Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

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stonercanoe
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Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by stonercanoe »

Saturday 7 March I was kayaking the Usk from Sennibridge to Brecon with two friends, one happens to be 17, the other female.
As we arrived at Aberbran I saw a car go over the bridge and stop.
As we got closer the driver was in the field river left at the river's edge and aggressively started shouting at us, telling us that we should not be on the river.
I firmly told him that we had an ancient right to navigate all year round as per CW guidelines and if he had a problem take it up with CW.
At this point this man recognised me and told me to, "F**k off back to England, you f*****g English arse hole "

We ignored him, and carried on down the river. However we were concerned by this person as he has previously abused and threatened us.

About 2 months previously 4 of us did Brecon to Brynoch, 1 canoes, 3 kayaks. 1 of us was in his late seventies and was recovering from a stroke. This was his first time back on the water.
When we were about 100m below Brecon weir a man upstream angrily started shouting at us, telling us to get off the river. I firmly stated my right to navigate all year round.
As we proceeded downstream, this man was waiting for us again and continued aggressively shouting at us telling us we we should not be there.
What we all found worrying was he said I will get you at the finish. This was concerning because my friend 's wife , who is in her seventies, had done the shuttle and was in her car on her own at the get off.

I reported both incidents to BC and CW. Also this weekend after considering it, I reported the 2nd incident to the police and asked them to log it as a race hate crime.

I sign petitions , go to public meetings, write to AM, PM, etc. I have been a coach for nearly 25 years, introduced thousands to paddle sport and help set up a club.

I feel CW sort of get the access thing, but have no money to change anything. I feel BC really don't get it.

We all should be able to enjoy our sport without these hassles.

Personally BC need to do more. A lot more. Their priority should be something like Scottish access.

Sorry to put all this out there but it is 2020, not 1820!
Jason

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

Why do you say BC don't get it, Jason?

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by stonercanoe »

Hi Pam,
still being abused in 2020. This should have been resolved years ago.
As long as BC get their medals then all is fine. With the advent of more artificial courses for slalom who needs river access?
I know this is cynical, but that is how I feel. Fed up and let down.
I know about the new campaign etc and have signed the latest petition, but.......
Jason

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

I'll try to answer your points, Jason, but I'm sure if you contact BC they will be happy to do so in detail.
I reported both incidents to BC and CW. Also this weekend after considering it, I reported the 2nd incident to the police and asked them to log it as a race hate crime.
Please keep doing this. CW/BC can only react to what they know about; also, threats and abuse should always be reported to the police, with details such as car reg etc. where known.
I sign petitions, go to public meetings, write to AM, PM, etc. I have been a coach for nearly 25 years, introduced thousands to paddle sport and help set up a club.
Thank you! Please keep it up, the campaign really needs this support.
We all should be able to enjoy our sport without these hassles.
Completely agree. I am confident to say: so do the access dept of BC.
BC need to do more. A lot more.
This depends on what you mean by 'BC'. BC has responded to the demands of the membership by implementing, launching and leading a campaign. IMO the leadership is inspired; the work, and the results in the short time since the launch, have been impressive. The governing body, however, can only do so much. A political campaign can only work with 'mass participation' to show politicians that the matter is of interest to the people who vote, in large numbers; so ultimate success needs the support of the membership, and the wider water-using community. Your post, and the fact that to date, only a small minority of the membership have signed the petition, suggests to me a shortfall in informing and motivating members and the wider water-using public. If you have any ideas where this could be improved, I would love to hear them, and I'm sure the BC access team would say the same.
Their priority should be something like Scottish access.
It is! The 'Clear Access, Clear Waters' Charter is for: 'Fair, shared, sustainable, open access'. In one of the early campaign videos, Ben Seal of British Canoeing sets out exactly what this means in real terms. There are other videos on the Clear Access, Clear Waters site - do they really leave any doubt that BC 'gets it'? If so, why? I really would like to know!

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Jim »

stonercanoe wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:42 am
Personally BC need to do more. A lot more. Their priority should be something like Scottish access.
It is worth understanding that having a law that enshrines access does not automatically prevent incidents like the one you describe, they are getting fewer but there are still landowners and others in Scotland who will try to bully people off a river (or path) when they think they can get away with it.
stonercanoe wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:42 am
With the advent of more artificial courses for slalom who needs river access?
Until about 5 years ago I would probably have gone along with that sentiment, but the truth is that slalom organisers struggle to make events on artificial courses viable. Slalom users probably do make up a significant amount of the hourly hires/sessions after rafting, and many of them were built originally for slalom, but few courses are really supportive of slalom. They also have nothing to do with BC and don't seem to have anything to do with BC access policy.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by jmmoxon »

& the fact is that we are a tiny proportion of the population - the government really aren't interested in our point of view...
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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Chris Bolton »

I find the division of responsiblities between BC and CW confusing. I think CW are responsible for recreational paddling matters in Wales and BC only have an overarching UK role in regard to competition. However, BC are leadng the Clear Waters campaign which I think covers England and Wales. I am not clear, Jason, what specifically you want BC to do that they haven't, but it may be that it's down to division of roles between BC and CW.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

The latest petition asks for a "review of current policy towards access on waters in England and Wales, including consideration of new legislation to establish a public right for fair, shared ... access".

Is this really what paddlers have been asking for? I thought we had moved on from this about 10 or 15 years ago. BC should be saying 'we have a right of access but, because loads of people don't realise it we want a law to confirm it'. The campaign should be about raising awareness of the right of access which should be unequivocal. CROW 2000 didn't include waterways because there was already a right of way!

We all know what a review of legislation by government looks like, it starts with a consultation asking every stakeholder to chip in with their spurious claims and selfish attitudes and then seeks to come up with a compromise solution which is likely to look like the locally negotiated agreements so ridiculously concluded by Brighton University.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Strad »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:19 am
The latest petition asks for a "review of current policy towards access on waters in England and Wales, including consideration of new legislation to establish a public right for fair, shared ... access".

Is this really what paddlers have been asking for? I thought we had moved on from this about 10 or 15 years ago. BC should be saying 'we have a right of access but, because loads of people don't realise it we want a law to confirm it'. The campaign should be about raising awareness of the right of access which should be unequivocal. CROW 2000 didn't include waterways because there was already a right of way!

We all know what a review of legislation by government looks like, it starts with a consultation asking every stakeholder to chip in with their spurious claims and selfish attitudes and then seeks to come up with a compromise solution which is likely to look like the locally negotiated agreements so ridiculously concluded by Brighton University.
Very well written Adrian, completely agree.
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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Access the petition and scroll down, poster reads "less than 4% of rivers in England and wales have clear access or uncontested right to paddle". You might argue that this is fact insofar as the rights are contested but it gave the much more prominent and vocal George Mombiot the opportunity for an article in the Guardian stating that the 4% figure was the limit of rights of access whereas the reasoning is much more developed than that. BC should drop the 4% altogether, it no longer serves a useful purpose.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

BC should be saying 'we have a right of access but, because loads of people don't realise it we want a law to confirm it'. The campaign should be about raising awareness of the right of access which should be unequivocal.
BC is saying that, clearly and unequivocally; it is the core message underpinning the campaign, and the work done by BC with Defra and other agencies, which unfortunately does not tend to get seen by the majority of paddlers.
The petition is set up to cover two countries, each with a different legislature for this area, and each at a different stage. The Welsh Parliament is responsible for legislating on access to the countryside in Wales, and, as many will know, they have to date received and discussed two petitions calling specifically and unequivocally for legislation similar to Land Reform (Scotland). The first, submitted by WCA, led to an Inquiry which confirmed that it would provide a solution for Wales, but was quietly dropped much later. The second, submitted by Waters of Wales (WoW) was recently closed to await the findings of the latest in a string of Welsh Government 'reviews' with the comment "Tell [WoW] to come back in 18 months if they are not happy with the outcome." One thing this demonstrates is that unequivocally setting out demands is not a silver bullet!
IMO, a major strength of the BC petition is the groundwork already done in terms of getting ‘Fair, shared, sustainable open access’ onto the government agendas for England and Wales. In Wales, this has been done mostly post-petition; in England the way has been prepared, and is constantly being improved, pre-petition. All this work is on record, regardless of future changes of government, and the positions of all parties to the petitions are clearly on record to inform input to any review or future discussions.
"less than 4% of rivers in England and wales have clear access or uncontested right to paddle". You might argue that this is fact insofar as the rights are contested but it gave the much more prominent and vocal George Mombiot the opportunity for an article in the Guardian stating that the 4% figure was the limit of rights of access whereas the reasoning is much more developed than that. BC should drop the 4% altogether, it no longer serves a useful purpose.
This one has been debated long and hard! The key issue here is one of perception. IMO it is correct to say that, with a relatively small number of exceptions, the public has the right to navigate all flowing water, but my view on the use of the phrase has been modified by discussion with someone looking at it from the perspective (at that time) of being new to the access debate. The issue continues to be that without acknowledging the forceful opposition to the public exercising the public right of navigation (prn), and the very real barriers (physical and otherwise) this creates to enjoyment of the prn, there is “no problem” – so why are we campaigning? "Less than 4% of rivers in England and Wales have clear access or uncontested right to paddle'" presents the problem succinctly. Most people, politicians and public alike, would switch off long before getting to grips with the reasoned argument. That, IMO, continues to be the useful purpose of the 4%.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

The 4% statement reinforces, for the objecting user groups, the validity of their argument that they have the rights and we do not. The 4% is the exception to their general interpretation. We should move to the 100% argument with vigour.

Please excuse the 'us and them' but it is relevant.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by stonercanoe »

Had my response back from my MP, basically his response is, blah blah blah blah blah, voluntary agreements, blah blah blah.

Have you seen the signs the Wye and Usk Foundation have had up for ages on the Usk? These signs have EAW, and Welsh Assembly , Coutryside Council for Wales logo on them . NRW has taken over EAW CCW i think? The sign says the owners of the river have granted access under WUF conditions.
No one owns a river in law? The land , yes, not the water.
Also proof of land ownership in England and Wales is complex, I would love WUF to prove every landowner backs their statement!

When the signs first appeared I asked CW to contest their message.
I asked Brecon Beacons National Park who gave planning permission for these signs?
I heard nothing.
Some thing CW could do for me is to contest these signs and get them removed, or put up their own signs stating the right to navigate.
These signs are a real bug bear of mine, even the splash funded canoe trail sign at Brecon Prom says you can only navigate when WUF allows you to . CW need to contest this statement as well, IMO.
Getting rid of these signs would make me happy!!!
A tourist on holiday in summer reading these signs could be put off boating, this is an economic possibility that could be explored more. Especially for farmers looking to maximise earnings after Brexit.
Thanks everyone for contributing.
Jason
Ps trying to stay positive!

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Strad »

They (MPs) always give the VA blah blah blah route, I've had a few back and forth discussions requesting things like how does this align to the mission statement of EA getting everyone to use the countryside, do they have any legal cases they can quote to support the idea that there isn't a general PRN etc etc.

My last MP doesn't want to chat to me anymore as I've moved to Scotland, and here it is a bit of a null issue even for MPs that sit in the commons.
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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Chris Bolton »

BC should be saying 'we have a right of access but, because loads of people don't realise it we want a law to confirm it'.
If we have an uncontested legal right of access, we don't need a law to confirm it. We do need a law, because nothing that isn't legally underpinned will fix the issue that Jason described in his OP.

We have what we believe is a right of navigation, but it's contested, and it hasn't been proven either way in a court of law. We either (a) stick with that ambiguity, or (b) we have a court case (initiated by either side) that goes right up the very expensive level where it sets a legal precedent and become case law (I'm not a lawyer but there's a chance we could lose and reduce access) or (c) we seek a new statutory law (or laws, in Wales and England). The best justification for a new law is that navigation is an historic and moral right, which is disputed on 96% of rivers. We won't convince Government to make a new law by arguing that there already is one, particularly as they have increased the stakes by proposing to make trespass criminal.
CROW 2000 didn't include waterways because there was already a right of way!
Do you have a source for that (it would be useful). I understood it was landowning influences who convinced the Government to drop it. I've just searched the explanatory notes on parliament.uk but it doesn't say anything about it.
Have you seen the signs the Wye and Usk Foundation have had up for ages on the Usk?
I didn't know they were on the Usk. They had them on the Wye but a friend of mine complained to EA and they had them taken down.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

stonercanoe wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:14 pm
Had my response back from my MP, basically his response is, blah blah blah blah blah, voluntary agreements, blah blah blah.

"blah blah blah, voluntary agreements, blah blah blah" seems to be the stock reply from the party in government for both Wales and England, although they are different parties in cach case.
Have you seen the signs the Wye and Usk Foundation have had up for ages on the Usk? These signs have EAW, and Welsh Assembly , Coutryside Council for Wales logo on them . NRW has taken over EAW CCW i think? The sign says the owners of the river have granted access under WUF conditions.
No one owns a river in law? The land , yes, not the water.
Also proof of land ownership in England and Wales is complex, I would love WUF to prove every landowner backs their statement!

When the signs first appeared I asked CW to contest their message.
I asked Brecon Beacons National Park who gave planning permission for these signs?
I heard nothing.

Some thing CW could do for me is to contest these signs and get them removed, or put up their own signs stating the right to navigate.
These signs are a real bug bear of mine, even the splash funded canoe trail sign at Brecon Prom says you can only navigate when WUF allows you to . CW need to contest this statement as well, IMO.
Getting rid of these signs would make me happy!!!
A tourist on holiday in summer reading these signs could be put off boating, this is an economic possibility that could be explored more. Especially for farmers looking to maximise earnings after Brexit.
I agree with pretty well all of that (though for CW to put up signs would require landowner permission, at least).
Worth trying again, maybe? CW now have an access forum and recently appointed a Places to Paddle Manager.
Trying to stay positive!
Don't give up, it's a very long game, but we are making headway!

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by dougoutcanoe »

stonercanoe wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:14 pm
Had my response back from my MP, basically his response is, blah blah blah blah blah, voluntary agreements, blah blah blah.

Have you seen the signs the Wye and Usk Foundation have had up for ages on the Usk? These signs have EAW, and Welsh Assembly , Coutryside Council for Wales logo on them . NRW has taken over EAW CCW i think? The sign says the owners of the river have granted access under WUF conditions.
No one owns a river in law? The land , yes, not the water.
Also proof of land ownership in England and Wales is complex, I would love WUF to prove every landowner backs their statement!

When the signs first appeared I asked CW to contest their message.
I asked Brecon Beacons National Park who gave planning permission for these signs?
I heard nothing.
Some thing CW could do for me is to contest these signs and get them removed, or put up their own signs stating the right to navigate.
These signs are a real bug bear of mine, even the splash funded canoe trail sign at Brecon Prom says you can only navigate when WUF allows you to . CW need to contest this statement as well, IMO.
Getting rid of these signs would make me happy!!!
A tourist on holiday in summer reading these signs could be put off boating, this is an economic possibility that could be explored more. Especially for farmers looking to maximise earnings after Brexit.
Thanks everyone for contributing.
Jason
Ps trying to stay positive!
Do you have any photos of the signs?

Some years ago (2011) the Wye was festooned with official looking signs.

Image

I challenged the Environment Agency and Natural England about the signs, it transpired that they had not given permission for their logos to be used and they knew nothing about the signs. I never found a trace of the other company, Advantage West Midlands!!!!

The EA told the people involved to remove them. I do hope that the signage, erection and removal, cost WUF a considerable amount of money.

My first thoughts are, is this another sign with unofficial use of logos.

I suggest that the EAW, Welsh Assembly and CCW is questioned about the signs because their logos have used.

An email to each authority will enable you to confirm if their use was authorised. I have my doubts.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:45 pm
We won't convince Government to make a new law by arguing that there already is one, particularly as they have increased the stakes by proposing to make trespass criminal.
I'm suggesting we don't try for a new law, we continue to argue the existence of a right.
Do you have a source for that (it would be useful). I understood it was landowning influences who convinced the Government to drop it.
No, but adding a restrictive right would have upset the apple cart if it contradicted a general right
a friend of mine complained to EA and they had them taken down.
They are still there

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by on the rocks »

The BCU doesn't seem committed to access, this page hasn't been updated in a while, I see the 2018 Annual Report Highlights are still to be "issued soon"
https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-c ... sory-group
Compare this to the British Mountaineering Council who have full time access officers and a well co-ordinated network of volunteers.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Chris Bolton »

The BCU doesn't seem committed to access, this page hasn't been updated in a while
You're right, that page does seem out of date. But there's a lot of other stuff on the website that's current:
https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-c ... nvironment
My only involvement in BC is as a paddling member, but having been deeply involved in the 1990s, trying to get more commitment to access, I can say that there's a huge improvement since then, and I do think they are now on board. There are different views on how best to take it forward, mainly based on perceptions of how strong the evidence is for the existing public right of navigation. There may also be an element of keeping some of the evidence to themselves until it's needed in court, I don't know. The statement on the website is:
British Canoeing believes that there is a strong case to demonstrate an existing public right of navigation (PRN) on all navigable rivers.
Until such time that the law is clarified, either in court, or through legislation being enacted, British Canoeing will campaign on behalf of the public, for fair, shared, sustainable open access on water.
That's a big change from saying 'only paddle within the terms of an access agreement' which was pretty much their position when I started paddling.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

A lot of work has been done on the website. This is a good start for information about the campaign.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by lakesboy »

nothing has ever or will ever move on from the comments terry storey wrote on access in his book 100 best canoeing rivers in the late 1980's
in my opinion, experience and where i live and work....and having paddled since before this book even came out!

reasons are all outlined above by others...and are such as -
- organisations / fishing assoc / others - putting up signs galore saying no canoeing - (a local WW river, fishing club get access to one bank and then puts up signs!)
- local public / residents having no idea at all on what access even is (most don't even own a local map of where they are!)
- we are in such a minority to be of no significance (most kayakers/canoe folk are not interested in a governing body membership)
- centuries old so called rights and landowner issues that cant be changed or altered in just a few decades (this wont change too many rich folk)
- BC or whatever they are called gaining serious significant lottery funding (30 million plus per olympic cycle from research) BUT not for really access/change in law
etc etc, all for elite sport, grass roots, dev officers, governing body etc etc etc ...so not the sustainability of the 'water environment access we need' via legislation
- every region/area/region/local rivers/lakes etc are all so different and accessed in so many different ways, and can be on common land, via a public footpath, on
farm land, national park etc etc etc that it's not a national policy level thing that can solve this anyway, so you can have as many 'campaigns' as you like it won't
make a difference

conclusion...
just go paddle, be safe, be friendly, be discreet, sensible and DONT paddle to create conflict...then there is nothing anyone can really do anyway... you may need to pay and display, park elsewhere, go as a small group only, ask prior permission, know the local area, ask others - but in my experience you can always paddle what you want, where you want and do it at the level you want....

but as said above many times by others there will always be someone who wants to upset this....they are called humans am afraid!

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by stonercanoe »

Every one again thanks for the comments.
Would have been nice if some one from BC had given input?
Playing devil's advocate, if really senior people at BC were asked their preference, whether they could have legally clear open access, or at least 2 golds guaranteed at every Olympics and World Championships for ever, what would their choice be?
My mates and I would choose access every time!

As mates we paddle when and where we want, small groups, being considerate .
If I was leading an official club trip and something happened that I needed CW insurance and WUF said I should not have been there, would the insurance cover disappear........
Can CW, BC answer this?
I have not read the small print of CW policy.
Jason

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Would have been nice if some one from BC had given input?
To be fair to them, I doubt any BC or CW staff will have seen the thread.
if really senior people at BC were asked their preference
It would depend which people, I think, at BC. If you asked about CW I think the answer would be access (and there may be other contributors to this thread who can confirm that). But what your question highlights for me is the confusion that results from having BC responsible for elite competition over the whole UK and being the recreational membership organisation for England.
If I was leading an official club trip and something happened that I needed CW insurance and WUF said I should not have been there, would the insurance cover disappear........
I'm 99% confident the insurance would be valid irrespective of WUF or anyone else claiming to control access; BC are not party to any old style 'access agreements' now. I think you'd still be covered if BC had made a restricted low water arrangement for ecological purposes, eg, as on the Cumbrian Greta (which I think is supported by BC).

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Jim »

stonercanoe wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:05 pm
Every one again thanks for the comments.
Would have been nice if some one from BC had given input?
I think you may find that Pam is on the BC working group... or maybe CW?

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Pam Bell »

I am on the BC's Access Advisory Group (representing Waters of Wales). CW also sends a representative to that group. I am not involved in the day-to-day work of the NGB's.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by buck197 »

I’m in sympathy with the original poster about contested access as we get hassle down here in deepest Devon. I however disagree that our governing bodies aren’t working hard to improve access, Ben Seal at BC is very active and enthusiastically engaging government and all parties and has initiated the current campaign. As people have posted we are a small group and access issue is of little interest to the average citizen. I believe things are moving forward but Frustratingly slowly and I believe we should continue to push our case to exercise our right to roam on English and Welsh rivers. If you are challenged and possibly have GoPro/video footage then please continue to report these incidents to CW and BC.
Brian Taylor
Paddle Pirates

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by Sean_soup »

buck197 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:58 am
If you are challenged and possibly have GoPro/video footage then please continue to report these incidents to CW and BC.
And presumably the police, if the 'challenge' is threatening or abusive.

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by The Chuckster »

Sorry to hear of your issues. Keep the reporting to the police up, we did it years ago on the Swale, and got the guy an ASBO.

I always take the line, of let them have their rant, then enquire which law it is you are breaking. The last guy i had stated this so i asked which law, to which he replied he didn't know.... I also ask in what official capacity they are speaking to you in, it will help you work out who they are for the police. I had a guy claim he.was an EA bailiff, i got him a caution for impersonating a civil enforcement officer. I asked him for ID which he produced his rod licence. As evidence to the police i was able to tell them what else was in his wallet to prove he pulled out the ID.

If i was you, with the guys wife waiting at the end i would have called the police and raised concerns about Jim being around a vulnerable adult

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Re: Annoyed, fed up. BC don't get it?

Post by onlysme69 »

just look at them nod and carry on ;) LOL

There are estimated to be 42,700 miles of river in the U.K. but only 1,400 have a clear and undisputed right of public access.

There is a great deal of evidence of such a right throughout our recorded history, from Roman Law to Saxon Charters, to Magna Carta, to the work of the Commissioners for Sewers who were charged with removal of obstructions to navigation, to the absence of the need to create specific rights of navigation within the Acts of Parliament creating statutory river navigations. The public right of navigation on all rivers capable of navigation was completely unquestioned for 1800 years.

Over the last 200 years a different view has been formed by some lawyers, landowners and fishing clubs based on riparian rights (rights associated with property bordering rivers). But it is an accepted principle of English law that such private rights are subservient to public rights.

In the case of Josie Rowland v Environment Agency, Mr Justice Lightman said 'Public Right of Navigation may only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory powers or by destruction of the subject matter of PRN e.g. through silting up of the watercourse.'

Since the general public right of navigation has never been removed by statute or exercise of statutory powers, it must still exist today.

here is the public right to navigate


http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/what ... ce.php#Evi

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