In these unusual times we wanted to bring some clarity to how we are operating at Willow Marina.
UPDATE ON 12TH MAY 2020
The UK Government’s latest measures to stop Covid-19 spreading now include: staying at home as much as possible, limiting contact with other people, keeping at least two metres from others and washing your hands regularly.
Following the adjustment of lockdown, and an increasing demand for access to boats, we are operating on a “back to business” basis: albeit one that has altered from a few months ago.
Where it is appropriate for you to visit our marina, you are very welcome.
We have implemented some changes to keep you safe during your visits to us during these unprecedented times. Whether you are visiting as a mooring holder, or coming to view a boat, please take the time to read the guidelines before arriving.
If you are a mooring holder, we have emailed you with some additional information and guidance.
Our goal is for our marina to be a relaxed, safe, and enjoyable destination for all visitors, and these protective measures are in place to ensure that such an environment is maintained and nurtured.
We would like to thank you for playing your part and treating our other guests and our team with respect and kindness by adhering to these new procedures below….
- Please always follow the 2-metre rule and all UK Government guidelines.
- Our main yard gates are open during normal business hours.
- Our bathroom facilities are open. If you are coming to our office or viewing a boat for sale please wash your hands on arriving in the marina.
- We will be doing everything we can to minimise contact. Your health and safety are paramount in this situation, as is ours and our other guests.
- This includes intense cleaning schedules, informative signage and reminders for social distancing, and providing PPE (personal protective equipment) where appropriate.
- The best way of contacting us is to email [email protected]
- Please do not come to the marina unnecessarily.
- We will be assessing the situation daily, staying updated with news and changes and continuing to adapt, adhering to the latest UK Government advice.
MARINA OFFICE (“THE ARK”):
- A core team will be in the office to answer queries and facilitate our back to business operations.
- We have changed our office layout to make it as safe as possible, so do expect to see familiar faces in different locations.
- Wherever possible, all meetings will take place outside.
- In inclement weather, we have a large indoor meeting room available upstairs for use.
- Access to The Ark will be restricted and limited to one person at a time when it is necessary to come inside.
- We ask that if you need assistance, please stay outside until we can help you, in order to maximise physical distancing.
All appointments must be pre-booked. We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and enquiries. Appointments are required if you would like to view a boat so that we can ensure we have staff available to prepare the vessel and to assist you. Please do not arrive without an appointment.
Before your appointment
- We will ask for your contact details including phone number for emergencies and email so that we may confirm your appointment details.
- In our confirmation email will be details of what to do before and when you arrive, and what to expect during your visit to us.
- Depending on what type of boat you are viewing (cabin cruiser or open day boat) we will advise what PPE we will provide to you, for your safety and comfort.
- You are encouraged to bring your own face covering.
- The boat entry points and surfaces will be cleaned prior to your arrival and after each viewing.
- Viewing ladders will have been cleaned prior to your arrival and after each viewing.
- Bathrooms including taps, door handles and flushes will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
What to expect
- We will open up the boat for you in order to minimise contact points.
- We will provide you with biodegradable disposable nitrile gloves for use during your time on the boat. We have chosen biodegradable gloves as it is important for us to make you feel as comfortable as possible in the most environmentally friendly ways possible.
- We will not accompany you on the boat, however we will be close by to answer any queries.
- When you are ready to leave the boat, we will close all windows/curtains/doors/canopies for you.
SLIPWAY USE (PAYG)
- Our slipway is available to use on a pre-booked basis.
- To make a payment, either: provide a number for us to call you to take payment prior to arrival, OR pay by card on arrival, our card machine can now take contactless payments for up to £45.
- *Please be aware that, at the time of writing, restrictions on recreational boating on the Thames have not yet been lifted. For now, all recreational boaters are advised to wait until the Environment Agency confirms their restrictions are lifted before using any boat on the waterway.
- The chandlery onsite is run by a separate business, MEC Marine.
- Please follow the guidance from MEC when visiting or purchasing from them.
- Contact MEC
- visit https://www.mecmarine.co.uk/
- email [email protected]
- call 0118 940 1141
- In line with UK Government restrictions, our coffee shop on site is currently closed.
- We very much look forward to reopening and once again serving you fantastic coffees with the very best Welsh Cake you’ve ever had.
UPDATE ON 28TH APRIL 2020
Over the course of the last few weeks we have all learnt more about this pandemic and how to operate safely.
Our business has adapted and developed new ways of working whilst following UK Government guidelines: whether that has meant our management team largely working from home, or creating new ways to engage with customers through video.
This has also meant investigating how we can work at the marina, and has led to the development of new practises for works to be safely conducted in Willow Marina.
What’s changing now
With these new procedures ready to implement, we are now taking the next step: with our yard team returning to work from Wednesday 29th April. Works to resume include:
- relaunching of boats
- compound polishing
- teak cleaning
- canopy cleaning
- marina maintenance
Engineers and other contractors are allowed to work on boats in our marina if:
- we have copies of their insurance, and
- they follow Government coronavirus guidelines regarding safety at work.
Why we are taking this action now
We were only prepared to restart works when we could assure our team that with strict measures of social distancing, adapted ways of working, and with good hygiene, that it is both safe and possible to return to work.
We are also joining the businesses that are now slowly re-starting operations.
Further, with the hopes of an easing of the lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks, we are keen to do whatever we can to get boats ready for use.
What we ask of you
We are currently in a period where customer visits to the marina are not permitted.
Please continue to follow this guidance.
We ask this for the safety of both you and our team, as increased traffic would mean increased risk.
For now, please stay safe. Stay at home.
UPDATE ON 24TH MARCH 2020
As part of our commitment to do what is right in this national emergency, we have stopped the relaunch of boats and works to vessels, and have advised our team to stay at home.
The guidance issued by our government does not allow leisure time on boats. Willow Marina is a private property that is frequented and enjoyed by many members of the public, and as such should not be visited currently.
We are proud to be continuing to make the hard decisions to close before we are forced to. As with the announced closure of our coffee shop nearly a week ago, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
We therefore request that you follow government guidance, and do not visit the marina.
Whilst we will continue to check premises and can assess river levels via CCTV, we will not be cleaning shared areas such as bathrooms and key pads.
*We are still contactable*. Our office team are working from home. Sales of boats are still progressing. And we will continue to look to video media to market boats for sale.
Our belief is that the sooner we take these precautions, the sooner we will all be able to get back to our lives, and enjoy the beauty that the river offers.
For now, please stay safe. Stay at home.
UPDATE ON 19TH MARCH 2020
As of 19th March, our marina is still open. We are, of course, following the guidance of the UK government and request that anyone who does visit follows suit regarding social distancing and hygiene.
Sadly as of 4pm on Friday 20th March we will be temporarily closing the doors of our coffee shop The Cwtch. This is not a decision we have taken lightly but one that has been made with our staff and customers’ safety at the forefront of our minds, taking into account government guidance to avoid public gatherings. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Our teams are consistently working hard to keep themselves and you safe by minimising physical contact and by adopting more frequent and thorough cleaning routines, particularly of shared areas.
In positive news, a subsiding river has meant that we have been able to start with the relaunch of boats following winter storage. Our yard team – in the safer outdoor environment – are working extended hours to ensure as many boats as possible are on the water in the shortest amount of time.
Looking forward to positive times, we are still selling boats. We are also now able to offer live video walkthroughs of boats, so if you are interested in our boats for sale do get in touch to arrange a virtual viewing.
We are of course still contactable by phone and email, and plan on operating for as long as is possible and recommended to do so.