Lower River Dee Problems

Inland paddling
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dccp
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Lower River Dee Problems

Post by dccp »

On Sunday a group of us paddled from Llangollen to the country park near Newbridge. We met a number of anglers most of whom were friendly. There were two who complained, one more than the other. At the end we found that two of the cars we had left at Newbridge had letters on the windscreen from a local angling club. The letters state an intent to prosecute for canoeing on the river which, they claim, is a "criminal offence". All three cars we left had roof racks but only the cars with vertical bars attracted letters.

Copies of the letter are being sent to the BCU, WCA and at least one MP.

None of us takes the threat seriously but it spoiled an otherwise enjoyable day.

Simon

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

Any chance of scanning a copy and emailing it here?

You could also send one to the Tourism development folk in Llangollen and ask what they think of it.
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Patrick Clissold
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Post by Patrick Clissold »

It was good to see a lot of people on the Dee this weekend. There was a lot of Uni clubs there too. There didn't seem to be any problem between Serpents Tale and Town falls and we met a few fisherman who just waved back. The way it should be.

Davefr
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Lower Dee

Post by Davefr »

We paddled this section back in October with the kids.
Like you we met several anglers weho were very friendly- One even directed us to a set of paddles which had been "lost". (Turned out to be a set of kids inflatable dinghy paddles- but we "rescued" them anyway).

Just above the Gr.3 section towards the end, we met a very irate old fisherman- who tpold us in no uncertain terms that we were n't allowed on this section of river!!- Sounds like it could be the same ones?

We'd left the car at Llangollen and cycled back for the shuttle- so there was NO problem at Newbridge.

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chilealan
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lower Dee Problems

Post by chilealan »

Please find below the letter content as referd to.
MAELOR ANGLING ASSOCIATION
5th February 2006
Copy tp Police Association Solicitor
You were today seen on the above Association waters canoeing without permission which is a criminal offence, the registration numbers of the cars used have been handed to the police and to our Solic.itor. We will instruct our Solicitor to prosecute you and any other canoeist who trespass
On our waters.
Ken Bathers ~
Chairman
Ufe Vice Presidents: EIfion Evans. Ken Bathers . Arthur Jones . Dr Frank Lona.
Vice Presidents: D.Greenwell. R Hons. M Morgan OBE. G White. M Prltchard. V GwiIYIIL J.W.CoIemarn. D Jones Dr. Ken o'Hara

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Pete C.
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Post by Pete C. »

Fantastic news - sounds like time to dig out the open boats and start preparing for a test case!

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Post by Steve B »

Well, my unqualified "internet lawyer" advice is this. That letter is BS, and designed solely to intimidate. If a crime has been committed (which is almost certainly not the case), they don't report it to the "Police Association Solicitor", they report it to the police. If a civil offence has been committed (trespass is a civil offence), the police will not be involved.

I'm not sure where the law stands on making threats of that kind. If they were threats to your person, they would certainly be criminal. The kind of threat in the letter probably isn't, but it might be worth sending a copy to the BCU and asking for legal advice. In any event, send a copy to the BCU Rivers Access people - see www.riversaccess.org
Last edited by Steve B on Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bod
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Post by Bod »

The nice thing is that this has been done in the name of a recognisable organisation

http://www.maelor.org/ Maelor Angling Association

Time to embarrass them with their tourist boards etc. as already suggested above. I have found their Chairman's address if it is required. He lives in Wrexham.

Edit: Steve, Could it read copy to Police. & Association Solicitor?

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GaryM
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Post by GaryM »

Will be interesting to see if they carry out their threat, as to do so, their solicitor will have to have broken the law.

As far as I can remember, only the police, customs and the Inland Revenue (???) have legal right of access to information from the DVLA database, and it is only from here that they could get your names and addresses, and I can't see how they could prosecute otherwise. And the police should not give them this information either.

So, if I were you and you do get a letter, then I'd go to my local police station and report this criminal act.
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Post by Smurf »

Unfortunately the papers reported that companies, such as clampers etc.., can actually pay for the information if they have "sufficient reason".

http://www.direct.gov.uk/Motoring/Ownin ... chk=Q6exa4

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Post by Bod »

Taken from DVLA website:
http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/relinfo.htm#online

Release of another vehicle’s keeper details

You can obtain the name and address of the registered keeper of a vehicle if you can show reasonable cause for needing the information.

Members of the public will need to complete form V888. Companies can either complete form VQ3 or apply in writing giving full details of the reason for the enquiry and the vehicle registration mark. Both forms are available from DVLA.

The fee for information at a specific date of event is £2.50 per vehicle. If further information is required, for instance, a copy of a document or additional keeper information, a fee of £5 is required per vehicle.

Send your application to: Vehicle Record Enquiries, Vehicle Customer Services, DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AJ.

It is an offence to unlawfully obtain personal data which is contrary to Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Unlimited fines in the Crown Court (or to a maximum of £5,000 in the Magistrates Court) exist as penalties in respect of these offences.

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Post by Steve B »

Bod wrote:Steve, Could it read copy to Police. & Association Solicitor?
Maybe, that would make sense wouldn't it?

The main point - that the police wouldn't be involved - still stands of course.
Steve Balcombe

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James F
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Post by James F »

Yet another PR gift from the fishing fraternity. They must be idiots.

Find out who wrote this...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/4030685.stm

on the bbc website and email him/her all the details. Also, give it to the BCU to see if they are up to it.

chilealan
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Post by chilealan »

My thanks for the comments.
Copies of the letter have been sent to the Welsh Assembly, Local tourist boards,BCU & WCA and my own MP, who I spoke to a couple of years ago on the subject of access.

As to the legal side I have personal knowledge of the legal side and again from personal knowledge know what the reaction of the Police would be to a complaint of this type, if made!!!

I am holding my breath for further developments but the support of the paddling fraternity is well recieved.

As to the important things in life The river section, what a wonderful river section for a summers evening paddle, Sunday was as near summer levels as it could get with sufficient water for a nice interesting but not to challenging trip.
I would recommend it to anyone with a reasonable standard.

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

chilealan wrote:Copies of the letter have been sent to the Welsh Assembly, Local tourist boards,BCU & WCA and my own MP, who I spoke to a couple of years ago on the subject of access.
If I had received this letter, I would certainly be contacting the local police and supplying them with a copy, in order to

a] Establish if a complaint had been made
b] Make sure they are well aware of the names of the timewasters on the letter
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Adrian Cooper
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Post by Adrian Cooper »

So, they have your vehicle registration number. That'll be useful evidence then.

Was it you driving the vehicle that day?
Can they prove it?
Whilst your vehicle was at Newbridge, were you canoeing?
Can they prove it?

Load of nonsense!

However, if you are feeling brave a test case would be useful. :-)

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Dave @ TRC
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Post by Dave @ TRC »

Could this not be classed as harassment and then if enough complaints are made the police will have to get involved. We need to get evidence of persistent threats, abuse, and vandalism, and keep a log of every time there is a case.Then we could go to the police, media, and MPs about a hate campaign being made against a kayakers as a group ??????


And even if anglers could get a prosecution how much would the fine be?????


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RichA
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Post by RichA »

If a test case does arise (either from this, or from anything else in the near future) where does the 'liable' person stand in getting legal aid from the BCU, and funding?
I have no idea of the costs of such legal proceedings, but assuming no monetary aid can come from the BCU, can a fund be set up for the very purpose of the breakthrough test case? Would you be willing to contribute? Hell, it might even be you that needs the money someday soon!
Can anyone guess at some figures related to this?
Number of people that would contribute.
Potential cost of a test case.
Basically, is it a viable idea?
Will the BCU help out? -> Who would one ask?

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

On further reflection...

Definitely telephone/ email the news desk of the Daily Post or Western Mail.

They'd want to cover a story about walking, horse-riding or cycling tourists being threatened. Why not this story?

You can get them through here...
http://icnorthwales.icnetwork.co.uk/
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Post by filo »

Chatting to a customer today the conversation got round to fishing/paddling, he told me he was a member of corwen fishing club and in his guide book it states that we(kayakers) are trespassing on someones land and are to be reported to the police.Himself didnt mind 1 or2 curtius paddlers but when 6-7 at a time passed it wound him up and the general whinge was that fishermen had to pay a licence fee and we dont.

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Post by Hywel »

Did anyone else spot that the local MP for Llangollen, Martyn Jones, Labour, supported the following amendment to Early Day Motion 975 discussed on an earlier thread:
"Line 3, leave out from `walkers' to end and insert `but urges the Government not to alter riparian rights; recommends that any increase in access to canoeists and non-powered craft be by voluntary access agreements only, which have been proven to work in both England and Wales; believes that the users of all canoes and non-powered craft on inland waterways should be subject to the same restrictions as anglers, and the same penalties for infringements; further believes that the Environment Agency should have the power to close any waterway to any craft in the interests of protecting sensitive aquatic environments; and considers that, notwithstanding the forthcoming Olympic Games, it should be remembered that angling is a sport which has 4 million participants in England and Wales with an annual economy of £3.5 billion and which has had great success in recent World Championships.'."

Martyn Jones holds surgeries:
http://www.epolitix.com/EN/MPWebsites/M ... 83b57b.htm

I also spotted that Hywel Williams Plaid Cymru MP for Caernarfon supported the original EDM.[/url]

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James G
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Martyn Jones

Post by James G »

Seems that he's my MP too. He's got a surgery this weekend. Can I just turn up to it or do I have to book an appointment?

James.

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Post by Hywel »

Probably just turn up but you might save some time if you could get an appointment. You'll find contact telephone numbers on his web site.

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Post by quicky »

He is on a lot of 'committees' as well.

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little_miss_yaker
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Post by little_miss_yaker »

FYI:

I took our uni group of beginners down the section from Llangollen Town to Ty-Mawr country park on the 28th Jan. (group of 5)

We passed quite a few fishermen, all bar 1 were nice. They waved, said hello and one even said all was ok when I directed my group around their rods/lines. Very pleasant paddle.

The 'other' fisherman was quite rude, saying we were not allowed to paddle here and we were trespassing and that we should get off right away. (this was just after trevor bridge - so not far from the get off). He said he was going to report us to a 'somebody' Hartley {Sorry if this is a bit vague, it was a couple of weeks ago now and I have only just seen this post}

I was pleasant back, informing him we would be getting off soon, we didn't mean to upset him and that we wern't aware that we were violating any access agreement as I believed there were none on this section. He continued to rant so we moved on quickly so as not to cause any more disturbance. (Even the other fishermen at this section seemed disturbed by him - causing more noise than we had calmly paddling by!)

It's a great section for beginners as there are great coaching spots and its good for building stamina with the flat sections ;) It would be a shame to be spoiled by the odd angry fisherman.

We luckily did not get any letters on our vehicles, but we were parked at the country park and had a van rather than roof bars.

Tasha

Edit: there were other uni groups on the dee that weekend too, many paddling from serpents to town falls, none I spoke to ran into problems and this supposedly is the 'problem' section - not the one I ran!
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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

little_miss_yaker wrote:He said he was going to report us to a 'somebody' Hartley
JR?
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waverley610
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Post by waverley610 »

MarkR wrote:
little_miss_yaker wrote:He said he was going to report us to a 'somebody' Hartley
JR?
If so, put me down for an extra large 'UKRGB I SHOT JR' T-shirt.

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