who we are and what we do


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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

David Hart KC

The Earl of Leicester

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


The Harbour Trust have appointed John Thompson to the position of Harbour Warden. John is a qualified boatman and a CL65 right-holder.


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 may appoint a Management Committee.





Hon. Chair: Wiilliam Garnett

Hon. Secretary: Toby Campbell-Gray

Hon.Treasurer: Peter Low

AGM 2023

The 2023 AGM will be held at 5.00pm on Saturday 8th April at Burnham Thorpe Village Hall



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 February 2023, licences may be obtained by visiting

or by contacting 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!