Localism.

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Localism.

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:59 pm

From the "Lowest Dart" thread as I think there's a valid point to be made, but replying to it there, would just de-rail the thread.
Poke wrote:
Dinoboy wrote:The Dart runs reasonably well right down to relatively low levels.
The Ogwen on the other hand doesn't, so to all you who jump on it in a boat when a bike would be more useful, please just go hill walking, climbing, biking....anything!
OK ok, I know you’re just trolling for a response to kick up an old argument but entertain me for a second...

You’re a member of a club,
You book some accommodation weeks (perhaps months) in advance for your club Wales trip.
You only get a handful of these a year and the membership of your club depends on it.
Many of the club members do not have their own boating kit so are borrowing from the club.
Most don’t actually have walking boots and decent outdoor kit so going up on the hills is out. There is nowhere near enough space in the jampacked minibus for bikes.
Full of enthusiasm you rock up at your intended run.
The levels are pitifully low, but you’ve done it before at those levels, and know that despite a bit of rock bashing in places, you can get down and the lack of power in the water actually means that some of the weaker paddlers will actually get on better than they may have done if it was higher.

Do you
a) decide that as it’s at a level you wouldn’t want to paddle it yourself, therefore not get on and tell everyone to hit the tea-shops, even though the same happened on the last trip and some of these guys now haven't been on a proper river in 6 months.
b) get on, have a fun bimble down, and take pleasure in the enjoyment the less experienced members of your group are getting from the experience.

As for the original question, I’ve no idea – I’ve certainly done it very low.
Does anyone have an EA gauge calibration for 6” below the ledge?
Tim, Imagine this...

  • You live in a small town through which a river popular for both paddling and fishing flows; it's well known in the community that you're a paddler, indeed you've managed to convince some people that you'll be reasonable in your use of the natural resource such that people have given you permission to use their private land to access and egress partway down a section for coaching purposes, all this in spite of there being historical emnity between the two sporting interests in the area.

    But every time other paddlers use the resource in low water or do so without consideration for fishermen you get to hear about it, because "you're one of them"; even though they are from all over the country and you don't even share their point of view.

    The level of anger from some other members of the community is such that it's not worth using the land to which you've been allowed access because of the likelyhood of becoming embroiled in an argument.

    Imagine how your blood would begin to boil the fifth, tenth, thirtieth etc time you had one of your neigbours wanting you to try to account for the behaviour of a group you don't know, doing something you yourself wouldn't do...

Or how about this...

  • You've had heavy summer rain and decide to go out for a quick blast on your local run, it's been a while since you've had the water for it and it seems like you're going to have some fun in the sun.

    You arrive at the put in to a really good level and start to get the boats off when someone comes up to you irate, shouting about a big group of kayakers from the previous week paddling when it was "totally empty" and running straight though the middle of the pool he was fishing without warning.

    He threatens to damage the cars he knows you're going to leave at the top if you get on and it becomes apparent that this just isn't going to be fun, nor do you have the time to calm the fellow down or call the authorities; You drive back feeling defeated and quietly seethe whilst you set to with the things which prevented you from staying longer and trying to sort the issue out...
Can you begin to see how locals might be irritated by people paddling in inappropriate conditions or behaving inconsiderately toward other river users; I'd hate to see it reach a stage where the pressure on certain honeypot rivers causes locals to become downright hostile in the way that is pervasive in certain surf areas.
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Re: Localism.

Post by buck197 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:14 pm

So I can't paddle your local river unless its at a certain level you or the local fishing club are happy with?
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Re: Localism.

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:21 pm

buck197 wrote:So I can't paddle your local river unless its at a certain level you or the local fishing club are happy with?
I'm not about to stop you, but I thought people might be interested to know what sort of impact lots of groups doing it is begining to have... apparently not.

Apparently we, like the rest of the local community (perhaps even moreso) just don't matter.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Randy Fandango » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:51 pm

The problem is Josh that if the underlying issue about paddling the river at, as you put it "inappropriate" levels is based on nothing but prejudice and misconception and in fact has not one jot of scientific reason behind it, then why should the visiting paddlers pander to this localism.
Now that's bad news for the locals taking the flack and one sympathises but basically pandering to bullies simply shouldn't be on anyone's agenda.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Patrick Clissold » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:59 pm

Just because you live in an area doesn't make it any more 'yours' then anyone else in the country. Council tax is the only thing that differentiates you from the rest of the country in terms on contributing to the infrastructure of that area. And in terms of right to roam, right to have access to ones natural heritage etc there can't be any ownership. Yes you may have to put up with more of a hassle because of other groups but as a saying goes in the Navy 'you picks your branch you takes your chance' or in other words tough!

I grew up in very rural Wales, it doesn't make it mine. I now live in a very urban bit of England (not for long I hope) but it doesn't make it any less yours etc. I put up with the people, the traffic, the inflated prices, the lack of real natural beauty as I'm used to it, higher levels of crime etc and all you have to do is put up with a few irate farmers.

As my wife would say, this is a very 1st world problem, we are not starving or in the middle of war zone. Worse things happen at sea and all that.

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Re: Localism.

Post by Rdscott » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:03 pm

On the first instance i would politly tell maynaibourghsthat as theyareaware you were not part of the group and that it is not your place to comment.

On the second instance i would politly nod and smileacceptwhat he is saying take note of his details,and carry on withmy own buisness which is none of his. when he has gone i would report thethretening behaviour to the police, most probablynothing will come of it but if your property is damagedinanyway you then have some kind of recordwith the police and a prime suspect.

I was once threatened by a farmer with a shotgun for pushing my bike through his field, (on a foot path) his thoughtswerethatmy bike shouldnt be there,and in the actual wording of the lawhe would be correct,lucky form meand alowquality helmetcameramy freind was carrying that farmer now struggles insomeasspectsof hisworkashelost his license for thretening behaviour.

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Re: Localism.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:11 pm

I'm pretty much with Josh on this.
There have been many times in the past where I have been embarrassed at other paddling groups' behaviour, parking, dragging boats over fences, using inappropriate access points, etc that have made me think that if I was a local or other river user [fishing] I'd be pretty pissed off and anti paddling.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Croft » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:17 pm

Would imagine that genuine locals are rather delighted to have visitors spending their loot in local campsites, pubs, cafe's, bunkhouses, B&Bs, garages, supermarkets etc.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Rdscott » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:22 pm

Yes dave but it is not your job to answer questions topeople questioning you when you were not there.

In fact if you were not there or a witness you (in my oppinion) have no right tomake comment or judgement, Due to you not knowing the full facts of the situation.you dont know how much of what the angered person is saying is true and how much is exagerated.

I remember once someonehaving agoat me in a pub about a very large group 10 or 12 of kayakers scrambling through his garden to get to a beck.

He was angered and the very large group of people was actuly 3 people,who were on a mapped public right of way that runns along the bottomofhis garden,theonly time his garden was enteredwas when oneofthe 3 paddlers stepped off the path to let alady with a pram past. and left nothing more than someflattened grass from his shoe.

I refused to make commet to this gentalman having a rant at me as i knew how much of it was made up being one of the 3 paddlers.

By accepting and commenting on what they are saying unlessdisagreeing with them you are essentaily saying they are right.

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Re: Localism.

Post by buck197 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:56 pm

Dave Bland wrote:There have been many times in the past where I have been embarrassed at other paddling groups' behaviour, behaviour,parking, dragging boats over fences, using inappropriate access points, etc that have made me think that if I was a local or other river user [fishing] I'd be pretty pissed off and anti paddling.
Dave I would agree about bad parking, damage to fences and inappropriate access points through private property but using the river because its low is down to the individual and their group. Giving in to bullying is wrong and what if you deem its only worth paddling the Ogwen when it is really high which may exclude a lot of groups getting on the river. If these groups who complain are successful to get paddlers who paddle the river when low off the river, then they will be targeting you next.

They aim is to get all paddlers off the rivers and no one can police people getting on the water at whatever the level unless laws are passed.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Dinoboy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:18 pm

Its not about "bullying" people off the river at all. Its about people using a small amount of common sense. There is a difference between low water and empty. Look at all the gauge sites around now, when the rivers are too low to run they say EMPTY when they are low but do-able they say LOW.

Not everything is paddleable whatever the level. Unfortunately kayaking is a weather dependent sport. The UK unfortunately doesn't have a set season and so sometimes some rivers are unfortunately too low. No-one is insisting that people only paddle at certain levels because everyone has different ideas of what levels they want. However if you are almost constantly in contact with the bed of the river, having to pull yourself over rocks to move downstream or having to portage sections because theres no way through then maybe a river is a bit too low.

Everyone gets unlucky with levels sometimes. Its just part of the sport.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Randy Fandango » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:30 pm

Dinoboy wrote:Its not about "bullying" people off the river at all. Its about people using a small amount of common sense. There is a difference between low water and empty. Look at all the gauge sites around now, when the rivers are too low to run they say EMPTY when they are low but do-able they say LOW.
And if someone disagrees with you and insists that their version of paddling is enjoyable for them (and it's causing no environmental damage) why can't you get it through your head that it's not your business to tell them they're wrong.
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Re: Localism.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:41 pm

You are right, I can't comment on low water level paddling as when I was actively paddling in the UK it wasn't on the radar as much and besides, the whole point was to go when it was raging otherwise it was crap.
And commenting on stuff when you weren't there or involved is always dodgy.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Pete » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Croft wrote:Would imagine that genuine locals are rather delighted to have visitors spending their loot in local campsites, pubs, cafe's, bunkhouses, B&Bs, garages, supermarkets etc.
Local business owners maybe, but all locals...?

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Re: Localism.

Post by janet brown » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:17 pm

DaveBland wrote:.... besides, the whole point was to go when it was raging otherwise it was crap...
We're not all capable of paddling something when its "raging".
Does that mean we're not allowed to paddle things at lower levels than the hard core paddlers think is beneath them?

I had a year out of paddling with a medical problem, and my first trip back was on the Usk at low levels in March 2011. Meeting at a layby, a fisherman stopped by to point out that the river was low, and that we shouldn't be paddling.
We continued, and had a fun trip at levels where we weren't scraping over gravel beds etc. It was ideal for me to build my confidence.
We met 2 fishermen on the trip, and one of our leaders went ahead to speak to them first. He had a friendly chat, and we passed quietly and calmly.

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Re: Localism.

Post by Rdscott » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:24 pm

And ithink janet has the main point that solves mostgrivenceson the river.

1person approaching afisherman and talking to them. I have never had anissuewhen thishas been done,ifnot westart geting problems. i tendtotry andshowintrestin what they are doing, and have on occasion askedif they mind taking some pictures.

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Re: Localism.

Post by justin-g » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:25 pm

I get what Josh is saying. But local intimidation over river "ownership" and the same old obviously bogus arguments about river bed damage is BS and can't be pandered too i'm afraid.

But there is a twist in the tail here isn't there. Cause what essentially is being talked about is some sort of spoken/unspoken agreement on river use. Sorry guys you can't sign up to this on others behalf...

Why not organize some sort of mass paddle on said river to raise awareness or start a local facebook community to share river info - these are working well for south wales, devon, the north west???

The real answers is it''s never too low - everyone has the right to enjoys natures assets equally. As long as the river bed laws are not broken of course.

Tricky when you live there - but you wont be there for ever and you need to suck it up.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Gareth dj » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:54 pm

Patrick Clissold wrote:As my wife would say, this is a very 1st world problem, we are not starving or in the middle of war zone. Worse things happen at sea and all that.
Your wife has a good sense of perspective.

edit. i did write that it was the only sensible comment, but that is not strictly true. However threads like this end up with two entrenched points of view, where as in fact the answer like most things lies in the middle ground. I.e people who visit areas, need to respect the are that they go to. And people who are lucky enough to live in these areas, should realise that they are priviledged in some senses, and that they cannot stop people visiting and taht they may have different values.

G.
Last edited by Gareth dj on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Localism.

Post by W5RAY » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:00 pm

I was the organiser and one of the leaders on Janet's trip, a club trip that had been organised weeks in advance. I'm not some gung ho troublemaker but have worked hard up the canoe/kayak coaching/leadership ladder and am in a pleasant position of having been voted in by my fellow paddlers as Vice Chair of our club with a membership in the region of 90 paddlers!
I was at one end of the layby getting ready when I noticed this conversation going on at the other end with one of the other leaders. I HATE being told what I HAVE to do and voiced my opinion as so. I blatantly told the meddler (a fisherman) that we were paddling irrelevant of what he thought, the rivers and the waters belong to all and fisherman do not have a right to say who can and can't use the river- yes the other leader was calmly coming to the same conclusion, but to be honest, who gives someone the right to TELL you that you CAN'T paddle such and such river - see, I said that without even swearing!
What I would like to say is "who the ................. unfortunately the rest is expletives so not printable here!) I think you get the jist!
As paddlers, leaders, trip organisers we need to look at the river levels and assess if the conditions are good for your level of group - this includes too low or too high!
For us on this day the levels were good, a bit of a scrape in a few places but a good introduction to running the 3 drops on the Usk for first timers! It allowed the leaders to be able to stand in the river, coach, direct and give confidence to beginners of our beloved sport!
Roll on the day when I have a coming together with an obnoxious bystander - it ain't gonna end well! ......... and if any one fancies throwing stones or casting lines at me they will be swimming without a BA!
It's time to stand up and be counted - we are not lambs, we are not meak, we are KAYAKERS and CANOEISTS who enjoy our sport responsibly!!!

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Re: Localism.

Post by Jim_MWX » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:01 pm

All Interesting Points.

Well here's my outlook on a localism point and low rivers.

I've lived within spitting distance of the Ribble for my entire life and am to my knowledge "the only kayaker in the village (even though its a canoe!). My mum and Dad have know the local fishing warden for years, and a lot of the other local fishermen also know me. I even used to work on the farm that the Ribble passes through in my area and know the farmers well. But they don't come knocking on my door when there's an issue (which - being the Ribble - there often is).

I accept that its difficult for local paddlers who have spent time building up relationships with fishing groups and landowners and farmers etc and have gained respect from them, but if any other groups caused an issue surely it would be their own responsibility.

The problem here, for me anyway, is that this is going down the route of access agreements slightly and back to the whole kayakers are here illegally situation.

I did my back in over a year ago with the result being not being able to kayak anymore, so I switched to an open as it didn't cause the same problems. What this meant was I had to get used to a completely different craft on a river and this took time. Different people prefer different levels, nothing wrong with a low river for getting back into the sport, as long as its environmentally sound.

If we are all responsible about how and when we use the river, and have consideration for all the locals, the problem should to an extent go away. However there will always be someone who wants to paddle no matter what and cause angst. But I reckon some people will complain anyway - we have a local duck race organized by locals and part of this is retrieving the things, I even got abuse that day from some river users!

That's only my opinion and no doubt some will disagree, but they've all been interesting points.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Jim_MWX » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:05 pm

buck197 wrote:
Dave Bland wrote:There have been many times in the past where I have been embarrassed at other paddling groups' behaviour, behaviour,parking, dragging boats over fences, using inappropriate access points, etc that have made me think that if I was a local or other river user [fishing] I'd be pretty pissed off and anti paddling.
I can guarantee that even before I started kayaking and as a local I got pretty pissed off at the amount of rubbish and hooks etc that the fishermen from out of the area left behind on the river.
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Re: Localism.

Post by TomOL » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:08 pm

I was a local at the Dart for a long time (recently moved away). Perhaps I haven't come across any of the "access hasslers" in my time there, but I have been shouted at from a few bridges. Most of my contact with the local fishermen has been pretty amiable, aside from the one that wore camouflage... but the river was at a reasonable level so no beds were harmed.

I agree with W5Ray and the others - as long as we're careful about our impact on aspects of the put-ins and take-outs that should be respected (fences and parking spots, to name a few), we shouldn't have to answer to anyone about our right to get on a particular river, no matter the level.

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Re: Localism.

Post by morsey » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:17 pm

Country folk nationwide have special names for tourists, and it is a given that every single person from London does not know how to shut a gate!

First response from local paddlers to fisheries/bailiffs/wardens etc. on being told "canoeing is not allowed", "you'll damage the river" "blah de blah" should be "That is not true is it?"
If it is demonstrated that there are actual concerns and not just perpetuated misinformed opinions. Then fair enough pass the info on.
But don't pass on the made up stuff without assessing the validity.


Paddlers are telling themselves that on the Wye the fisheries are going to be prosecuting paddlers! Utter nonsense. On the Wye in the last five years there have been "three or four" minor incidents where bye laws have been broken (no environmental damage, just minor land use issues). Five years with several thousand canoeists and many tourists using the river and not even a handful of issues, not only are there not issues, it is objectionable to have to listen to the pony being spouted. There are not issues with canoeing impacting. The South West BCU access chap is saying on the East Lyn river section in the regional forum that one of the issues is with lichen! In the middle of winter? You're having a laugh. In seven days time there will be people walking around in rivers all over England and Wales, fishing for salmon. The newly hatched trout in those rivers will be still in the gravel redds till March! What is the impact of walking on a redd compared to a canoe drifting over the top? Not hard to work out what is actually a high risk activity!


You want the worst example of rampaging canoeists, go to the Teifi when the students invade. They turn up by the bus load. Get drunk, go paddling, walk around covered in grunge. They even have the audacity to go into local shops and pubs, and I'm pretty certain none of them even know the lingo. They go no matter what the levels. What do the local paddlers do? Do they shout and hide their heads in disgust? No, they welcome everyone.

1st rule of white water canoeing: Don't listen to people shouting at you, unless there is a massive waterfall downstream.

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Re: Localism.

Post by W5RAY » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:27 pm

This forum needs a like button!
LIKE! - Morsey's comments!

Ray

And to put truth into the "being shouted at from a bridge before a waterfall (well weir) comment", had that on the Upper Ardeche whilst canoeing and looking for the hidden glissiere at one of the town weirs! - It does work! :-)

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Re: Localism.

Post by Saint Matt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:56 pm

Wow... I’m one of those people who normally just reads this forum and doesn’t post, but this post really got my back up...

I live in London. I do so not out of choice but because there really aren’t any jobs in my industry anywhere else in the UK. I LOVE whitewater boating. There is nothing I would rather be doing. If I am not doing it I am dreaming about doing it. I know I am not alone in that.

I only get the opportunity to go once a month (if I’m lucky!). For me to get to north Wales to go boating it takes 4-5+ hours (in each direction). Add to that cost of petrol, accommodation for the weekend, food, drink, etc., and you can start to understand how valuable and costly these weekends are to me. When I do get the opportunity there is no way I am spending all that time and money and not going boating. And very definitely not because some local boater who can paddle any day he likes gets snobbish and tells me not to. Tell me, what would you do if our roles were reversed?

I realise you get known as a local boater and become the focus of the ire from angry folk, but you don’t have to assume responsibility for everyone who boats... and from my perspective you trying to dictate where and when people can paddle (when you are in a position to do so at any time when the levels are good) is unacceptable. You doing that makes you no different that the locals who give boaters grief.

Makes my bile rise.

M

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Re: Localism.

Post by Mark R » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:03 pm

morsey wrote:1st rule of white water canoeing: Don't listen to people shouting at you, unless there is a massive waterfall downstream.
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Re: Localism.

Post by Dinoboy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:09 pm

If your time is SO valuable then why would someone choose to scrape down something when there are multiple other less empty options available. As I said on the lowest dart thread we had some friends in a very similar situation to you up on a paddling trip that weekend. We looked at the ogwen saw it had no water then choose other more suitable options and made the best of their time up there in the less than ideal conditions. Just because the river you want to do that day isn't running doesn't mean that you can't paddle. It happens to everyone at some point.
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Re: Localism.

Post by DaveBland » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:17 pm

You choose to live in London, along with all it's benefits and drawbacks. But people who live in rural areas near rivers have to make sacrifices too, to be near the rivers they love. They have crappy low paying jobs, live in damp houses made of mud and twigs and have to speak to, and even sometimes make friends with, other 'locals'.

I think the jist of the original thread was about paddling rivers when they are obviously too low and [whether rightly or not] giving the anti-paddling bunch ammunition to have a go. Let's face it we all know that the 'environmental concern' is all bollox and just an angle that's being exploited to try to limit river use.

But let's face it if a river is really too low, it's not going to be a great paddle anyway? There's been many a trip to Scotland/Lakes/Wales I can think of when we'd just go hiking, biking or done summat else as it didn't rain.

It's not about locals, paddlers or not, saying who can paddle when and where, it's about a bit of common sense.
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Re: Localism.

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:28 pm

Wow, turns out I'd make a pretty good pelican; given how many word's have been shoved into my mouth since I last checked this.

I'm not advocating access agreements formal or informal, and I'm certainly not looking to impose my will on other people; What I'm asking is for people to think about the impacts they have on the places they go; everywhere, not just on the rivers that are local or special to me...

Just because you disagree with the opinons of the local population doesn't give you the right to upset, anger or irk them any more than their living there gives them the right to exclude you... What is called for in my opinion is a considerate, reasonable approach acknowleging that like it or lump it you do have an impact on other people and as far as possible try to minimise the negatives and maximise the positives in that regard.

We have plenty of unreasonable fishing interests trying to close access to rivers; but that doesn't mean that now we've realised that we don't have to be bound by their demands that we should choose to be equally unreasonable because it suits us. Just as success breeds success, tolerence breeds tolerance...
ONE BLADE, ONE LOVE, [TOO] MANY PIES


Joshua Kelly

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blackgold
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Localism.

Post by blackgold » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:33 pm

Few weeks ago I heard a really good quote, hopefully some one can correct me, I do get things wrong
"We belong to the land, the land does not belong to us".
The amount of damage and time being spent on debating about paddling a river when "low" is nothing compared with the "big" issues which are causing the unsustainable damage to the land we belong to. Just my opinion.

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