dee access

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quicky
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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:51 pm

Couple of interesting replies....

Interesting email from Welsh Dee Partnership. So the agreement is not an agreement for us but a "concession". Stick within the "Concessions" to avoid "conflict or confrontation". Isn't that how protection rackets work?
Hi Andy

Thanks for your eMail.

To clarify…
The only formal agreement we have is with the commercial rafting operators who use the section between Horseshoe Falls and Llangollen weir. They contribute to our cost of operation – signs, gauges/cameras, office etc.

The canoe access is a concession made by the landowners / riparian interests to all canoeists. All we’ve been trying to do is to state what those concessions are, which have been discussed with AONB, NRW and others in order to arrive at a fair and reasonable outcome. They serve to help protect the area, to provide anglers with times when they can fish undisturbed and to provide paddlers with times and conditions where they will have access and river usage without conflict or confrontation. These concessions cover two principal runs – the one from Glydyfrdwy down to Horseshoe Falls and the other from Horseshoe Falls to Llangollen (or Ty Mawr Country park if the river is in spate).

I hope that makes the situation clearer.

Kind regards
Tony Gaskin

and from the canal and rivers Trust.
Dear Andy



Thanks for your enquiry today regarding the above. I hope that I can clarify the Trust’s position but if you do have further questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call on my mobile number below.



The Canal & River Trust is not a member of the Welsh Dee Partnership. I have noted that our logo has been added to their website and have requested it to be removed.



The Trust has not been involved in the development of the access arrangements for the Welsh River Dee. The Trust’s interests in the River Dee are limited to a very small stretch of the waterway below the Horseshoe Falls which is in our ownership and was constructed to provide the water supply to the canal. .



We have secured Splash funding to improve an access point at this location, the creation of this new access, which will benefit canoeists is subject to consent being given by NRW due to the SAC status of the River Dee.



I can confirm that the Trust has not provided any funding to the Welsh Dee Partnership. If further information is required on the funding arrangements you would need to contact the partnership directly.





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Re: dee access

Post by icklepaddler » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:08 pm

The official email from the dee partnership reads like a threat from a limited company funded by public money.

ie - paddle outside of our concessions and you will be liable to conflict and confrontation.

Is a publicly funded body allowed to act that way when dealing with members of the public participating in a legal activity?

Or should the police / funding bodies be having a polite word

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Re: dee access

Post by buck197 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:54 pm

So as a West Country boater liable to visit soon, is JJ's still open and if not where is the best places for access and egress.
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Pete C.
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Re: dee access

Post by Pete C. » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:20 am

Buck - Mile End Mill is open again and being run by Josh and his team at Llangollen Outdoors. They update levels every day on their Facebook and Twitter pages, they're paddlers themselves and they're putting a lot of effort into the site - which it sorely needs. Site fees are here, and I have no problem with them now that it feels like someone's taking an active role in maintaining the site again.

Also, because the rafts are now running from Tail to Town, they only drop in briefly at the Mill on the way down. Much better for playboating...

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Re: dee access

Post by Dom3442 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:02 am

There are no access issues on the Dee so get on based on where you want to paddle.

The public car park near horseshoe falls is free. Getting on at JJs cost £3 per person, gates are now locked in the evening after the place closes. There is car park in town which is a fairly cheap pay and display. All of these are fine. I've paddled the Dee around 20 times this year and seen people fishing 3 or 4 times. Not had any problem with access or people telling me I shouldn't be paddling the river at all.

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Re: dee access

Post by BigPhil » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:18 am

Hey Pete, That sounds like a much better arrangement. I'll try and call in next time I pass through north wales. Are you getting out paddling at all? It will be weird to see rafts on the other parts of the dee!

Phil

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Re: dee access

Post by Patrick Clissold » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:53 pm

Pete C. wrote:Buck - Mile End Mill is open again and being run by Josh and his team at Llangollen Outdoors. They update levels every day on their Facebook and Twitter pages, they're paddlers themselves and they're putting a lot of effort into the site - which it sorely needs. Site fees are here, and I have no problem with them now that it feels like someone's taking an active role in maintaining the site again.

Also, because the rafts are now running from Tail to Town, they only drop in briefly at the Mill on the way down. Much better for playboating...
I see they say they have regular wristband inspections. I take it they mean whilst your on the bank at their site?

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Re: dee access

Post by SimonMW » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:35 pm

You can of course leave a review of the Private Limited Company that organised this mess on their convenient Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Welsh-De ... 36?fref=ts

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:45 pm

from the dee partneship access officer....
Just wondering what recourse he thinks he has to tell you off for breaking an agreement you are not party to or agreeing with ;)
Hi Tony,

Can you tell me who you should contact is you are abused whilst paddling at the correct times and what happens if people paddle outside your times.

Can you tell me what the conceesion are please. Is there specific access points over people land?

Cheers for the help.

Andy
Hi Andy

If you are abused physically, you have recourse to law – call the police.

If verbally, politely point out that you are conforming to the arrangement times and conditions (if you are). In the case of severe verbal abuse, contact me and I will deal with it and get an apology issued. Try to get the offenders name if possible.

If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

There are three access points. Glyndyfrdwy is at the Coed Y Glyn log cabins site run by the Davies family. They do impose a parking charge.

Horseshoe falls – there is a free car park nearby which is owned by the local council and there is access across a field down to the falls.

Mile End Mill is a private enterprise and may impose parking charges for use of its facilities.

Egress points – The car park at the rear of the Ponsonby Arms is free and there are steps down to the river.

Ty Mawr – I understand parking is free.

I hope that makes it clear.

Kind regards

Tony

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Re: dee access

Post by Big Henry » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:08 pm

quicky wrote:from the dee partneship access officer....
Just wondering what recourse he thinks he has to tell you off for breaking an agreement you are not party to or agreeing with ;)
Hi Tony,

Can you tell me...what happens if people paddle outside your times.

Cheers for the help.

Andy
Hi Andy
...
If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

I hope that makes it clear.

Kind regards

Tony
Yep, that's making it clear to me - we'll give a warning to ANY paddlers on the water outside the agreed times even if you aren't party to the agreement!

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:57 pm


Hi Tony,

If you paddle outside the times and are seen you say...

If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

what happens when you are seen again?

Andy
Hi Andy

We reserve the right to report you and you may get officially barred from the river.

Regards

Tony

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Re: dee access

Post by Yew » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:59 pm

quicky wrote:

Hi Tony,

If you paddle outside the times and are seen you say...

If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

what happens when you are seen again?

Andy
Hi Andy

We reserve the right to report you and you may get officially barred from the river.

Regards

Tony
Call the police, I'm poretty sure its Illegal for a private individual to ban a person from using a public right of navigation..

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Re: dee access

Post by Pete C. » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:05 pm

Patrick Clissold wrote:
Pete C. wrote:Site fees are here, and I have no problem with them now that it feels like someone's taking an active role in maintaining the site again...
I see they say they have regular wristband inspections. I take it they mean whilst your on the bank at their site?
I'd have thought so - that's the only way it's going to work. I normally prefer to park and play at the Mill, but I wouldn't expect to sign on if I was just passing through between the tail and town.

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Re: dee access

Post by SimonMW » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:10 pm

but I wouldn't expect to sign on if I was just passing through between the tail and town.
Given the hassle they used to give even if we dared to stop off at their cafe en route down river to give them money for tea and cake before going onto Town Falls, I wouldn't put it past them to inspect wrist bands of everyone!

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Re: dee access

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:13 pm

Yew wrote:
quicky wrote:

Hi Tony,

If you paddle outside the times and are seen you say...

If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

what happens when you are seen again?

Andy
Hi Andy

We reserve the right to report you and you may get officially barred from the river.

Regards

Tony
Call the police, I'm poretty sure its Illegal for a private individual to ban a person from using a public right of navigation..
It is. How about launching (or egressing) from the flat rocks by the town centre? They are part of Riverside Park, owned by Denbigh County Council ie public land.

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Re: dee access

Post by Pete C. » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:37 pm

SimonMW wrote:Given the hassle they used to give even if we dared to stop off at their cafe en route down river to give them money for tea and cake before going onto Town Falls, I wouldn't put it past them to inspect wrist bands of everyone!
It's a different business run by different people. Nothing to do with the previous tenants. It's immediately obvious on visiting the site - the guys are doing their very best to sort out the uncared-for state that the site had been allowed to fall into. I just wanted to spread the word that it's under new management, and my experience so far has been good. I really hope it works for them, as it's a fantastic stretch of water...

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Re: dee access

Post by Franky » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:43 pm

--- deleted ---
Last edited by Franky on Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dee access

Post by Franky » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:47 pm

Yew wrote:
quicky wrote:

Hi Tony,

If you paddle outside the times and are seen you say...

If you are paddling outside the arrangement times and are seen, you may get a warning on the first instance, depending on the circumstances.

what happens when you are seen again?

Andy
Hi Andy

We reserve the right to report you and you may get officially barred from the river.

Regards

Tony
Call the police, I'm poretty sure its Illegal for a private individual to ban a person from using a public right of navigation..
They're not banning you, they're saying that someone unspecific but official "may" ban you.

I don't see how this can be done through legal channels, unless a legal decision has already been made as to whether the paddler was trespassing.

So that particular legal threat is an empty one, but the extra-legal one is real enough - i.e. they reserve the right to harrass anyone who paddles except when they say.

The threats are unspecific and possibly empty, the question is whether anyone thinks it worth calling their bluff. It would be interesting to see if they were able to "bar" a paddler from the river without any proof of an offence having been committed.

More likely, I think, is that this "agreement" will be used as justification for stepping up the low-level campaign of harrassment that straddles the law/the police's interest.
Last edited by Franky on Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dee access

Post by SimonMW » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:50 pm

The threats are unspecific and possibly empty, the question is whether anyone wants to chance calling their bluff.
That's what they are counting on, ruling by fear, which is why nobody should be cowed by them.

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Re: dee access

Post by Franky » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:42 pm

icklepaddler wrote:The official email from the dee partnership reads like a threat from a limited company funded by public money.

ie - paddle outside of our concessions and you will be liable to conflict and confrontation.

Is a publicly funded body allowed to act that way when dealing with members of the public participating in a legal activity?

Or should the police / funding bodies be having a polite word
Whether the body is publicly funded makes no difference. A threat is a threat, and no organisation, public or private, can legally issue OPEN threats of harrassment. As far as I know.

But the threat here is implicit, and therefore legally "invisible". I assume that "We will harrass you if you don't comply" is an open threat that can be challenged in court, whereas "We won't harrass you if you do comply" makes no statement about what they will do if you don't comply. The implication is clear, but the literal wording is unobjectionable. Complaints about tone and implication are things that a decent lawyer could dismiss easily.

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Wild swimmers were there on sunday enjoying a swim. No one told them off despite them waiting for it....

Article in Post

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-w ... ss-7731861

An agreement may have been struck over access rights to a section of the River Dee – but the row over who is entitled to use the water looks set to rumble on.

This isn’t just an issue affecting the 10-mile stretch running between Glyndyfrdwy and Llangollen, it’s a long-running dispute that has divided river users across the country.

Angling clubs and fishery owners are adamant that water running next to privately-owned land is off limits to canoeists and kayakers, and that they must seek permission from “riparian landowners” in order to use it.

But boat users see it differently, arguing that there is and has always been a public right of navigation on all rivers.

It’s now come to the point where the Angling Trust has launched a legal challenge against canoeing bodies in England and Wales, accusing them of publicising “incorrect information” and contributing to “widespread trespass”.

A group of canoeists who formed a company called The campaign for River Access for All claims there was a public right of navigation on all rivers prior to 1750 and that it still exists, adding that landowners may own the banks and beds of a river but they cannot own the flowing water itself.

Locally, the Welsh Dee Partnership Limited (WDP) was formed in 2012 to promote good relations between anglers and canoeists on the Welsh Dee in the Llangollen area.

The Welsh Government has no plans to impose universal access for canoes to rivers across the country and is instead supporting the creation of Voluntary Access Agreements.

DWP announced its “landmark agreement” last week saying it will provide “improved” access on the 10-mile stretch.

Chairman Huw Evans said: “I am delighted that the access has been finalised. This will enable canoeists and fishermen to enjoy the river without conflict.”

But not all river users share his view, with many saying the agreement has no bearing on them as it is only held between the angling groups and commercial operators signed up to it.

Phill Thomas, from Llangollen and a kayaker of 20 years, said: “A voluntary access agreement is only voluntary if everyone agrees to it.

“Provided you find somewhere open to the public to get on and off the river then the bit in between is irrelevant. There is no such thing as trespassing on water.”

He also feels the agreement is restricting access rather than improving it, with rules such as no wild swimming and no fishing from canoes.

“I think it’s very odd”, said Phill. “If you fall out of your canoe or kayak do you then become an illegal swimmer?”

Canoe Wales says it is not bound by the agreement as “regrettably” it was put together without them.

A statement released by the organisation said: “It is understandable that the commercial outdoor companies on the Dee wish to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship with angling bodies.

“We welcome collaboration and partnership working in the management of our waterways and seek to work productively with all our partners.

“Canoe Wales will issue or endorse guidance on responsible use. Regrettably in this case Canoe Wales has not been party to this agreement. This agreement can therefore only be seen as being between the parties involved.

“We would welcome discussion with the Welsh Dee Partnership on an ongoing basis regarding this matter.

“We would request that The Welsh Dee Partnership amends its website to say that their statements only apply to the commercial bodies and angling clubs involved in the agreement.”

Tony Gaskin, WDP river access co-ordinator, clarified to the Daily Post that there was an agreement struck with the commercial operators but that the wording of the access rights has now been changed to “arrangement”, meaning it extends to members of the public who can now use the river “without fear” as a result of the concessions offered by the landowners.

Mr Gaskin said: “There isn’t a public right of way on the Dee. This will mean it’s open to all paddlers at certain times if they want to use it for paddling.

“It’s a step in the right direction, it provides some allowance for people to paddle without fear.”

Last month, the Angling Trust announced that legal action to force canoe organisations to stop publishing information which they claim “encourage unlawful behaviour” is the only option.

The action will be backed by subscription income from Fish Legal members along with donations made over the past year from more than a hundred angling clubs to the Sustainable Access Campaign Cymru.

Chief executive Mark Lloyd said: “We are taking action to stop the canoeing governing bodies publishing inaccurate information and to protect the rights of our member angling clubs and riparian owners.

“This may now include court proceedings. Our members have often tried to make agreements with canoeing clubs for greater access, with reasonable conditions to protect the water environment and avoid interference with fishing.

“However, these offers are repeatedly rejected, because the canoeing governing bodies insist that such agreements must allow unlimited access, or that permission is not needed.”

He added: “We hope that this legal action, if it proves necessary, will settle beyond any doubt the issue of rights to navigate on rivers. We need the canoeing governing bodies to recognise that the law is clear and that permission is required.

“If this occurs, then we will be happy to work closely with them and our members to develop access agreements which make it possible for more people to go canoeing more often, without breaking the law or unreasonably interfering with angling.”

The British Canoe Union said it was “disappointed” to receive letters from Fish Legal – the legal arm of the Angling Trust.

A statement said: “The British Canoe Union would like the Angling Trust to clarify and identify to canoeing the precise word(s)/parts of those publications that the Angling Trust takes issue with, for example the statements from our websites that it says have encouraged a ‘recent upsurge in unlawful canoeing’.”

The Rivers Access Campaign – funded by Canoe England – says it is seeking “clarity and certainty of access” for river users in England and Wales.

It would seem with the threat of legal action that perhaps the issue will finally come to a head sooner rather than later.

To see the full details of the river access arrangements visit www.welshdeepartnershipltd.co.uk/river_access

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Re: dee access

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:51 pm

A group of kayakers came downstream while I was there, but no sign of any anglers within my view from the flat rocks, up- nor downstream. Had a good chat with Phil at Gradient Foods together with another wild swimmer re. what's been happening.

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Re: dee access

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:35 pm

From their facebook page:
As the newly appointed River Access Co-ordinator for the Dee in the Llangollen area, I’d like to share a few comments and inform everyone about my role.

I’m basically responsible for liaising with river users / landowners in order that everyone can enjoy the river without conflicts arising.

A great start has been made, in that the landowners and fishing interests have got together with some of the commercial canoe/rafting interests and drawn up some times, terms and conditions detailing when and where river users should launch, use and recover their craft in order to maintain good relations with each other. Please see “Conditions for Permission to use the Welsh Dee for Canoeing” on the Canoe Access page of our Web site.

I basically have to promote this understanding to visiting fishermen, canoeists and rafters as well as to local interests and to act as a focal point for queries and suggestions.

Those who have subscribed to the agreement, which include riparian owners and some of the commercial users (canoe / rafting companies), basically make a contribution to the not-for- profit Welsh Dee Partnership, a jointly controlled body working to develop improved conflict-free use of the Dee. The contributions are used to cover costs such as setting up signage, installing river height gauges/cameras, promotion and the cost of someone like myself. We have been fortunate to get some grant money as well, to help get the show on the road.
I can't see how this has been extrapoloated to encompass everyone who uses the river, especially as several of the commercial interests are quite adamant that it was not intended to be so.

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:40 pm

maybe ask about the letters sent out to organisations and clubs locally as well....

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:20 pm

From the letters I have received from the bottom of the Dee partnership supporters,

all of the council interests think it is or have been led to believe it is a binding interest

CRT has said they had nothing to do with it CRT and have asked for there logo to be removed (and have also kindly pointed out the land we can use to access the river that they own).

NRW have stated the amount of funding this have given this (lack of) access project. It have been pointed out that there own funding rules have been broken by doing this.

Two of the paddling interests involved think it is not binding on anyone else apart from them.
One said they were not involved at all (depsite their boss being a director of the Dee Partnership)
One has not answered.
The fishing groups have not answered.

The new partnership access officer says if you paddler ' you will be reported and officially banned'


Not one have mentioned the change in the law (which only any attorney general can do) to restrict access.
If anyone tries to stop you please report them

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Re: dee access

Post by Big Henry » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:21 pm

quicky wrote:The new partnership access officer says if you paddler ' you will be reported and officially banned'
Has anyone suggested how this ban will be enforced, and if it is ignored, what other consequences do they believe they can resort to?

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Re: dee access

Post by quicky » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:59 pm

Strangly big Henry, he has gone very quiet on that despite being asked via email and FB.


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Re: dee access

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:25 pm

This was my message to Welsh Dee Partnership. That's the "polite" version, the other one is very rude ;-)

Imageme_selfie_dee 7-9-14 by Wildswimmer Pete, on Flickr

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Re: dee access

Post by paddletastic2 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:40 pm

Can anyone capture the image from 12 today and post it:

http://www.welshdeepartnershipltd.co.uk ... e-end-mill

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