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Urr Navigation Trust

Improve, Maintain, Regulate

A local trust, responsible for safety, development and maintenance within navigational boundaries of the Urr river.

A brief history

UNT Prospectus

Minutes of Meetings

Harbour Masters Reports

A brief history

The UNT was established in 1901 by an Act of Parliament, and enjoyed almost a century of activity, ensuring that safe navigation and port facilities were maintained.

Due to the declining commercial viability of the port, the UNT began taking on less responsibilities, before dissolving altogether.

This unfortunately lead to a rapid decline in the harbour's appearance and public safety was becoming a massive concern, so, taking action, a local group of harbour stakeholders began the process of reinstating the UNT as allowed under the terms of the 1901 order.

Reviving the UNT

The process of reinstating the UNT was not a walk in the park- a large amount of due diligence and knowledge of centuries-old trust law was required.

The newly reinstated UNT are thankful for the massive amount of work put in by passionate volunteers to ensure that the process was legitimate and lawful. The UNT are also grateful for the services of Transport for Scotland, Local MPs and the Regional Harbour Master, without whose assistance the process would have been much more difficult.

Moving on

After successfully reinstating the UNT, the trust was able to begin the long process of bringing Palnackie Harbour to its former glory.

A harbour master was elected so orders could be written to remove waste and abandoned vessels from the harbour. The UNT nominated Darren Scott, a capable seafarer with many years experience captaining the one-of-a-kind Severn prototype Eileen May.

A prospectus was published, to show the community the UNT's goals and give them a chance to provide their feedback

The Prospectus

As many will understand and appreciate, Palnackie Harbour is a valuable port of both historic and present-day importance.


The harbour is a clear centre of the village’s identity, from the early days of trade, where commerce supported a vibrant village-local economy, to recent times where the evidence of Palnackie’s past inspires locals and visitors alike. The harbour is unmatched in appearance and heritage, and is a huge draw to Palnackie tourism as a result, with visitors stunned by the harbour’s unique atmosphere.


“One does not find it difficult to imagine the living, breathing harbour of old, with sailors and merchants going about their business” 


Today, Palnackie village shows a clear social and cultural propensity, shown by its large and busy art gallery, and the success of events such as the former Flounder Tramping World Championship and COP 26 flag procession. The presence of Scotland’s only tallship, which prominently peaks above the local skyline and draws in passing motorists, inspiries visitors and imbues them with a feeling of what the harbour could be.


The harbour, once a busy port with modern infrastructure and a bright future as a village heritage gem, has unfortunately been driven into the ground as a result of general neglect.


It is the intention of the current UNT trustees to present harbour users and the general public with the evident heritage of the harbour, through a combination of commercial, practical, artistic and historical rejuvenation of all elements of the harbour’s operation.


Simply put, the UNT will manage Palnackie Harbour as a functional harbour with respect to its heritage, and connection to Palnackie Village’s heritage.

We have a simple list of goals, outlined on the following page, which we believe will achieve these aims, and we have the ability to fulfil each and every one, using the powers which have been entrusted to us as trustees, and our appointed harbour authority.

Goals outlined in the prospectus

Restoring the harbour

  • Clearing and organising the harbour

  • Dredging the harbour

  • Restoring the harbour walls


Improving and maintaining the harbour

  • Management and authority within the harbour

  • Development of utilities & infrastructure

  • The development of a navigable channel

  • Installation of lifesaving equipment

  • Promoting the commercial viability of the harbour


Promoting community, arts, heritage and history

  • Encouraging visitors

  • Community engagement, events & cultural outreach

    • Cultural festivals - music, installation art, storytelling

    • Children’s education and events

  • Development and promotion of the harbour as a working heritage port

    • Fostering small-scale, ecological and socially responsible transportation solutions

    • Traditional boat-building demonstrations and workshops


These are goals which we deem feasible for the short and medium-term future, which will benefit the harbour and greater community in the longer-term.

Click the button below to download the prospectus in full, with detailed information about how the UNT plan to acheive each goal.

Minutes of UNT Meetings

21st June 2022

-Reinstating the UNT

-Electing harbour master

11th November 2022

Minutes to be released after next UNT meeting

Harbour Masters Reports

21st September 2022

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