Dee Access Agreement

Inland paddling
Boop
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Boop » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:41 am

As far as I see it there are 3 issues for Dee access. Recreational paddling, Commercial operating and Paddling Events. The Anglers and Landowners "Canoeing Permission" (not agreement) have created a framework for "allowed access" that is too restrictive for all but Paddling Events currently.

Being a local paddler and seeing how this issue can affect all these 3 groups in complex ways I favour a counter proposal from the paddling community (local clubs, commercial operators, prominent paddlers such as Dave Manby who understand the history) and compromise.

How could this work in a climate when paddlers feel they have a right to access wherever they want? Well if you wanted to raft the Dee commercially right now you'd be shitting your pants that an injunction would drop through your door....not a solicitors letter but an injunction. That could be very expensive and kill your company stone dead (in some cases this might be seen to be a very good thing). Same applies to organising a Paddling Event. It is a fact that permission needs to be sought from several people to run an event on a river such as the Dee to avoid local conflict.

I favour a pretty free access arangement for rec paddlers that pays attention to sensitive areas and water levels. We could limit paddling hours a bit without too much pain. Local knowledge and education would be key so wecams, online up to date info about local hotspots, spawning blah, blah. That wouldn't be difficult. For events and commercial a users group could be organised involving local interested parties. What you might want is a limit to commerciality on the river to avoid over use of certain areas at certain times. This would be bloody crucial if rafting was to become a factor (take the Tay as an example).

The anglers want to take back control of the river and at the moment you could say they have the upper hand, at least thats how the general non paddling public will see it (guarenteed). To say "fuck you" we are gonna carry on as we have been will only fuel their fire in propoganda terms. A users group could counter this "canoeing permission" with a workable proposal that suits paddlers and only improves on the status quo. At least then we are negotiating on a matter of local and community importance and we as a paddling community will be taking the moral highground and not the militant route.

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Big Henry
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Big Henry » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:17 am

How about making our own "Paddling Arrangement" with 6 months unrestricted access, 6 months day-light only access (but don't specify which months we mean for either). Get a couple of local paddling clubs, 2 paddling friendly fishermen (don't have to be local, there's a few on UKRGB) and go into a couple of paddler friendly businesses (Cafe? Shop? Pub?) and get them to agree to it. Then we can send a copy to everyone interested - local angling clubs, Wales Today etc - describing the arrangement as being supported by local businesses, paddlers, and anglers (note I didn't say local anglers or local paddlers) and we feel it is both fair and considerate and within the law. We could also point out that it succeeds any previous agreement or arrangement made by anyone else!

Chris Bolton
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:49 am

uisce wrote:
Chris Bolton wrote:A water level criterion would be needed in summer (eg, paddle anytime above a certain level)
Not even sure why this should apply on the Dee given its flow regulation to ensure minimum flows are maintained throughout the summer. It's never too low to float down.
I take your point, perhaps my views are coloured by paddling WWR boats which aren't worth paddling at low levels. I would still think that paddling a length of the river, say Horseshoe to Town, would need a reasonable level to be worthwhile, compared to paddling on a single site with useful features, which I agree you can do at any level. A hypothetical agreement with a limited time slot for full runs might be more acceptable provided there was a wider time slot on specific sites - for example, on a summer evening in low water I'd be happy playing on the Tail and I wouldn't want to paddle the flat sections. But it's academic, as nobody has the power to negotiate away other people's right of navigation.

Chris

edhunter
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by edhunter » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:22 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
uisce wrote:
Chris Bolton wrote:A water level criterion would be needed in summer (eg, paddle anytime above a certain level)
Not even sure why this should apply on the Dee given its flow regulation to ensure minimum flows are maintained throughout the summer. It's never too low to float down.
I take your point, perhaps my views are coloured by paddling WWR boats which aren't worth paddling at low levels. I would still think that paddling a length of the river, say Horseshoe to Town, would need a reasonable level to be worthwhile, compared to paddling on a single site with useful features, which I agree you can do at any level. A hypothetical agreement with a limited time slot for full runs might be more acceptable provided there was a wider time slot on specific sites - for example, on a summer evening in low water I'd be happy playing on the Tail and I wouldn't want to paddle the flat sections. But it's academic, as nobody has the power to negotiate away other people's right of navigation.

Chris
True about the right to negotiate on any body else s behalf, the other thing is there, is what seems not worthwhile for you may be perfectly worthwhile for others. A group of beginners might get a lot more out of the more mellow sections. It would seem a bit harsh to say they cant paddle the sections they would get the most out of but we can keep our favorite bits. I know you aren't suggesting a new agreement but I think it would be pretty bad if anybody considered one along these lines.

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:25 pm

Maybe Llangollen Anglers should have an injunction to stop fishing...

If anyone have any information please send to me adn it can be added to the report that is going forward for a review.

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:30 pm

Threatened with an injunction? Surely if they knew they were going to win a case the would use an actual injunction. To win the anglers would have to prove there was not right of navigation.

Also a wonder if the injunctees have every threatened any of the 'tattooed gentlemen' whom swim in the waters about town falls on hot days..... really like to see one of them threatened with an injunction.

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:38 am

If anyone has any information please send to me and it can be added to the report that is going forward for a review.


Quicky, what report are you talking about and where is it going to?

dpround
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dpround » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:53 am

I think there may be an arguement that this is being approched in the wrong direction by the kayakers. Kayakers believe that they have a right to use the river when they choose. Anglers believe likewise. An access agreement for paddling only is too one sided. The agreement would need to cover all access including angling. Perhaps the best way towards this would be for the paddlers to produce an angling access agreement and widely publisise it?

David

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by edhunter » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:58 am

dpround wrote:I think there may be an arguement that this is being approched in the wrong direction by the kayakers. Kayakers believe that they have a right to use the river when they choose. Anglers believe likewise. An access agreement for paddling only is too one sided. The agreement would need to cover all access including angling. Perhaps the best way towards this would be for the paddlers to produce an angling access agreement and widely publisise it?

David
One where paddlers get 365 day access and anglers agree to stay off the water for half the time so as not to disturb us? seems fair after what they expect.

John Saunders
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by John Saunders » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:33 pm

[BOPA logo omitted]

British Outdoor Professionals Association
PO Box 9, Llandrindod Wells,
Powys. LD1 6WJ
Phone: 01497847638
E-mail: info@the-bopa.co.uk

PERMISSION GRANTED FOR CANOEING ON THE WELSH DEE TO AVOID CONFLICT.

Anglers and Landowners on the Welsh Dee around Llangollen have taken the groundbreaking step of permitting access for canoes on certain sections.
Canoe events have been held on the Welsh Dee in the past but in recent years permissions have not been sought. The Anglers and Landowners will now grant access to allow all parties to enjoy the fabulous waters of the Welsh Dee.
Huw Evans Chairman of Llangollen Maelor Angling said “I am pleased that after detailed discussions the Anglers and Landowners can offer this permission to avoid conflict. The result will be that Anglers can pursue their pastime peacefully and Canoeists can enjoy the world class paddling the Welsh Dee offers. The Anglers recognise the importance of the river to trade in Llangollen with large numbers of Anglers and Canoeists visiting every year.”
Chris Charters Hon Gen Sec of the British Outdoor Professionals Association said “We welcome the access permission as a way forward. It has taken over 12 months to achieve permission compatible with angling use. The access will reduce conflict and allow use throughout the year on certain stretches. I believe it will bring a huge boost to the local economy particularly during the winter months.”
In addition to the general permitted access it is hoped that International and tour events will return boosted by the recent Olympic canoeing success.

For event dates availability on the Dee please contact Chris Charters

BOPA is hosting The Wye White Water Workshop & Tour 26th – 28th October and similar on the Dee in January and the Usk in February

BOPA Have also assisted in negotiating Access agreements for the Rivers Wye, Usk, and several more

For more details: - British Outdoor Professional Association, P.O.Box 9, Llandrindod Wells, and Powys. LD1 6WJ Tel: 01497 847638 email: info@the-bopa.co.uk


NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. A copy of the permission for use is attached.
2. Conflict between Anglers, Landowners and Canoeists has been ongoing since 2004 when Canoe Wales launched a campaign for unrestricted access to all inland waterways in Wales.
3. The Welsh Government Sustainability Committee report concluded that local agreements such as this are the only way forward.
4. The permission has been granted by the 3 main Angling clubs on the Welsh Dee being Corwen and District, The Midland Fly fishers and Llangollen Maelor Angling together with Land and Riparian owners.
5. There is no right of navigation on the Welsh Dee above the tidal reaches at Chester.
6. For further information contact Huw Evans on 07984-626158 or Chris Charters on 01497847538 M 07531658062 info@the-bopa.co.uk



CONDITIONS FOR PERMISSION TO USE THE WELSH DEE FOR CANOEING.

Access is permitted in the areas on the dates and times specified at paragraphs 5-8 below for non-powered craft excluding rafts.

The granting of access does not establish any right of navigation or prescriptive rights to the users. Intellectual property rights shall remain vested in the Owners.

No commercial events may be organised or events filmed without the owners permission. Users must use the designated access and egress points which are shown on the maps and signs.

No other access or egress points shall be used unless in an emergency.

There is no access allowed above the bridge at Glyndyfrdwy.

Unrestricted access is allowed from the 20th October-31st March from below the Horseshoe Falls (canal side) to the Llangollen town weir (Wrexham road side).

Between the 20th October and 31st March a maximum of 6 weekend tours may be organised. The Organisers to notify and agree with the Owners the dates and details.

Access to be from below Glyndyfrdwy Bridge with additional access/egress at below the Horseshoe Falls (canal side), Mile End Mill (canoe centre side), Llangollen Town weir (Wrexham road side) and the Ty Mawr country park (Cefn Mawr side).
Between 1st April-19th October canoeing is allowed when the water height is above 3 feet on the Midland Fly fishers gauge or 9 on the Mile End Mill gauge, until such time a designated website is established.

Access to be from below Glyndyfrdwy Bridge with additional access/egress at below the Horseshoe Falls (canal side), Mile End Mill (canoe centre side), Llangollen town weir (Wrexham road side) and Ty Mawr Country Park (Cefn Mawr side).
Between 1st April-19th October access is allowed to the Serpent’s tail, Chain Bridge, Llangollen between 10 am-3 pm daily.

Access to be from the King’s Bridge or Chain Bridge rocks. No access above the King’s Bridge during this period other than on the high water agreement at paragraph 7 above.

Egress at Mile End Mill Canoe Centre or Llangollen town weir (Wrexham road side).

No launching before 10am with all users to vacate the waters by 3pm.

All users must have in force insurance covering personal and public liability.

Organisers of tour events must carry out health and safety checks before each event. The Organisers shall put in place adequate safety precautions and have in force insurance covering personal and public liability for each event.

The owners with 3 months notice may cancel permission.

Mike A
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Mike A » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:07 pm

I do wish BOPA would just butt out and leave access alone.

They are creating tensions by putting in place arrangements that may be suitable for their 750 members, but not practical for the rest of us, who may then get grief from anglers / politicians for not sticking to publicised arrangments!

Grrr

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Patrick Clissold
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Patrick Clissold » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:37 pm

So half the year between 10am - 3 pm. I think it will get a stiff ignoring like every other 'agreement'.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:46 pm

Did British Outdoor Professionals Association discuss this with anyone else? Such as WCA? Before they issued a press release saying there is no right of navigation and implying that Angling Clubs have the right to grant permission?

Chris

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Mike Mayberry
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Mike Mayberry » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:52 pm

Accordin
Chris Bolton wrote:Did British Outdoor Professionals Association discuss this with anyone else? Such as WCA? Before they issued a press release saying there is no right of navigation and implying that Angling Clubs have the right to grant permission?

Chris
According to a reply on their facebook page Canoe Wales were not involved.

"Hi Dan, Canoe Wales position on access agreements is well documented. The latest restatement is available here (http://www.canoewales.com/news.aspx?ArticleId=95) I'm not fully up to speed as to who has agreed what on the Dee, though I will be interested to see who has asserted that they control Navigation. The Dee is well documented as having a historic right of Navigation and case law on any control of Navigation is non existent- Lord Denning explicitly separated this in the Rawson vs Peters case that is often held as the reason to enter into access agreements. It has been made perfectly clear that Canoe Wales is not welcome at discussions over access on the Dee, although the Welsh Government has made clear that we have a lot to offer. If you can find anything out I'd be interested to receive it ashley.charlwood@canoewales.com"

R3V
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by R3V » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:56 pm

Lot of bar room lawyer talking go on!
so just for fun here goes:

No person shall be elected to the Executive Committee of the Association unless he/she has resided within the old defined area of Llangollen Urban District Council for a period of 25 years, unless at the discretion of a majority of the Executive Committee, a person who has such expert knowledge of angling and the furtherance of fishing interests and who is considered to be of such benefit to the Association that the rule referred to because of the exceptional circumstances be waived, subject to the overall approval of the trustees of the Association.

Extract from constitution of local angling accosiation appears to breach discrimination legislation can only be involved on committee if resident for 25 years!

Have fun

soysauce
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by soysauce » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Anyone ever heard this?

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment."

Ghandi

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:37 pm

Mr Evans, his family and Llangollen Anglers have done as much as they could to stop canoeing on the Dee for the last forty plus years. They and their chums have put back canoeing in the UK and Wales in particular as much as possible by their actions and threats all for the sake of catching a fish. It has been ridicules and generations of paddlers have been denied the chance to enjoy this natural environment which no man created.

As for Chris Carter, who is he and what mandate from canoeists does he think he has? I have never heard of this guy. "British Outdoor Professionals Association" I think it would have been "professional" of them to have talked to the paddlers and got their permission before attempting act on anybodies behalf.

Probably best now for everybody with a opinion they want to express on this to contact these gentlemen and tell them what you think. I will and I will be as polite as these guys deserve.
contact Huw Evans on 07984-626158 or Chris Charters on 01497847538 M 07531658062 info@the-bopa.co.uk
I am sure their ears and phones will not stop ringing for quite some time.

Water comes from the sky goes back to the sea via a river and then back to the sky, if any fisherman can control or has the patent on this natural process I would certainly listen to them and maybe ask them to turn the tap up some days. Until such time, I will paddle when and where I want to and will do my best to leave every fisherman I meet in peace provided they do the same for me.

I and my friend's really love to paddle, that's all we want. Is that really too much to ask?

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Dave Manby » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:29 pm

soysauce wrote:Anyone ever heard this?

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment."

Ghandi
I think that Ghandi had a more serious problem in the scheme of things.

Pete K
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Pete K » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:37 pm

Email to BOPA:

"To whom it may concern,
I have recently read your published statement on river access to the River Dee in Wales. I see you seem to have the authority to speak for all paddlers and of course I assume you must have contacted all of them to get them to agree to the reduction and restriction to a river with a right of navigation enshrined in law. I am sorry to say that a letter, ballot or email did not make it through to me otherwise I would have objected at the time of the restriction 'agreement's' draughting.
Could you please make an adjustment to the published restriction 'agreement' to state that "Peter Knight as both a personal and professional paddler does not consent to this agreement and does not recognise the authority of BOPA to make policy about access in his name."
Could you please forward this on to all the anglers who are party to the ‘agreement’ so I don’t need to explain every time I meet one when I paddle.
I thank you for your time and sorry for the inconvenience my legal rights must cause you."

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:08 pm

Great email Pete

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dry suit tester
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dry suit tester » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:18 pm

Pete K wrote:Email to BOPA:

"To whom it may concern,
I have recently read your published statement on river access to the River Dee in Wales. I see you seem to have the authority to speak for all paddlers and of course I assume you must have contacted all of them to get them to agree to the reduction and restriction to a river with a right of navigation enshrined in law. I am sorry to say that a letter, ballot or email did not make it through to me otherwise I would have objected at the time of the restriction 'agreement's' draughting.
Could you please make an adjustment to the published restriction 'agreement' to state that "Peter Knight as both a personal and professional paddler does not consent to this agreement and does not recognise the authority of BOPA to make policy about access in his name."
Could you please forward this on to all the anglers who are party to the ‘agreement’ so I don’t need to explain every time I meet one when I paddle.
I thank you for your time and sorry for the inconvenience my legal rights must cause you."
Pete, would you mind if I use this as a template? Couldn't have worded it better myself, if all on here emailed with the same I think the BOPA might get the message. Until today I didn't even realise they existed!
Once this has been sent to the BOPA, we could respond to the anglers with "speak to the BOPA, you'll find I'm exempt from the agreement you're referring to"

Nedders
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Nedders » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:48 pm

dry suit tester wrote:
Pete K wrote:Email to BOPA:

"To whom it may concern,
I have recently read your published statement on river access to the River Dee in Wales. I see you seem to have the authority to speak for all paddlers and of course I assume you must have contacted all of them to get them to agree to the reduction and restriction to a river with a right of navigation enshrined in law. I am sorry to say that a letter, ballot or email did not make it through to me otherwise I would have objected at the time of the restriction 'agreement's' draughting.
Could you please make an adjustment to the published restriction 'agreement' to state that "Peter Knight as both a personal and professional paddler does not consent to this agreement and does not recognise the authority of BOPA to make policy about access in his name."
Could you please forward this on to all the anglers who are party to the ‘agreement’ so I don’t need to explain every time I meet one when I paddle.
I thank you for your time and sorry for the inconvenience my legal rights must cause you."
Pete, would you mind if I use this as a template? Couldn't have worded it better myself, if all on here emailed with the same I think the BOPA might get the message. Until today I didn't even realise they existed!
Once this has been sent to the BOPA, we could respond to the anglers with "speak to the BOPA, you'll find I'm exempt from the agreement you're referring to"
Yes & Yes, like it guys.
Nick Newman.

Pete K
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Pete K » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Please feel free to copy, I can rarly express myself exactly as I want to so I take it as a compliment. This whole thing gets me really hacked off.

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Wildwood Wil
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Wildwood Wil » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi guys, I have done the same Re Petes email to the BOPA bods. Everyone should do the same or similar. This stinks of rotten fish methinks! They can take my paddle from my cold dead hand! :-)
Wil

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by 66quinny66 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:45 pm

I know it's a bit academic but I find the wording of the above passage a bit confusing. What's the bit about being able to paddle certain bits in the summer as long as it's above 9 at MEM mean? Does the 10am to 3pm bit still apply to this?

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:13 pm

It is all bullony
"NOTES TO EDITORS:.........
5. There is no right of navigation on the Welsh Dee above the tidal reaches at Chester."
What about the Navigation run by the council with powered boats up to Farndon!!

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by MarkEb » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:21 pm

The Dee is tidal as far as Farndon.

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:33 pm

true, when the water comes over the weir. the reply I have seems to say Chester weir. They don't seem to have been to Chester or know the Dee on high flow. I am awating a reply from BOPA and the fisherfolk on the legaality of there claims in law. Will wait and see.

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Big Henry
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Big Henry » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:35 pm

Wildwood Wil wrote:Hi guys, I have done the same Re Petes email to the BOPA bods. Everyone should do the same or similar. This stinks of rotten fish methinks! They can take my paddle from my cold dead hand! :-)
Wil
Me to.

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by MarkEb » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:49 pm

Can't loose to much sleep over this.I'd never heard of BOPA until tonight.Unless they can show they have been asked to negotiate an agreement on behalf of us via Canoe Wales or the BCU then this agreement has no relevance to me. I'm not an outdoor professional and actually, in court I'd argue I'm not a canoeist either. I do paddle a kayaks but these seem to be beyond the scope of this agreement so I don't have to worry.

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