th April - Agenda Management Agenda 190419

The AGM will be held at 6pm on Friday 19th April 2019 - Agenda AGM Agenda



Minutes of the meetings in 2017/18 are available here:

Friday 12th May - Minutes Minutes 120517

Friday 7th July - Minutes Minutes 070717

Friday 29th September - Minutes Minutes 290917

Friday 2nd February 2018 - Minutes (draft until approved) Minutes 020218

The AGM was held at 6pm on Friday 30th March 2018

AGM Agenda AGM Agenda


Minutes of the meetings in 2016/17 are available here:

Friday 13th May Minutes 130516

Friday 8th July Minutes 080716

Friday 21st October Minutes 211016

Wednesday 1st February Minutes 010217

The AGM was held on 14th April 2017 at The Boathouse, East Harbour Way

AGM Agenda AGM Agenda

2016 Minutes 2016 Minutes

2016 Accounts Accounts

AGM Report Report




There is some confusion over the extent of the Holkham Estate’s ownership and the land leased to the Charity. It has been suggested that the some or all of the land is by owned by the Crown Estate, the Common Rights Holders, the Parish Council and/or the National Trust, to name but a few. An extract from the 1922 Conveyance showing the extent of the land purchased by the Earl of Leicester in 1922 can be seen here.

Conveyance of 1922

Some of this land was subsequently sold to the Crown, the National Trust and others but the majority remains owned by the Holkham Estate and leased to the Harbour Trust. The rights holders are entitled to conduct their common rights unrestricted but they do not own the land and the management of the land is vested in the Charity for public benefit. The exact extent of Holkham Estate’s ownership can be confirmed by visiting the Government’s Land Registry Website·but this map broadly illustrates the extent of the lease granted to the Trust.


using the harbour

what you need to know


Be aware that the Harbour has many dangers. By coming on to the Hard and/or the Creek area you acknowledge and agree to the following.

The Hard is not a car park and may flood at high tide

You come to the Hard and the Creek at your own risk and you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your family and friends

The ebb flow (outgoing tide) can be very dangerous

Do not cross the Creek unless you know the state of the tide and the time of high tide, and are sure you can get back

Boats of 8 feet or more must be licensed and insured to use the Harbour. They must be driven safely and must watch out for and give way to swimmers

The use of Jet Skis or Waterskiing is not permitted

Camping or caravans are not allowed on the Hard. No overnight parking.

Please do not leave litter, and clean up after your dog.

More guidance is displayed at the entrance to the Hard - please read this

Navigation Update

The local aids to navigation at Burnham Overy Staithe, under the management of Burnham Overy Harbour Trust, are inspected annually by an Officer of Trinity House.


Burnham Overy Boathouse (which is entirely independent of the Harbour Trust) operates two webcams overlooking the Staithe

Boat Licenses

Boats of 8 feet or more must be licensed to use the Harbour. A licence allows the boat to be launched and used in the Harbour, but does not include a right to park or moor the boat.

It is a requirement that you have third party insurance before you launch.

The current Annual Fees for all moored or launched craft including sail and paddleboards are

Overall Length 8ft to 20ft £30.00
Overall Length over 20ft £50.00

As of March 2021, licences may be obtained by downloading
2021 Licence Application

and returning them to or by post to BOHT c/o St.Andrews Cottage, Overy Road, Burnham Market PE31 8HH


The Trust having been granted a lease of the bed of the creek by the Holkham Estate aims to ensure that those who use moorings can continue to do so safely, and that the fairway is kept clear so boats can make passage without danger to others. Any moorings found to have been laid without consent may be removed.

There are no moorings currently vacant and there is no waiting list.


Around the harbour




Get In Touch


Get in touch

You can contact the Trust by email to

There is a substantial cost attached to mantaining the harbour and creek and without this maintenance there would be more mud and sand and even less water – and in time the creek would pass into history.

This work has only been possible through appeals and donations and for it to continue we need your support!

If you enjoy visiting Overy Harbour and Scolt Head, please make a donation now - either in person at Burnham Grapevine, Overy Road, Burnham Market PE31 8HH or by post, to receive news of projects and events. Thank you!