The Trustees have responsibilities for navigational safety in that part of the estuary, and maintain a number of navigation aids (beacons, buoys and lighthouses), and a special 'Pilotwatch Radar' with portable sets for use by pilots. They also arrange the provision of pilots which are compulsory for most commercial shipping over in the GHT area. The main commercial traffic within the GHT area is to the port of Sharpness, and also some sand dredging. The harbour, which has one of the world's highest tidal ranges, includes both the present road crossings and two riverside nuclear power stations (one at Oldbury working, one at Berkeley decommissioning).
The GHT area, especially above Sharpness, contains much of special scientific interest, including extensive mud flats, and bird feeding areas.
The Trustees were originally constituted in 1890 and initially comprised some 22 Trustees. Today the board consists of 10 members, who are at present all men ,who are appointed in line with the principles of the ‘Guide to Good Governance’ drawn up as part of the DETR’s Review of Trust Ports and in accordance with the provisions of the Gloucester Harbour Revision (Constitution) Order 2002 (which also sets out the boundaries of the Gloucester Harbour).