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Access Needs YOU!

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All, there is a Welsh government review into access to water in Wales. It is VITAL that as many paddlers or water users respond to this.

For those new to the sport, some context:

1930’s onwards people believed you needed permission to paddle on rivers. Fishermen didn’t like sharing and even managed to persuade some policy makers / judges that this is the case.

Access agreements were occasionally formulated, always in favour of fishermen, but many (most) rivers remained off limits. example of an access agreement included the river Dee above llangollen, which allowed about 4 days use per year.

Quality agreements were limited. Attempts to make sharing more equal was rebuffed by the fishing lobby. They even managed to have access to water removed from the right to roam act.

Late 90’s / Early 00’s – a doctoral thesis suggested that there is a right to navigate all rivers.
A seperate government study found that paddlesports do not disturb fish.

After more attempts to make access agreements fairer, including a government attempt that actually REDUCED access whilst attempting to improve access, Paddlesport bodies diecided to ignore them.
Legal position of access is disputed.

Welsh government is reviewing again. So far the well organised committees of Countryside Alliance have made 600 submissions AGAINST access (be careful, their stratergy appears pro access but it is not)
Dissorganised paddler who would rather just paddle, have made 12 submissions to improve access.

PLEASE help!!!!!!! Respond to the survey below.

FURTHER, if possible, please write to the Welsh Assembly to tell them why access matters. A pro forma example letter will be distributed late August.

NB – be very careful if liking the the countryside alliance posts / comments re access, they actually want to REDUCE access.

Mike (you might have to cut and paste the link. More information is on the canoe england, canoe wales websites facebook pages. Also see waters of wales)