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Adrian Cooper
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More access news - Independent

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:58 pm


pete thorn
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Interview on 'Today'

Post by pete thorn » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:37 pm

The access situation was picked up by 'Today' with an interview between John Grogan and Martin Salter, the MPs on opposing side on the issue. You can listen to this on http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/?focuswin

'Today' has a message board facility and I have posted a contribution. Why not add to it and get some national debate going?
Pete Thorn

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Post by meatballs » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:05 pm

'blue pathways'? Hmmm, I was under the impression the kayaking community referred to them as rivers!

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Post by Porgyaker » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:09 pm


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Post by Tom_Laws » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:21 pm

Ah, the old spawning bed card!

"Canoeists may be prepared to pay with greater access"

Err, or not!

Tom

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Post by Tom_Laws » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:22 pm

"Or put the boat on the roof of the car and head to Scotland!"

Tom

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Post by Ed Lefley » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:24 pm

just been told by my parents about it, and just about to listen to it.

Salter is the MP for the next bit west of me, and always appears to have a chip on his shoulder over something

I'm goign to be contrerversial here and say that as long as we have labour in we will not have any improvement in the access situation, however i do not feel that the tories will be any better.
Why?
Labour will only introduce legislation that benefits their voters; look at the banning of fox hunting, but not fishing (which can be more painful for the fish) Also there is the potential that the majority of river fisherman (ones on rivers such as the thames and rivers of that nature) will be labour voters; the smaller rivers (such as the Dee) are more likely to be a mixture of Labour and Tory.
The tories won't change it eihter though, due to the access to rivers that they feel are prime for fly fishing and other expensive prime sections


Just listening to it.... Salter is a Tw@t; talks rubbish about the access costs adn everything like that. we do pay for access to the rivers (thames licence and the ilk)
Also the arguement on the weirs; the weirs are there to make the rivers navigable for large pleasure craft, if we didn't have weirs then the rivers could be better for kayakers!

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Party politics and Martin Salter

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:07 pm

If you want to gauge party support, look at the signatures on the EDM.
Click the box below "Signatures" and choose Party Groups. This shows:

Labour : 52
Conservative: 24
Lib Dem : 22
Others : 3

Bear in mind that the convention is that anyone with a Government post (including PPS etc) doesn't sign EDMs, so this will understimate the number of Labour supporters.

I'm admit I'm biased, as I'm a member of the Labour party, and I shall be writing to them to point out that Martin Salter doesn't represent any of my views. The original countryside access campaign (Kinder Scout etc) was Labour (or further left) and freedom of access is in tune with Labour values; protecting the rights of landowners is Tory stuff.

While looking at the EDM, I notice that Martin Salter's Amendments only got 5 signatures (shot himself in the foot there!) but the 5 signatures are:

Salter, Martin
Jones, Martyn
Tami, Mark
Cruddas, Jon
Key, Robert

If anyone has any of these for an MP, please tell them what you think of them!

Chris

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Post by Dave @ TRC » Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:22 pm

I don`t think that paying for a water licence like fishermen to paddle any water any time in England and Wales( HOW MUCH IS THAT ? ABOUT £50 £60 POUND A YEAR) I spend more than that on hpp and other water sites around the country .





I whould be happy to pay for trouble free paddleing.


THANKS DAVE
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Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:19 pm

As I understand it about 80% of the cost of the EA comes from general taxation so I have already paid for the river access which is enjoyed by the anglers but not by me!

But saying that, there are many more people paying for the river maintenance for which they get next to no benefit so if I have to pay a 'small' sum in addition, I cannot have a huge objection. The big question is what is it that anyone might expect me to be paying for? If it is only fish stocks, then no. If it is for alterations to the river bed then no. If it is for weirs for the benfit of cruisers then no. If it is for clearing trees to maintain the navigation (which I understand that the EA do not generally do) then probably yes.

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Post by meatballs » Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:04 am

davenightshift wrote:I don`t think that paying for a water licence like fishermen to paddle any water any time in England and Wales( HOW MUCH IS THAT ? ABOUT £50 £60 POUND A YEAR) I spend more than that on hpp and other water sites around the country .
I thought a rod licence was over £1k? Could be misinformed though...

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Post by Mark R » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:04 am

I couldn't quite see the whole article, could someone please post up the full text?

Thanks,
Mark Rainsley
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Post by Kretha » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:32 am

Personally I wouldn't pay for access to the rivers, I don't pay to go hill walking or climbing so I won't pay to go paddling (unless its places like hpp etc) How many people here would pay to go paddling?

Mike

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Post by Tom_Laws » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:58 am

No,

Fuel, etc is enough!

Tom

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Post by Debby » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:34 am

The full article was posted on the site a couple of days ago by Neil Framer

Access article in Todays Independent:
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... hp?t=11144

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Post by RichA » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:07 pm

I will not ever pay to paddle a river, except HPP etc. The countryside should be free to everyone. I regularly ride/walk for free, so why no paddle for free too?

Do the EA manage smaller rivers such as the Hepste, Mellte, & Mawddach? If so, what do they do, and what are they meant to do?

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Post by googlebot » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:25 pm

meatballs wrote:
davenightshift wrote:I don`t think that paying for a water licence like fishermen to paddle any water any time in England and Wales( HOW MUCH IS THAT ? ABOUT £50 £60 POUND A YEAR) I spend more than that on hpp and other water sites around the country .
I thought a rod licence was over £1k? Could be misinformed though...
Salmon and Trout £63.75
Coarse £23.75

Taken from here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/su ... 0/?lang=_e

Not a vast sum is it. Although don`t forget this is the EA fee. They also have to pay the landowners a fee to fish on their land if the landowner deems fit, which is the thing that pisses me off. Fishing rights are big business, again we come back to who is making the most out of this situation. I believe it is the landowners.

Would fishing and canoeing get along if we were allowed free unhindered access but also in the legislation that the fishermen would also be allowed free and unhindered access. I believe that way everyone gets what they want.

It also takes away the argument that they pay more than we do. Actually, I pay more than a coarse fishermen. Unlike them I also have to travel miles to find decent water, the canal near my house is a very popular fishing spot, I could walk there.

Unfortunatley unless the lock gates broke at the right time it would be dull as hell. Why can`t Osama Bin Laden target lock gates.

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Post by herbert » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:40 pm

Which fee contributes towards the upkeep of river banks? The EA one or the landowner fishing rights one? Is there any proof that landowners actually spend the money on river conservation rather than buying the latest Range Rover?

I would be quite prepared to pay a fee that contributes towards river conservation if I was confident the money would go to that end.

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Post by Steve B » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:36 pm

Let's not get fishing rights and charges confused with access for paddling. What we do can sensibly be compared with rambling, skiing, dog-walking, cycling, jogging and so on. All of those are free - imagine the furore if anybody was to suggest a jogging licence!

Fishing is different in two ways. It involves occupying a space - rather like playing football or frisbee, or flying a kite, which neither the Scottish access laws nor CRoW permit. Paddling is just passing through, which is what "rights of way" allow. Incidentally this raises the interesting question of whether "park and play" should be allowed as of right under any proposed access legislation.

Secondly, the thing that fishers pay for is not the access to the bank, or even the right to sit there, it is the specific act of catching fish. This is not an access issue in any way and I just cannot accept that the comparison with paddling - or any other "passing through" activity - stands up to scrutiny.
Steve Balcombe

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Post by Frank B » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:58 pm

Steve B's point is well made. Landowners cannot stop stop planes, balloons or hangliders flying over, they cannot stop you on a public footpath and they cannot stop mining activity under their land. Why on earth can they stop you floating on water they do not own.

Frank B

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Post by Yakingmad » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:59 pm

Do we not already have a water licence when we pay our BCU membership?

So do the EA get any money from the BCU which very kindley issue a licence to paddle, which is basically worthless at the moment?

I am sure that canoeists do less damage to the banks and environment than groups of fisherman trapsing up the same bit of bank day after day leaving litter behind them and using foul language at us tidy and good natured canoeists.

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Post by buck197 » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:08 pm

I agree with the sentiment about not paying for using the rivers but life is too short. If we had a one off license fee of about £50 i think that would be reasonable per year. It costs to go to HPP, the Treweryn, JJ's etc why not elsewhere.

An anglers license fee does not give him the right to fish any river. THe National license fee allows him to fish on any "free" stretch of which there are very few, he then needs another permit from the landowner which could cost hundreds of pounds per year.

I would hope we the paddling community make use these opportunities to make our voice heard to our MP's to get better access.

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Post by ol » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:28 pm

buck197 wrote:I agree with the sentiment about not paying for using the rivers but life is too short. If we had a one off license fee of about £50 I think that would be reasonable per year. It costs to go to HPP, the Treweryn, JJ's etc why not elsewhere.
Partly because the places you mention are usually providing some sort of 'added value' to your paddling experience (ok, this is also debatable) such as car parking, showers, site maintenence/development etc.

If we have to pay some sort of fee, does this mean we can knock on Van Hoogstratens door after we've paddled through his domain and ask for a shower?

I think perhaps no.....

OL

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Post by Mark R » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:29 pm

With thanks to Brian Taylor...

------------------------------

Canoeists fight for right to paddle the 'blue pathways'
By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter
Published: 31 December 2005

When the nation's ramblers finally achieved the right to roam at will across
the countryside, it was a cause for celebration among all lovers of open
spaces.

But for one group the victory was bittersweet. For although the battle for
the right to roam has been won, the fight for permission to paddle is very
much the coming cause of 2006.

Since the full implementation last month of the Countryside and Rights of
Way Act Britain's two million-plus canoeists have increased their efforts to
be granted similar rights to paddle freely along Britain's rivers - what
they term "blue pathways" - the vast majority of which flow through land
where rights are controlled by landowners.

Campaign leaders have warned that some of their more militant followers may
resort to acts of illegal trespass on private rivers if they do not make
progress. Many are already unofficially breaking the law every week by
canoeing on rivers where they do not have permission.

The issue has divided MPs. Almost 100 have signed an early day motion,
tabled by John Grogan, Labour MP for Selby, urging the Government to extend
the right to roam to all waterways - noting that the most successful Olympic
canoeing nation, Germany, requires landowners to tolerate the use of
non-powered craft on their waterways and that similar access in Britain
would boost the nation's chances of future Olympic success.

But a group of pro-angling MPs, led by Martin Salter, another Labour MP,
have hit back with an amendment, saying that river access should be by
voluntary agreement only and that sensitive aquatic environments should be
protected.

Chris Hawksworth, the access and facilities manager of the British Canoe
Union, said canoeists were still angry over being excluded from the
provisions of the Rights of Way Act - introduced by the Labour Government to
honour a manifesto commitment. "Rivers were excluded specifically because of
lobbying from both landowners and the angling fraternity," he said. "We feel
we were discriminated against."
He said that fears by anglers or naturalists that canoeists would disturb
the environment were unfounded. "We aren't going to destroy swans' nests or
frighten away kingfishers if we can help it. We enjoy nature as much as any
other users of the countryside."

The anomaly only persists in England and Wales. In Scotland, the
introduction of wider freedoms under the Land Reform Act opened rivers to
all.

Canoeists are particularly annoyed that local angling associations maintain
objections to canoeists throughout the year, and yet for four months of the
fishing close season, the anglers stay at home.
Anglers reject suggestions of discrimination, saying their concern is to
preserve fishing grounds and breeding areas for a sport enjoyed by many
millions more than canoeing.

The county of Devon has some of the best rivers for canoeing in England and
Wales, which flow through some of the most beautiful countryside in the
South-west. And yet every weekend, to enjoy both rivers and countryside,
canoeists break the law and risk threats and intimidation from landowners
and fishermen.

"Our members do not enjoy breaking the law but every week many of them do
so, myself included," said Peter Thorn, 57, an educational consultant and a
member of the Bideford Canoe Club who has been a canoeist since the age of
12.

He added: "In the 1930s there was a huge outcry about the fact that grouse
moors were being kept for the exclusive use of the shooting fraternity. This
feels like the same kind of feudal arrangement to protect [the] exclusive
preserve of the fishermen."

The Environment Agency - the quango which looks after rivers and waterways -
said that while it was anxious to open the nation's waterways to public use,
it was committed to help negotiate agreements between canoeists and other
users. A spokeswoman stressed that four pilot schemes were under way to
establish best practice and that an extra 45 miles of waterways would be
opened next year. Any legislation would be a matter for Defra, which has
ruled it out for the present.

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