CE on FB

Inland paddling
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Pete C.
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Re: CE on FB

Post by Pete C. »

morsey wrote:I'm not so sure that is a true reflection of that situation, the course was developed by experts and the course was always going to be good after the work was carried out, I don't think it needed or had any alterations from the plans
There were actually pretty major alterations from the plans. You're right: the main issue was lack of communication. But after forcing a conversation with playboaters/rec paddlers/rafters etc, there were some pretty major changes to keep the course multi-purpose. If it had gone through as per the original plans, it would have been a pale imitation of the facility as it is now.
whosthedaddy wrote:I am reminded of the campaign to influence the re-development of HPP. There was a huge response, with the result that the course was kept deep and many of the features retained and enhanced.
That was a concerted and planned campaign - it didn't just happen. It took me and the others quite a lot of time - effectively I had 2-3 weeks without really working while I got things together. The goal was simple - to get enough respondents to pledge their support with their full name, email address and BCU number.

With this info, we had a sword of Damocles hanging over the redevelopment: a mailing list we could use to rapidly call a Canoe England EGM (extraordinary general meeting). Canoe England will do anything they possibly can to avoid an EGM as it's a massively time-consuming and expensive exercise. There have been quite a few issues which have had potential to force an EGM, but it's always been headed off beforehand by the promise of support and/or compromise. Would now be a good time to actually push a meeting through with clear and defined goals? Possibly. And social media makes it easier than ever before to get the quorum needed to call the meeting.

It doesn't just happen, though. Someone needs to take on the project with full commitment to push it through. They need to have the nous to constructively deal with the negotiations and machinations that will inevitably ensue. It's politics, and you need to be able to play that game. But it's a far, far more efficient way of going about things than rumbling on about setting up an alternative governing body without ever doing it.

Also, e-petition = waste of time.

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morsey
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Re: CE on FB

Post by morsey »

Pete C. wrote:There were actually pretty major alterations from the plans.
Sorry, Got that wrong.

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Re: CE on FB

Post by morsey »

EA just booted my questions off their page! :-(

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forestknights
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Re: CE on FB

Post by forestknights »

The EA are even faster than CE. I had barely finished typing and it was gone
Know the wisdom of patience during times of inactivity.

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morsey
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Re: CE on FB

Post by morsey »

What did you ask the EA?

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forestknights
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Re: CE on FB

Post by forestknights »

As they has statutory obligation to promote recreation what are they doing to to improve access to inland water for non powered craft.

Did the EA accept that the law currently allows access to all navigable inland water?
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morsey
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Re: CE on FB

Post by morsey »

I was not quite as concise with my questions to EA:
Me>>>>Environment Agency
Can I ask how far back records go for fish stock levels in UK rivers (I understand currently that EA deals with England and Wales, but wonder whether historic data from the NRA might cover all of the home Nations)? And, is it possible to get access to the ancient records (pre 1940)? My understanding is that prior to the Second World war there were just a few hatcheries producing fish to artificially raise river stock levels solely to improve Angling. Is it possible to identify how many hatcheries (please specify whether these are private/club/fisheries or EA sites) currently produce fish specifically for river re stocking (i.e. not farmed for food) and what the volumes of fish restocking are?
What is the annual total cost of re stocking (please separate Coarse fish and Game fish stocking) by the EA across all rivers in England and Wales? And what is the total revenue from angling licences (again please identify the separate coarse and game fishing licence revenue)?

Is it possible to identify which rivers have had imported fish released to improve fish stock levels, and which rivers continue to use imported fish stocks? Specifically of interest are the time periods and geographical areas subjected to release of infected imported fish stocks that have introduced predatory alien species to UK waterways.

Is it correct that the population of Heron in UK has increased at a greater rate than Cormorants, yet there is a review to increase the culling of cormorants? Is this due to the fact that such an iconic water bird such as the Heron is deemed too risky to attempt to cull for fear of public outcry? Does the EA fall firmly on the side of conservation of the natural river environment or does it consider that fish stocks take priority over all other river plants and animals!?! Does basic natural biology not dictate that within a food chain there will be peaks and troughs in populations at various stages, and a natural cycle exists which ultimately ensures a balanced ecosystem with increased biodiversity.

Is it possible to identify which rivers are being cultivated for fish stocks using liming techniques in the tributaries? Can the historic natural (pre stocking) levels of fish be demonstrated alongside the current levels in those rivers, and can the acidic levels in those rivers be identified prior to the use of lime and details of assessment of various micro organisms, plants and animals for the connecting rivers be provided to demonstrate the suitability of those rivers for such techniques.

Have EA funds been used to buy out any river estuary netsmen in England and Wales, and if so can the rivers please be identified?

I note that a catch and return policy is in place on many rivers, does this demonstrate that the major impactor on fish stocks is the sport of angling? Would it not be in the interest of conserving fish stocks to introduce ban on angling on in certain catchments?

Does the EA consider that the promotion of fish stocks for the purpose of angling takes priority over the conservation of the natural river environment?

Can the EA confirm the status of the river Marteg, a tributary of the River Wye? Is angling allowed on this river? Are walkers allowed along the banks of this river? Are canoeists allowed to navigate the rapids? Do any By-Laws exist on the Marteg and have there been any demonstrated breaches or prosecutions?

Can I ask why the EA logo is on sign posts, violating the National Park planning permission, claiming to have authority to control navigation on the river Usk in South Wales, when no such navigation order exists for this river?

Is it possible to map all the EA own property on rivers in England and Wales and can it be stated whether following responsible use, walkers, anglers, canoeists are allowed to make use of this land as if it were public? If there are any restrictions to any use or user group can this please be explained including all the particulars? For instance if there is an EA hatchery adjacent to a river, would anglers be allowed to cross the land to access the river? Would walkers and canoeists also be granted the same privilege?

Have the EA carried out any Health and Safety studies according to the use of Water gates on navigable rivers? An example of the use of water gates is on the afon Nant Bran, tributary of the River Usk, which has had several gates manufactured across the river imposing a significant risk to persons or animals in the flow. The gates are not being placed directly by farmers, but are under the directions of Fisheries organisations and it appears as an attempt to obstruct navigation! Can the EA confirm that the correct policy and procedure for in river work was followed with regards to these gates, whether they will be removed or modified to allow articulation/release in case of emergency? If they are to remain as is, or if there are plans for more placement of these structures can a map be provided in order to warn river users of their presence.

Do the EA consider Anglers to be experts with regards to rivers?
Do the EA consider Canoeists to be experts with regards to rivers?
Do the EA consider Walkers to be experts with regards to rivers?

Can you please give clarity to the title, role and description currently used by EA with regards Fisheries Bailiffs? What is the current title of an EA Fisheries Bailiff? Do they have powers of Arrest? What do they have powers of arrest for? Are they uniformed? Do they have identity badges/warrant cards? How can the Public check the authenticity of an EA Bailiff? Is it an offence to falsely claim EA fisheries bailiff accreditation? What procedures are in place to ensure that EA Bailiffs do not misrepresent their position, for instance when they have connections to fisheries and attempt to pass off "their concerns" as being official EA policy.

Since the creation of the EA, can you confirm the total number of arrests made by EA Bailiffs of canoeists carrying out their normal activity (i.e. canoeing along a river), and confirm the total number of convictions relating to those arrests? Can you also confirm the total number of arrests of non canoeists and total convictions made by the EA during the same period?

Is it acceptable for EA staff to approach canoeists, when there is no scientific evidence to support either the notion that canoeists impact, or any historic proof that canoeists might impact whilst carrying out their normal activity, and attempt to restrict their activity? If the argument is that low water canoeing impacts of spawning fish, then where is the evidence to support this?

Do the EA consider experienced Anglers to have sufficient expertise as to a credit them with roles and responsibility that would otherwise require formal qualification? Do the EA consider the same for Walkers, Canoeists, Canyoneers etc?

Is the EA concerned that Anglers and Fisheries are continually harassing other river users? That Illegal signs are being placed, threats are made and that acts of damage have occurred to vehicles? As the licencing body for Angling, does the EA not feel it has responsibility to address this issue?

I understand that is quite a volume of request, and as such will be patient in anticipation of the responses. I also understand it may be different departments that would have the answers to the various questions and as such might require direct contact, if that is the case I would appreciate if you could provide the appropriate contact info. But I would prefer for the answers to be given in public, so would ask that it is okay to post up any answers here when received. Thank you for your time. Simon :-)
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ChrisE
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Re: CE on FB

Post by ChrisE »

I find it amusing that they have removed Doug's post stating that it was not an organised attack on CE via FB, clearly trying to make themselves look a little better...

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Re: CE on FB

Post by DaveBland »

Can I suggest that someone on here with some media knowledge get the TV or Radio involved? I think with this, they have gone too far – and would find it very hard to justify their actions in the media.
dave

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morsey
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Re: CE on FB

Post by morsey »

morsey wrote:EA just booted my questions off their page! :-(
Environment Agency>>>
Hi Simon, thanks for your post. As you mentioned, answering may take longer than usual due to the quantity and diversity of your questions though we will be in touch in due course.
12 minutes ago · Like

ChrisE
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Re: CE on FB

Post by ChrisE »

It does however turn out that the river access campaign people do reply to emails in short order, although I haven't asked them anything difficult, only how many people are involved and how it is possible to get involved and got this expansive response, and welcomes of further emails from anyone...

(email used was: info@riversaccess.org)
Dear Chris

Thank you for your e mail.

The Rivers Access Campaign is managed by Canoe England through a very small team but is supported by all the staff as they go about their daily work and promote the issue as and when possible. This is the same for many volunteers who attend meetings on our behalf (Local Access Forums/National Park Meetings/Waterways Partnership meetings/Marine and coastal meetings/environmental groups etc etc) as well as promoting the issue locally and nationally. This can be from lobbying their MP/Local Authority/Local Enterprise Partnerships/River User Groups to running events to promote canoeing such as a GoCanoeing session to show the benefit of the sport for all and how more could be done if there was clarity and certainty of access.

In essence England we have a natural heritage which provides great opportunities for open-air recreation and education. Open-air recreation provides people with great benefits for their health and well-being and contributes to the good of society in many other ways.

Existing measures currently being considered such as voluntary access agreements will not deliver consistent, long-term access improvements or measures to protect wildlife and landscapes. A new, statutory, national approach is required for public access to inland waters in England or the restoration of historic rights. This will then deliver much of the wide-ranging benefits outlined by the Government’s in their various health, participation, and economic strategies.

A new, statutory, national approach such as a Bill could provide a realistic way forward, already proven through legislation elsewhere in the United Kingdom, by which statutory public rights of access to inland waters in England may be established, similar to those existing for access on foot in England or for access on inland waters in Scotland. It would provide for a more coherent, harmonised, access regime across most of the United Kingdom, thus diminishing what are at present unnecessary and damaging disparities.

In addition .. we are working with DEFRA all the time trying to promote the sport of canoeing (fundamentally from a recreational point of view as most of the 2 million canoeists are recreational paddlers), its benefits to individuals, communities, education ... people of all ages and abilities as well as the green nature of the sport. It is an uphill struggle but they do recognise we need more access to and along waterways. The whole area of access is massively complex, and CE and the Government disagree about the strategy for the delivery of sustainable access across England but CE is fully engaged with the relevant departments in Government and is working with them on all canoeing matters. The Govt wants access by access arrangements /agreements but Canoe England has stated it can only support arrangements that meet the Governments tests for access – clarity, security, certainty and permanence (see http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/waterwa ... angements/ The Govt and CE both know there is a need but a CE continues to point out that access agreements or arrangements are tools that can be used for managing recreation; however they cannot be used for securing public access.

What we need is clarity and certainty of access but that can only really be done by primary legislation, Section 16 dedication under the CRoW Act or the restoration of historic rights where proof exists.

Your help?? To continue to lobby and help us keep the access issue up on the Government’s agenda. We have been told they do not have time for legislation in this session and are continuing to promote agreements which we know do not work. I do put suggestions on the RAC website. I am just developing a new one which should be ready in a few weeks so do take a look then. In addition a lot of information goes in to Canoe Focus.

We are in this for the long run as change will not happen overnight so it’s up to us all to keep pushing the issue.

We do appreciate and thank you for your support.

Kind regards

Tamsin

Tamsin Phipps

Government & Public Affairs Manager

British Canoe Union

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Bisham, Nr. Marlow Buckinghamshire SL7 1RT

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Mark R
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Re: CE on FB

Post by Mark R »

Pete, does that email relate to the actual question(s) you asked?
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