Well Done Canoe Wales!

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Mike A
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Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Mike A » Fri May 18, 2018 10:47 pm

Taken from Canoe Wales facebook page.

Really well done, great to see NGB's doing something very positive!!!!


Public Right of Navigation on the Upper River Wye (and its Tributaries): Canoe Wales Seeks Clarification from Welsh Government Agencies following recent research

Following the introduction on 1 April by the owner of Llanthomas Fishery of a ‘paddle permit’ (whereby he is attempting to levy a fee of £3 for paddlers passing through his fishery at Llowes, between Glasbury and Hay), members of the British Canoeing Access Advisory Group have reviewed the historical evidence of navigation on the Upper Wye. Their research, published at http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/news.php#wye, demonstrates convincingly that a Public Right of Navigation (PRN) exists on the Wye upstream of Hay. We are extremely grateful for their work on behalf of us all.

Canoe Wales has now written to Powys County Council, Natural Resources Wales, the Welsh Government and the Environment Agency asking them to acknowledge this PRN and to clarify who has responsibility for managing it - so that we can engage with them to consider how best to balance the needs of users and local communities on this popular river. We are confident that the fishery owner does not have the right to introduce his 'paddle permit', so local commercial operators (being targeted by him) will be able to use this new information to help defend themselves against demands for payment.

cp
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by cp » Sat May 19, 2018 9:34 am

Good start but if they backed this up by stopping charging themselves it would carry much more weight

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by MikeVeal » Tue May 22, 2018 11:59 am

cp wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:34 am
Good start but if they backed this up by stopping charging themselves it would carry much more weight
Not this again.

Canoe Wales do not charge for navigating the Tryweryn.
Canoe Wales do make a charge for the use of facilities on the National Whitewater Centre site, including access to and egress from the river.

How is the CW facilities charge related to the navigation charge that the fisheries owner is seeking to impose on the Wye?

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Chalky723 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:17 pm

MikeVeal wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:59 am
Canoe Wales do not charge for navigating the Tryweryn.

Canoe Wales do make a charge for the use of facilities on the National Whitewater Centre site, including access to and egress from the river.
Exactly, I've paddled from the Tryweryn many times, paying no more than chipping in to the parking for the group car & whatever butties I consume afterwards.

I've never paid to put my boat on the water.

D
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by cp » Tue May 22, 2018 7:45 pm

Chalky723

Only paid to park at £15 per person ?

And Mike Veal ,yes this again, when only people who pass down the river are charged, it is a charge for paddling the river no matter what you want to call it. So until they stop and charge for parking etc. It is totally relevant

Chris

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by MikeVeal » Wed May 23, 2018 7:38 am

There's no point in arguing with you Chris. I think that you fully understand that this is not a charge for navigation but you still refuse to accept their position. It has previously been explained to you that any paddler is welcome to access above and egress below their site and that paddler will not be charged.

I'm never going to persuade you because I don't think you're willing to listen. I only refute your point lest anyone new to the topic is misled by you.

If you want to argue that the charge is excessive, or that it isn't fair as other users aren't charged in an equitable way, then maybe you have a point. But arguing that they are charging for navigation is poppycock (I'm being polite.)

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed May 23, 2018 10:00 am

Would you like to walk along the river bank and watch the wildlife? Fine, no charge. Would you like to walk down those concrete steps and gaze at the water? Fine. no charge. You can walk all down the bank and watch those lunatics in small plastic boats, you can go all the way down to the little wooden bridge. Fine, no charge. Would you like your dog to stand in the water and have a drink? Fine no charge. Would you like to do all of the above from your boat? Fine, that will be £15.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by cp » Wed May 23, 2018 12:33 pm

Mike,

be as rude as you like I have thick skin but it is you and Canoe Wales who are misleading people, and you do not seem to want to listen. If as a paddler I see this as a charge so will everyone else and I can see why the fisheries think they can charge too.

Chris

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by MikeVeal » Wed May 23, 2018 12:52 pm

Adrian has summed up the situation nicely.
I have no intention of being rude Chris, I genuinely believe you are not prepared to listen.

If we are to believe Caffyn (and we do), then no entity has a right to charge for navigation. However any landowner can charge whatever they like to users of their land.
CW have said that they will charge boaters a "facilities fee" if you access or egress the river via their land. They are legally entitled to do this, even though they do not charge mountian bikers, walkers, birdwatchers, wild swimmers or whatever.

It isn't a fair charge. You may regard it as tantamount to charging for navigation, but crucially, under the laws we believe apply, it is not, from a legal perspective, a charge for navigation.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Franky » Wed May 23, 2018 1:08 pm

cp wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:33 pm
Mike,

be as rude as you like I have thick skin but it is you and Canoe Wales who are misleading people, and you do not seem to want to listen. If as a paddler I see this as a charge so will everyone else and I can see why the fisheries think they can charge too.

Chris
Don't the "fisheries" want to charge for navigation down rivers that pass through their land, regardless of where paddlers get on and egress?

Paddlers claim a right to access rivers via public rights of way. There are no public rights of way to the Upper Tryweryn. If the land weren't owned (or leased or whatever) by CW, it would be owned by farmers. If we were lucky, those farmers would charge a launch fee, and if we were unlucky they wouldn't let us access the river at all.

The launch/facilities charge doesn't seem to me to go against the paddling community's stance. As Mike said, you can argue that the charge is excessive or inconsistent, but that's a different matter.

Nobody (as far as I know) complains about paying to launch onto the River Trent at HPP, but in all respects except that it's a man-made channel of the river, rather than the main channel, the facility is comparable to the Tryweryn. It's still the River Trent. Both centres offer somewhere to paddle when everywhere else is dry, both have good facilities (in fact, with its shuttle service, I'd say the Tryweryn's are considerably better), and both are custom-designed to provide paddlers with a challenge.

Also like at CT, at HPP you can walk along the side of the course for free if you want. Maybe to be equitable, HPP should charge a fee to pedestrians as well as paddlers? I don't see any difference between that argument, and the argument that, to be fair, CT should charge paddlers, walkers and cafe visitors alike.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed May 23, 2018 3:28 pm

You can't compare CT to HPP! HPP is a downhill canal just the same as any other canal.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Chalky723 » Wed May 23, 2018 3:32 pm

cp wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:45 pm

Only paid to park at £15 per person ?
I've only ever paid to park per car.

We get 4 people in a car, that's just over £3 each, bargain!! Couldn't park at my local station for that.

In fact, as members of Canoe England it's only £1.75 each - even more of a bargain.

Of course, the downside is that I physically have to lug my boat to the top & that gets a bit tiring, so next time I may fork out the £7 just to get the lifts back to the top.....

D
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Chalky723 » Wed May 23, 2018 3:34 pm

MikeVeal wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:52 pm
You may regard it as tantamount to charging for navigation, but crucially, under the laws we believe apply, it is not, from a legal perspective, a charge for navigation.
Exactly. It's their land, they can do what they like with it.

D
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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed May 23, 2018 4:15 pm

Would you like to buy this after eight mint? It's £30 but you get a free three course meal.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by cp » Wed May 23, 2018 7:19 pm

Chalky 723
If you have only paid to park then you claim you have been trespassing as the point is if you get on the water you have to pay £15 it doors not matter if you do not use the shuttle our any other facilities they expect you to pay as soon as you get on the water.if you could paddle only paying for predating there would not be a problem

Chris

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Franky » Wed May 23, 2018 8:50 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 3:28 pm
You can't compare CT to HPP! HPP is a downhill canal just the same as any other canal.
I thought the crux of the access argument is that no one owns the water, and the water comes from, and goes back into, the River Trent. If a public footpath went through HPP to the bank of the white water course, we would - or should - be arguing that we do not have to pay the launch fee. As it is, HPP can charge users of their land, or not charge them, as they like. I don't see a fundametal difference between that and the Tryweryn. However, I am not a lawyer so somebody may be able to prove me wrong.

Don't get me wrong - I'd be delighted if either HPP or CT dropped launch charges, as long as this didn't lead them to bankruptcy and to a less paddler-friendly buyer taking them over.

Even if you argue that the Tryweryn is a special case because it's a natural(ish) river, our right to paddle it would be irrelevant if we couldn't get on it. If you can find a way of getting on further up, good luck to you, and that's what CT are already saying.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by DaveBland » Thu May 24, 2018 2:07 am

The T and HPP are different. I think it's down to one being a man made channel across private land and one being a natural-ish river.

But the T argument is silly. I can see why folks disagree. On one hand yes, if it's private land then the charge is technically for access to the river, not down it. But as has been highlighted before, it's a fine and subtle line that's confusing as hell by the way it's done, and creates a perception of being the direct opposite to the stance the governing body is taking.

The fact that there's any arguing over it at all, in itself demonstrates that it needs clarifying and changing.
dave

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Thu May 24, 2018 9:18 am

Franky wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:50 pm
I thought the crux of the access argument is that no one owns the water
No, the crux of the access argument is that there is a public right of way over rivers on which one could navigate. If you build a new waterway, there is no public right otherwise I might be able to canoe in your bath.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Afon » Thu May 24, 2018 12:26 pm

Reference PROW along river banks - The only PROW that allows access to a river, is when the PROW enters the river via a Ford. A PROW that follows the bank does not technically enter the river, therefore there will always be a narrow strip of land between it and the water. Even though the river may erode the bank, the PROW remains alongside, and changes with the river.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Thu May 24, 2018 12:31 pm

Says who?

That description sounds entirely made up. One might reasonably imagine that a public footpath running along a river bank was originally designed to run along the river bank not some unspecified distance away from the bank.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Afon » Thu May 24, 2018 1:27 pm

I agree, "One might reasonably imagine that a public footpath running along a river bank was originally designed to run along the river bank not some unspecified distance away from the bank", but the only time a PROW actually enter's the eater is at a Ford. Either way I launch wherever is convenient.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Afon » Thu May 24, 2018 1:28 pm

Apology enter's the water (not eater), unless there' a Cafe on the river bank :)

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Chalky723 » Thu May 24, 2018 7:43 pm

cp wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Chalky 723
If you have only paid to park then you claim you have been trespassing
So stop bitching & trespass.

Or pay up.

D
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by MikeVeal » Fri May 25, 2018 8:39 am

Chalky723 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 7:43 pm
cp wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Chalky 723
If you have only paid to park then you claim you have been trespassing
So stop bitching & trespass.

Or pay up.

D
Or bitch about the right thing.
Complaining that they charge for navigation won't achieve anything, because, technically, they don't charge for navigation.
Complaining that the current charging system is unfair and discriminatory as one category of user is bearing all the operating costs of the park might actually get you somewhere.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Chalky723 » Fri May 25, 2018 8:52 am

MikeVeal wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 8:39 am
Complaining that the current charging system is unfair and discriminatory as one category of user is bearing all the operating costs of the park might actually get you somewhere.
It might, or it might just piss the walkers etc. off.

How many of the walkers use the shuttle to take their boats back to the top? That's included in the price.

That's what's swinging it for me at the moment, I'd quite happily pay for someone to do that nowadays....

I've never been stopped from paddling on the river.

D
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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by MikeVeal » Fri May 25, 2018 10:53 am

Chalky723 wrote:It might, or it might just piss the walkers etc. off.
In this thread, up to this point, I've not expressed my opinion on the charge. Just outlined how CT have structured it so that it's not a charge for navigation.

I've never been up there actually, but to me, the charge doesn't seem unfair for access to a managed river, a shuttle, parking and a shower block.
It's clear that the charge is not for navigation, it's also clear that this is a technical distinction. Personally I think the charge is fair & I'd pay.

If CT allowed the paddlers who would rather pay nothing, change in the car park, not use the shuttle and ignore the cost of site management, then CT would have an unmanageable policing (small p) problem on their hands. I regard those who don't pay as freeloading. The site is managed, insured, staffed, mortgaged etc. for the benefit of paddlers. These costs are borne by the paddlers using it. Those who use it without paying are doing so off the backs of those who do pay.

But I do understand why some think the charge as inequitable. The walkers could be regarded as freeloaders too. Its a point that can be argued, maybe successfully. Whereas complaining that CT shouldn't charge for navigation is a complete non starter as they simply don't.

So I guess I had two points:
1/ CT do not charge for navigation.
2/ If you're going to pick a fight, don't waste your efforts on one that you've lost before you even put the gloves on.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Mrstratos61 » Fri May 25, 2018 3:27 pm

How much do we spend on boats paddles and other equipment? Either pay up or go elsewhere is my take on this.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by cathalferris » Fri May 25, 2018 6:07 pm

My group got deliberately locked into the carpark at the T after properly paying for the parking a few years back. The guy there was adamant about charging for the use of facilities that were not used, in addition to racist comments about members of our group. He only backed down after we offered to call the police to assist with the matter.

So as far as I could see from my own interaction with the representative of the Welsh canoeing group, they were incorrectly trying to charge for the use of the river, as that was exactly what we were doing that day.

We decided at the time not to pursue further action, given we were a visiting group, and we've recommended other groups like ours to not support that facility given the behaviour exhibited towards us.

It's good that the group is working on proper navigation rights, as is only proper for their remit. However there are some things within the group that need clarification. Their employees also need to be made to understand the difference between using a river and its bank, and using the built facilities there.

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by Franky » Fri May 25, 2018 8:44 pm

So as far as I could see from my own interaction with the representative of the Welsh canoeing group, they were incorrectly trying to charge for the use of the river, as that was exactly what we were doing that day.
In what sense were they "incorrectly" trying to charge for use of the river? Hasn't it at least been established that, regardless of individual perceptions, they have a right to charge a launch fee?

Of course, two wrongs don't make a right, and locking you in the car park and making racist comments are not acceptable. But those are separate matters.

Speaking personally, I have found the staff at CT entirely agreeable and professional. And this brings me to a point that hasn't been made so far: CT has first aid kits, telephones, an Internet connection, and trained staff. Anyone who doesn't value these facilities should try, like I did, banging their head on a rock nice and hard, or losing their car keys, and seeing who else can help (or at least, can do so without sacrificing a day on the river).

I'm sure the CT staff would have helped me regardless of whether I'd paid the facilities/launch charge, but it's partly out of gratitude to them that I'm speaking out in favour of the charge. Their response in both cases to encountering an idiot paddler in distress was professional and genuinely concerned. (They insisted on calling out a paramedic for my injury.)

Incidentally, one CT employee told me that there are accidents needing medical attention "every weekend".

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Re: Well Done Canoe Wales!

Post by DaveBland » Sat May 26, 2018 4:31 am

When you have a governing body that states you have a right to paddle ANY river for free – and then seemingly charges you for paddling one that the manage - there are going to be a few grumbles.

Yes, it's totally reasonable for them to charge a facility fee for all the extra stuff they do. But the problem is if you say, "I don't want the facilities, so I don't want to pay" it causes an issue.

And If you charge for access to the river via their land, then that's fine, but you can't just charge paddlers and not walkers.

It's a tricky one, and only they know best how to solve it. Of course they need to charge to make money, but this needs to be balanced with VISIBLY making the charges NOT for travelling down the river.
dave

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