An evicted canal boater kicked off Wiltshire's waterways must pay £32,000 for the removal of his unlicensed vessels.

Disabled boater George Ward has been sent a final notice for payment by the Canal and River Trust.

The body that manages 2,000 miles of Britain’s canals and inland waterways is asking Mr Ward to pay a total of £32,057.68 after evicting him from the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bradford on Avon after a bitter fight this year.

The 62-year-old has been told he needs to pay £30,743 for the removal of his boat the March Hare on May 11, plus £1,314.68 to cover licence fees and courier charges to return personal items removed with his boat.

In a letter seen by the Wiltshire Times, the Trust said it planned to sell the March Hare and his personal possessions after the Friday, October 13 deadline if he failed to find the money.

In an email, Mr Ward told the CRT: “Obviously you will do all that you can to make sure that I'm permanently deprived of all my property.

“I propose that the board should reimburse me in full for my current losses and I should be offered compensation.”

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Mr Ward was forced to leave the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bradford on Avon in mid-August after living in a tent on the canal towpath since May.

The Canal & River Trust obtained a fresh court order for trespass at a Bristol County Court on July 26 at a hearing he failed to attend.

It is understood Mr Ward is still living in Wiltshire. He says he is not willing to reveal what his plans are for the future.

“I am not prepared to say where I am or what I am doing,” said Mr Ward, who is registered disabled and claims benefits.

Mr Ward’s eviction in early August ended a three-year battle with the Canal & River Trust, which obtained the eviction orders in January.

The Trust told him to remove his two unlicensed boats, the March Hare and The Celtic, from the K&A Canal, which he failed to do.

The Celtic was removed on April 19 and the March Hare on May 11. Both boats were transported to a storage yard near Chester.

A Canal & River Trust spokesperson said: “Taking action to remove a boat from the water is upsetting and is always a last resort.

"It only happens when a boat owner refuses to follow the rules over a long period of time, during which the Trust has repeatedly tried to resolve the issues and difficulties with the customer.

"Following service of a notice pursuant to the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977, if a boater is unable to pay the fees to have their boat returned to them, then the boat is sold to recover the costs owed to the Trust. We do not publicly discuss the specifics, including financial details, of individual cases.”