swagstaff wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:47 am
I thought you would be striving in England and Wales for the same situation that exists in Scotland?
Shortly after devolution of the necessary powers to Wales, WCA presented a petition to the Welsh Assembly:
WCA wrote:The Welsh Assembly Government is urged to consider and implement a Bill to benefit Wales that would enshrine access rights and responsibilities for the public to and along natural resources in the same way that the Scottish Land Reform Act encourages co-operative use of the outdoors for healthy, low impact recreation.
This bill must provide and permit access to and along non-tidal water in the face of the massive lack of legal clarity and restrictions that exist at present, which act as a barrier to sport and recreation and the promotion of Wales as a place to visit for Adventure Tourism.
DESIRED OUTCOME. Primary legislation is introduced to enshrine and enhance public access and responsibilities to natural resources (including inland water) within common sense guidelines so as to protect the environment and allow healthy recreation.
That petition led to a short Inquiry, a full Inquiry and further consultation, before it was quietly dropped in 2013/14. The Waters of Wales - WoW campaign group presented a similar petition in 2016:
Waters of Wales - WoW wrote:We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to implement a Bill to establish statutory public rights of access to land and water for recreational and other purposes. The bill should enshrine access rights and responsibilities for the public in the same way that the 2003 Land Reform (Scotland) Act encourages co-operative use of the outdoors for healthy, low impact recreation. This Bill must enshrine public rights of navigation for inland water, and permit access to and along water. It must remove the lack of legal clarity and restrictions which act as a barrier to sport and recreation and the promotion of Wales as a welcoming place for healthy recreation, tourism and adventurous activity at all levels of participation and enjoyment.
The WoW petition was referenced by the Minister when announcing a new Welsh Government consultation, which proposes further rights of access to land and water. The WoW Petition is currently 'on hold' with the petitions committee, pending the outcome of this consultation.
British Canoeing have made a commitment to campaign for 'Fair, shared, sustainable, open access' for England.
• We are clear that our Aim is to bring about; Fair, shared, sustainable open access to water
• We will campaign for universal clarity through new legislation to give definitive, open access to water.
• We will lobby ministers and DEFRA for further support to confirm a consistent general right of access to water in Britain and develop opportunities for canoeing.
• We will campaign for a positive change in the current status quo. The lack of clarity over the law creates a barrier to progress.
• We will promote strongly that paddlers have a beneficial impact on waterways and in protecting our environment and that canoeing contributes toward improving mental & physical wellbeing and supports the local economy.
However, 'striving for' is not the same as having! Until we achieve our aims for open access in Wales and England, we have to work within the law as it stands. We are confident that a PRN exists throughout Wales and England, but access to the land is restricted by legislation. That is the situation we currently have to work with.