EA Prosecution

Inland paddling
Bod
Posts: 1591
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:50 pm
Location: Exeter

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Bod »

Mawddach wrote: Yes we do all pay taxes, this is not spent on canoeists cos they aren't taken seriously cos they can't even get their act together to regulate themselves.

So your argument for thinking my sport should be self-regulated is what exactly?

Is it simply because fish-mugging is regulated (by the authorities)? Or do you have a more coherent argument?
John B.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3293
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Chris Bolton »

Morsey wrote:Chris do you not feel that it would be correct to phone 999 and let the control centre decide whether or not to send a unit to the scene?
Morsey, I feel quite strongly that would not be correct. The Emergency control centres are not staffed to a level that enables them to do that. I would not want to be making a non-urgent 999 call that could potentially result in even 10 seconds delay to real emergency call; when the police say "a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby" they are referring to something like an assault or a burglary where time is important to stop the crime or to prevent a suspect escaping. In the case quoted we have somebody who has given their ID and would be quite happy to wait 5 minutes while the police answer the non-emergency phone.
TechnoEngineer wrote:I've often had to wait up to 2 minutes to get a 999 call answered
You must have a lot of emergencies in your life! I've only ever made one 999 call in the 50 something years since I learned to speak.

Chris

User avatar
shanclan
Posts: 1026
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:57 pm
Location: Monmouth
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by shanclan »

Mawddach wrote:Licensing or permitting makes sense,......
Why? It may make sense for one group of water users who are actually there hunting for fish and are interfering with the wildlife. Extending licencing to paddlers is like saying hill walkers should be regulated because shooting is regulated, ie nonsense.

Outdoor activities that are unregulated include walking, climbing, mountain biking, horse riding all of which have far more impact than paddling. By extension, I guess you want all of these regulated as well?

Mawddach wrote:and like all other water users, conditions and time of year must be taken into account before giving access.
They should be, they are, and there are codes of conduct.

Mawddach wrote:I used to work in forestry and if there was a bird of prey nesting we were not allowed withing miles of it, same should go for salmon and sea trout.
Why? It may be right for forestry work to stop in bird nesting sensitive areas, however the general public are very rarely excluded from breeding habitats of any kind. In climbing, there are clear protocols for avoiding nesting areas that are very successfully managed. Outdoor activities in general and those who participate have an excellent record of protecting the environment, especially when compared with those who are licensed to be there to hunt or who take economic benefit from hunting. Ask yourself why the species you were so sensitive about were endangered and where the pressures had come from. This is not just historical, have a look at the current debates about otter, cormorant and goosander populations.

When it comes to fish, there is no evidence that there is any disturbance of salmon or trout by paddlers even at low levels (although many paddlers choose not to paddle then to avoid the slightest risk of disturbance or criticism.) It seems extremely odd to suggest that we be excluded to address a non-existent risk, when fishing is permitted on the same rivers which are un-naturally stocked as the natural population cannot sustain the levels of fishing.
Mawddach wrote: There's plenty of room for all to enjoy the rivers and lakes, but paying a fee for enjoyment of them is fair, that money can be invested in proper access points, car parking, removal of obstacles. Yes we do all pay taxes, this is not spent on making proper access points for canoeists cos they aren't taken seriously cos they can't even get their act together to regulate themselves. Canoe Wales represents a tiny minority of paddlers, maybe if they could come to an agreement on access they would get more members, as people would see them as being able to offer something.
Generating cash does not mean licencing people. Paddlers are happy to pay for parking or useful facilities provided. If you are in Forestry, take a look at the FC model for mountain biking that does not involve licencing.

Your comments on Canoe Wales 'coming to an agreement' suggest that you don't understand the problem.

Mawddach wrote:The countryside cannot be treated as a free playground for all, there are things that need protection, environmental things, economic things and cultural things.
I agree, but I don't agree with your conclusion that licencing has any part to play in any of the above.

RizzRat
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:53 am

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by RizzRat »

I personally enjoyed the Slovenian way of regulation - however given the scale of activity in the UK probably not realistic. However parking and toilets at most of the put ins and take outs was great! If it were feasible I would pay for a 365 day pass for complete UK access.
Generally p!ssing people off since 1984!

User avatar
Big Henry
Posts: 1922
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:31 am
Location: North East
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Big Henry »

Mawddach wrote:Licensing or permitting makes sense, and like all other water users, conditions and time of year must be taken into account before giving access.
I used to work in forestry and if there was a bird of prey nesting we were not allowed withing miles of it, same should go for salmon and sea trout. There's plenty of room for all to enjoy the rivers and lakes, but paying a fee for enjoyment of them is fair, that money can be invested in proper access points, car parking, removal of obstacles. Yes we do all pay taxes, this is not spent on making proper access points for canoeists cos they aren't taken seriously cos they can't even get their act together to regulate themselves. Canoe Wales represents a tiny minority of paddlers, maybe if they could come to an agreement on access they would get more members, as people would see them as being able to offer something.
The countryside cannot be treated as a free playground for all, there are things that need protection, environmental things, economic things and cultural things.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Image
Image

SimonMW
Posts: 2199
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:39 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 7 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by SimonMW »

Image

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

Chris Bolton wrote:I've only ever made one 999 call in the 50 something years since I learned to speak.
So what level of threats do you think would have to be presented to you before you rang 999? If a group of paddlers has juniors, should any level of threats be accepted before phoning 999?!?

User avatar
adpal
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:21 pm
Location: Coventry , West Mids.

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by adpal »

Hi
Mawddach wrote:Licensing or permitting makes sense, and like all other water users, conditions and time of year must be taken into account before giving access.
Don't some / most of us already pay for licences through the BCU / Canoe england anyway ?

Adam

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

adpal wrote:the BCU / Canoe England
licence covers waterways that require management to maintain them. For instance canals require pumping stations for constant water height. It has nothing to do with natural rivers.


This thread, despite the title, has nothing to do with prosecution. It is about someone trying to stop people canoeing, and, as ever, there is no validation.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3293
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Chris Bolton »

morsey wrote:
Chris Bolton wrote: I've only ever made one 999 call in the 50 something years since I learned to speak
.
So what level of threats do you think would have to be presented to you before you rang 999? If a group of paddlers has juniors, should any level of threats be accepted before phoning 999?!?
I don't see the connection. I'm not talking about threats, I'm talking about suspicion of impersonating a bailiff. I wouldn't expect an EA officer to attack junior paddlers?

Chris

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Steve B »

Wildswimmer Pete wrote:I'm sure you can use the new non-emergency no. 101 for the Welsh police. 101 has been available in Cheshire for some time now.
I believe 101 has now gone national across England and Wales - see http://www.police.uk/101
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

Chris the question was an open question not directed solely at this thread (connections were mentioned earlier), what level of threat do you think would warrant calling the Police using 999?

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3293
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Chris Bolton »

morsey wrote:Chris the question was an open question not directed solely at this thread (connections were mentioned earlier), what level of threat do you think would warrant calling the Police using 999?
OK, just confused by you quoting me. Any threat of violence against anyone would justify calling 999. Whether I actually would call would depend on how long I thought a response might take and whether I had other options for protecting myself / whoever was threatened, eg, if we could run away safely.

Chris

User avatar
Wildswimmer Pete
Posts: 1324
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:07 pm
Location: Runcorn New Town
Has thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Wildswimmer Pete »

Chris Bolton wrote: Any threat of violence against anyone would justify calling 999. Whether I actually would call would depend on how long I thought a response might take and whether I had other options for protecting myself / whoever was threatened, eg, if we could run away safely.

Chris
Given my current state of health and my difficulty with communication it would take little to make me fearful of a certain level of threat. Given that I have my full physical strength I'd use what I'd describe to be "robust self defence".

Mr "Git Orrf My Land" wouldn't be bothered to distinguish somebody throughly pissed from someone suffering the aftermath of a stroke.

Wildswimmer Pete
Nili illegitimi carborundum

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

If the EA officer cannot demonstrate what an acceptable level is, how on earth can the EA claim what an unacceptable level is? Answer: They cannot, and further the EA will not be able to substantiate any claim in court.

User avatar
Big Henry
Posts: 1922
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:31 am
Location: North East
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Big Henry »

It seems to me that what we need to be asking of EA officers/warrant holders/whatever is this: what FACTUAL evidence do they have that would/could be presented in court for a successful prosecution. As we know, they won't have any.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

This has gone off topic somewhat....the key thing here is that the EA nationally have distanced themselves from Access, accepting that it is not their role. However, EA Wales (or certain folk within EA Wales) are not following this policy, and claiming spurious authority over access to rivers. We must challenge them to justify this - I suggest that more folk post up on the EA Wales page until unambiguous answers are received...see either my posting, or start your own in a similar vein.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

Mawddach wrote:stuff
Mawddach...are you an employee of EA Wales?

Yes [ ]

No [ ]
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

Mark R wrote:We must challenge them to justify this - I suggest that more folk post up on the EA Wales page until unambiguous answers are received...see either my posting, or start your own in a similar vein.
Oops - to be fair to EA Wales, they did actually respond to my query a feww days ago, I hadn't picked up on this. It's a fairly reasonable response (my emphasis in bold)...

'We have no legal powers regarding navigation, other than on some specific rivers such as the Wye. However we do promote sustainable access where it will not damage existing uses of the river.'
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3293
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Chris Bolton »

Mark R wrote:
EA Wales wrote:...where it will not damage existing uses of the river.
This is general EA policy and needs to be challenged - it's giving priority to whoever was there first, which is not justifed. (As an aside, it's something EA Wales should have considered before they built a fish pass that artificially introduced species to the upper Conwy). In many cases, fishing is only the existing use because of the legal misunderstandings explained by Douglas Caffyn.

Chris

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

Good point Chris, I missed the subtle meaning there, assuming it to mean damaging the river in general.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

Yesterday I asked the following to EA Wales on FB...

‎'we do promote sustainable access where it will not damage existing uses of the river' - could you please explain what specifically you mean by 'existing uses of the river'? Do you have any specific verified examples where navigation of rivers has 'damaged' them? It sounds as if you are favouring groups or activities who would prefer to have exclusive use.

Received this reply today...

“Existing uses” is a generic term which covers any activity that already takes place – it could be angling, paddlesports, shooting, swimming etc.

When you refer to “verified examples of damage from navigation” it’s fair to say that no significant work has been done on the specific environmental impacts of paddlesports. It is also unlikely that such work would ever be able to cover all the potential impacts under the whole range of locations, times and conditions that paddlesports take place.

We do not promote exclusive use of watercourses, rather we have legal duties to

protect the environment
protect fish stocks
promote the sport of angling
promote water related recreation

We strive to be fair to all users – but acknowledge that balancing these duties is sometimes challenging.

We'd recommend a precautionary approach. So if the river is low between November and January that's the time of greatest risk. In this instance it might be best to try to find another river or not go paddling.

We’d be happy to talk with you about this direct if you like, either on the phone or face-to-face on your next visit to North Wales. If you’d like to arrange a chat, please email matt.strickland@environmen​t-agency.wales.gov.uk to arrange.


Thoughts?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
buck197
Posts: 1443
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:25 pm
Location: Plymouth
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by buck197 »

So how does "Protect Fish Stocks" and "Promote the Sport of Angling sit together? One saves fish and the other kills the fish? Is the order of the list of 4 have any significance.
Brian Taylor
Paddle Pirates

User avatar
Jim_MWX
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Jim_MWX »

I've read a few pages of this and it's quite an interesting discussion.

That EA response is typical, and leads once again to - as I've read it - handwashing and buck passing.

Interesting as others have pointed out that water related recreation sits at the bottom. Perhaps this is me being pedantic, but isn't angling a water related recreation, certainly fly fishing is. Whats the difference between a kayak scraping the bottom of a river and the boots on a set of waders? To take this further you could claim that contaminants on the soles could be brought into the water there-by breaking the first point they make.
Pro Photographer -www.jimsnape.co.uk
@mountainworx

User avatar
Big Henry
Posts: 1922
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:31 am
Location: North East
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Big Henry »

buck197 wrote:So how does "Protect Fish Stocks" and "Promote the Sport of Angling sit together? One saves fish and the other kills the fish? Is the order of the list of 4 have any significance.
My thoughts as well. Although I included "protect the environment" not sitting with promoting angling. I can't see how angling can in any way improve the environment or fish stocks. Catch and release is harmful to fish and even the practise of restocking has consequences to the fish stocks and environment.

Also, you have to ask why does angling have a specific mention and is not included in the general category of water related recreation? If I were being pedantic, I would suggest that in general, angling is a recreation until it is organised into a specific competition. Could I therefore draw the conclusion that the EA Wales is in the business of organising and promoting angling matches?

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Mark R »

Jim_MWX wrote: Whats the difference between a kayak scraping the bottom of a river and the boots on a set of waders?
You'll note that they widely dodged my question when I asked for examples/ evidence of damage.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

You may want to consider this:

The EA should work with canoeists/kayakers to agree upon and set a low level water mark, from measurements that can be demonstrated and which reflect the ability of a canoe/kayak to float freely, for the sections with actual bonafide breeding grounds. Exaggerated low level markers would not be acceptable. Low level marks on sections without delicate breeding grounds would not be acceptable.

The only way the EA could possibly secure a prosecution against canoeists/kayakers, in their normal activity, is to demonstrate that they were not floating over breeding grounds.

If the EA Officers are stating that the river is too low for canoeing, without having taken measurements and recordings, that is unacceptable.
If the EA Officers are making threats of arrest without having carried out the prior collation of facts that is also unacceptable and will not stand up in court.
If the EA Officers are making threats of arrest for sections without actual areas of bonafide environmental concern that is unacceptable and, again, will not stand up in court.

The EA legality of operations (i.e. to protect fish stocks and promote angling) does not give automatic right of restriction of activity of users groups outside of the operations protocol. The use of environmental protection laws is precisely for that purpose and should not be extended by subjective application to cover areas and activities outside of that area. The EA should seek Governmental advice in order to ensure the actions of their officers, in restricting activity and in threatening arrest by those carrying out legal activities, does not violate human rights. I understand the EA already have (or at least they did when a very similar situation developed on the West Dart five years ago) specific directives to ensure Bailiffs with dual representation do not use their powers under the EA to further the cause of local fishing organisations, maybe worth asking whether the EA officer who attended the incident in the opening post has signed the register of interests.

The issue of non release of data, specifically location of breeding grounds, is an operational concern for EA, it should not inflict upon the activities of those carrying legal activity unnecessarily.

I would also enquire as to why the EA have started to target canoeists, when there own documents conclude the non impact of the activity. Perhaps they can enlighten upon what has changed in the last twenty years, that they now deem it fit to issue threats of arrest. There must presumably be either a change in available scientific evidence relating to fish stocks and breeding (this should be made available by the EA) or a change in operational guidance!

:-)

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

Also, I was phoned by the EA personnel connected with the Wye navigation. They answered fully and openly, and provided follow up information, it may be a media the EA are happier to answer your questions in. I would directly ask Ash from Canoe Wales and Shanclan (on ukrgb forum) as they are both very capable especially when it comes to speaking the language of bodies such as the EA.

User avatar
Rhod
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 8:35 pm
Location: Blandford Forum

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by Rhod »

Mark R wrote: It is also unlikely that such work would ever be able to cover all the potential impacts under the whole range of locations, times and conditions that paddlesports take place.
So any evidence, in any of these locations, times or conditions? Any at all?
Rhodri Anderson

User avatar
morsey
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: West Country :-)
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: EA Prosecution

Post by morsey »

Catch and Return is the answer to how the EA promote fish stocks and angling interests.

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”