Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

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Scots_Charles_River
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

I would hope this will be brought up at the National Access Forum, presumably so did the ban on wild camping at Lomondside.

Looks like they had a sharp lawyer.........

pickenjohn
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by pickenjohn »

Wee smiles. As I recall things essentially under the Access legislation what you can do as an individual you can do commercially. So commercial rafting is just collective individual access; with some additional responsibilities for operators due to scale and frequency.
Regarding numbers. I know the Ardeche used to have days of well over 7,000 passages in the day. I understand they (the Council and at least some operators) were wishing to reduce that to 3,500 per day for environmental reasons. Not sure how it all went, not been there for some years.
Now I admit even 3,500 down the Tay would be a bit dramatic. But makes 200 quite small in absolute terms.

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DaveBland
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by DaveBland »

So you have two commercial parties with conflicting activities, each wanting [and equally entitled] to exploit a natural resource for profit.
Except one party is using their greater financial and political muscle to sway the balance in their favour.

Is this the sort of thing the Euro Courts get involved in?
dave

Keith Day
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Keith Day »

Scots_Charles_River wrote:Looks like they had a sharp lawyer.........
It doesn't take a sharp lawyer if he's (she's) the only lawyer to turn up! It's not hard to win a fight against someone who doesn't fight back.

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Jim
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Jim »

Keith Day wrote:
Scots_Charles_River wrote:Looks like they had a sharp lawyer.........
It doesn't take a sharp lawyer if he's (she's) the only lawyer to turn up! It's not hard to win a fight against someone who doesn't fight back.
The lawyer was sharp enough to identify someone they could take the action against that wouldn't bother to send their own lawyer to contest, such that a third party would be inconvenienced without even being named in court let alone able to defend.

I have another thought for the operators - since school groups are going to be the biggest losers in all this, I suggest you start by bumping all school groups from Perth and Kinross with a carefully worded explanation as to how it is that you can no longer fulfil your obligations to them due to the direct actions (or inaction) of Perth and Kinross council, whom in taking such action (i.e. not taking any) have effectively set out a policy of not supporting schools in their district. Also suggest that the schools take the matter up with the council at the earliest opportunity, outlining the time frame within which the council will need to lodge an appeal should they choose to be swayed by complaints from schools.

I was totally disgusted by the recent public sector strike, an action which could do no damage to the public sector, only alienate public sector workers from the private sector, this is entirely a different situation. The council have already made the commitment that is going to hurt the students, the operators won't be withdrawing their services, they will be following the course the council has (probably without realising) set out for them. Also, to the extent that the operators are going to try to reschedule and provide as best as they can for schools, it would seem fair to prioritise schools from outside Perth and Kinross, whose councils are not responsible for the new state of affairs.

Maybe this is all too much - I'm just trying to think outside the box to try to find ways to get Perth and Kinross council to see that they have a duty to make an appeal. I strongly suspect that no-one councillor responsible for the decision not to defend even took one moment to wonder who the clients are, raising awareness might be all that is required?

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quicky
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by quicky »

Also suggest that the schools take the matter up with the council at the earliest opportunity, outlining the time frame within which the council will need to lodge an appeal should they choose to be swayed by complaints from schools.
Try the national papers as well, 'Children denied exercise after draconian decision'

Scots_Charles_River
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Scots_Charles_River »

Irony is that rafting is 100% sustainable and does not affect the unsustainable fishing !

Lord McKenzie in the Highlands, being a climber and avid new router, promoted access to his estate well before any SOAC.

A council tax payer in P&K needs to speak to their councillor.........

Blobby
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Blobby »

Hey guys,

I have been holding back on commenting on this case as we have also had issues with rafting on the River Garry over the last few years. 3 years ago we were served with an interim interdict that stopped us from rafting the Garry immediately without any warning what so ever.

The land owner went to the court of session in Edinburgh and was granted this interdict on the terms that we were harming the commercial fishing interests on the river.

To cut a long sory short, we recieved absolutely no support from the access forum, access comittee, SRA, SCA, SNH, Paths for all, Highland Council and variuos other agencies and organisations.

We are now rafting under the terms of this interdict on the agreement that we pay a rather large % of income to the riparian owner.

The problem seems to be that the Land Reform Act does not stand up when tested and in the words of various people "this will be a test case and we are not confident of winning". The costs involved in defending our case were indicated to us at the time as being 10's of thousands to fight the interim interdict and potentially going into the hunderds for the main case.

As a small company we decided that we could not afford the above so settled with the owner. We no pay a percentage of income but some of these funds are put back into river projects such as the new stes at the tale out (which the Andy Jackson trust also put some money into).

My feelings are mixed but I don;t think that this is going to go away unless it is also challenged at a national level, my question would be which river next?????

petesyme
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by petesyme »

Update. Our legal representation informs us this ban is just not on the commercial rafting operators as we thought. The ban is actually on anyone commercial or not using the Aberfeldy to Grandtully section of the River Tay " By raft inflatible or otherwise"

This is a thin edge of a very thick wedge. If we start to take clients down in canoes and kayaks will these be banned next?

We are also informed we would be better going to the court of session in Edinburgh to fight it not the Perth court. As has been said above this has a potential 6 figure liability to the loser of the court of session case.

We are still in legal discussions to see a way forward.

petesyme
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by petesyme »

Update

Our legals got it delayed and we are in court in Perth in 6 weeks time to state our case, it may still end up in the court of session in Edinburgh though depending on the outcome in Perth. Although it is a small group of rafting operators that are fighting this, the proposed ban is actually on everyone using the river by raft.

We have taken the view that if we do not fight now and this becomes law it will only be a matter of time before other bans will come in on other rivers and other craft so the time to challenge this landowners aggression is now.

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Big Henry
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Big Henry »

petesyme wrote:We are also informed we would be better going to the court of session in Edinburgh to fight it not the Perth court.
petesyme wrote:we are in court in Perth in 6 weeks time
Hmm! ;->
petesyme wrote:We have taken the view that if we do not fight now and this becomes law it will only be a matter of time before other bans will come in on other rivers and other craft so the time to challenge this landowners aggression is now.
The best of luck with it. As you say, it's probably the thin end of the wedge and kayaking will be next.

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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Strad »

petesyme wrote:Update

Our legals got it delayed and we are in court in Perth in 6 weeks time to state our case, it may still end up in the court of session in Edinburgh though depending on the outcome in Perth. Although it is a small group of rafting operators that are fighting this, the proposed ban is actually on everyone using the river by raft.

We have taken the view that if we do not fight now and this becomes law it will only be a matter of time before other bans will come in on other rivers and other craft so the time to challenge this landowners aggression is now.
I am guessing that there is a British rafting association or similar, I would hope they are supporting you all in the case, might be worth trying to get other 'concerned water users such as RALSA and the SCA involved too, show that there is concern this would impact many sports?
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Strad wrote:I am guessing that there is a British rafting association or similar,
http://www.bcu.org.uk/our-sport/white-water-rafting/

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Voodoo
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Voodoo »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Strad wrote:I am guessing that there is a British rafting association or similar,
http://www.bcu.org.uk/our-sport/white-water-rafting/

Your all doomed then :-(
This is not the repose you are looking for ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Strad
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Strad »

Voodoo wrote:
Adrian Cooper wrote:
Strad wrote:I am guessing that there is a British rafting association or similar,
http://www.bcu.org.uk/our-sport/white-water-rafting/

Your all doomed then :-(
precisely what was going through my mind...
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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forestknights
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by forestknights »

Why is the BCU not actively involved in the case? As our NGB it sole purpose is to support the interests of its members.
Know the wisdom of patience during times of inactivity.

www.forestknights.co.uk

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Because it is in Scotland and a matter more for the SCA. Even before CE was set up, the BCU did not get involved in matters in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

petesyme
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by petesyme »

As stated above this is a Scottish matter, and long standing traditions of the governing bodies not getting involved in each others areas. I strongly suspect the SCA will start to get involved down the line if the outcome is a ban, as if we are forced to change from having 10 people in a raft controlled by a guide to having the same 10 people in canoes or kayaks I can see issues ahead.

snuggle_bunny
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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by snuggle_bunny »

Apart from walking, humans have used waterways, of whatever type, as a mode of transport and right of way since the dawn of time. These waterways moraly and historicaly belong to the ENTIRE population of the UK and not the select few. Defend this right or loose it

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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Colin C »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Because it is in Scotland and a matter more for the SCA. Even before CE was set up, the BCU did not get involved in matters in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Another point of interest is that whilst BCU is the governing body for rafting in England, the SCA is not in Scotland. I believe it is the Scottish Rafting Association.
The SCA was central in the negotiations for the current access bill, which does not include commercial ventures, so I would suspect that the position of the SCA is to hold on to see if this is a threat to access, to all, or only involves commercial organisations, which are not within the scope of the current access legislation.

Colin

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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Blobby »

Rafting in Scotland does not have a governing body as such guys, the SRA amongst other bodies provide certificated training but are not governing bodies. The SCA do not want to touch rafting and the SRA does not have an access officer.

When we had the issue on the Garry a few years ago our case was dicsussed at the access forum but not contested as the thought at the time was that it was going to be a test case for the land reform act and access code and was a grey area and nobody wanted to go near it.

I feel that this was the starting block for test cases and was ignored by pretty much everyone appart from a few operators. These 2 issues, on the Garry and the Tay pose a very large scale threat to the whole of the commercial outdoor industry and needs to be challenged collectively.

What happens to the mountain guide taking his clients accross land to get to a route and "interfering with stalking" or a kayak coach running a commercial course and "interfering with fishing"?

Maybe when these cases happen the SCA and MCOFS will take a stance?

It's just a matter of time!

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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

Post by Seedy Paddler »

The SRA at it's conception was established as the Governing Body for Rafting in Scotland. That remit included access by commercial rafting and in establishing appropriate recognised leadership qualifications. This was set-up by rafters for rafters (albeit the SCA provided guidance, advice and mediation in the early days) and was in stark contrast to the BCU that deemed itself as the governing body for all "paddlesport" with neither consultation nor support from the existing rafting operators (apart from those established at HPP).

This is an argument (at this stage) for the SRA to become more involved, the SCA and others are keeping a view on the situation to monitor impact. It has already been raised at Local Access Forum levels as a point to monitor.

Keep up the struggle guys..

CD

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Re: Rafting Ban = Un-enforceable

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