Denied access River lea 2017

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Hobobeard
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Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:31 am

Good morning all..


Just looking for some information whilst I wait for confirmation to come back from the Canal trust.


I was refused access today to the River Lea at the put in area (Jetty) at the Lee Valley parks car park situated at postcode EN9 2EE . Holyfield Lake to past the Royal Gun Powder mills at Waltham Abbey. It is shown on Canals trust and all other maps as the River Lea.

The gentlemen I spoke with (Parks employee) asked if I had a waterways Licence and then said Kayaks and Canoes where not permitted to be used on this section of water as there where no locks?. But he was aware that certain groups did have access at certain times of the year but did not explain further.

My understand or ignorance was that the River lea and River lea Navigation did have access with a water ways licence?..

I am not sure if this will impede any one on here but I will post up a follow up as and when I get it.

If it is the case that the non locked part of the River Lea has no access that will be it for me and my Kayak will be up for sale, shame as it is brand bloody new..


Regards

nippon
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by nippon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:53 am

To my knowledge the Lee and Lee Navigation can all be paddled on.
There are loads of water based clubs around that area.
Lee Valley boat house on the river and Fishers Green sailing club on the lake to name a couple.

My canoe club is based on the Lee further up in Hertford. Been there 25 years.
We paddle part of it every week.
http://www.hertscanoeclub.co.uk/

Doubt the rules are different for each section.
Reckon you have unfortunately just come across a jobs worth.

MD

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:33 pm

Next time tell him to check his facts before talking to you. If he carries on, ignore him:

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-th ... navigation

Franky
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Franky » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:37 pm

Hobobeard wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:31 am
asked if I had a waterways Licence
Why did he ask that, if according to him it didn't make any difference? Sounds like he might have been testing your knowledge so as to decide how to deter you.

I don't see how the lack of locks on a stretch of water stops it from being a navigation. Are there locks further up the river? If so, then of course it's a navigation. Regardless of the wider issue of access, I believe the law is unambiguous about the right to paddle an official navigation with a licence (e.g. membership of British Canoeing).
nippon wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:53 am
Reckon you have unfortunately just come across a jobs worth.
Dunno about a jobsworth, more like someone making it up as he went along!

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:59 pm

Ok i have just had a reply from the Canal trust. They own/run the river lea "navigation" but not the River Lea that runs along side.

I attempted to contact Lee Valley park but it rings off..

I will attempt to email them later as I am out at the moment..

Unless anyone here knows who actually owns the River lea???..

I have done a lot of green laining on motorcycles so know the issues with access and rights of way to the point peoole blag you off a route or area with nothing to back them up. Sadly in this case as someone new to Kayaking I do not know the in's and out well enough at this juncture as my knowledge is a work in progess to argue at the side of a river...

Regards

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Chas C
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Chas C » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:56 pm

As long as you access and exit from public land then no one can complain, the water itself has no owner.

You mentioned the jetty for access, is this a public jetty ?

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:07 pm

Chas C wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:56 pm
As long as you access and exit from public land then no one can complain, the water itself has no owner.

You mentioned the jetty for access, is this a public jetty ?
There is no sinage saying otherwise or gate etc.. It is a wooden stairs to a wood platform at the entrance to the river..

What i do not want is to come a cropper and commit an offence..

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:54 pm

The worst thing you could commit would be a civil offence where the remedy would be the cost of any damage you cause; likely nothing. They could then, at considerable expense, seek an injunction to prevent you doing it in the future.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Chris Bolton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:08 pm

You are very unlikely to be committing an offence, as trespass is only a civil matter (unless you're trespassing on the railway, the MoD, or it's 'aggravated'). Crossing private land to reach the water would be trespass if you don't have permission, while (although the river bed does belong to the owner of the bank) being on the river is now believed to be under a Public Right of Navigation - but the law on this is not 100% clear, and others may believe that you are trespassing. The only thing that can happen if you trespass, provided you don't cause any damage, is that the landowner or their agent can ask to you to leave by the quickest route, and can use reasonable force to remove you if you refuse to. Usually, if you're in a boat, the quickest way to leave any particular owner's area is to keep paddling.

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:02 pm

Ok everyone thank you thus far..

I am home now and have fired a email off to Lee Valley parks,

I would like to get their "official" stance before moving forward. I will post what they have to say..

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:19 pm

Well I spoke with a friend about 20 mins ago who I know did a lot of bird photography around there a few years back and he filled in a few blanks that I was unaware of.

It seems that the section of river I am speaking of is called "Horsemill stream" and he says it is classified as a Flood relief channel between the River Lea Navigation/River Lea and Holyfield Lake.

I have not seen "Horsemill stream" shown on any maps other than a Lee Valley parks one I have just looked at a moment ago. On all other maps it is just shown as the River Lea from Holyfield Lake to Limehouse cut and then into the Thames again as the River Lea.

Not sure what this would mean regarding access, I guess I will wait for the email..

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Pam Bell
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Pam Bell » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:34 pm

Have a look at the River Access for All website and make an entry on their Access Map.
Also, ask BC for a statement on the access status of the River Lea.

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:27 pm

Pam Bell wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:34 pm
Have a look at the River Access for All website and make an entry on their Access Map.
Also, ask BC for a statement on the access status of the River Lea.
Thanks very much for that link, noted and done...


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Keith Day
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Keith Day » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:32 pm

http://www.leeandstort.co.uk/Fairclough ... %20LEE.pdf demonstrates that the river Lea/Lee was navigable and navigated long before the construction of the canal sections that forms much of the "Navigation" and hundreds of years before pound locks first appeared. There were repeated Royal Commissions charged with maintaining the navigation before either "The Lea Navigation" or the locks existed. (http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/docs ... idence.pdf)

Unless someone can demonstrate when the right of navigation was extinguished by Parliament it sounds like they are just making it up.

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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by DaveBland » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:22 am

Keith Day wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:32 pm
http://www.leeandstort.co.uk/Fairclough ... %20LEE.pdf demonstrates that the river Lea/Lee was navigable and navigated long before the construction of the canal sections that forms much of the "Navigation" and hundreds of years before pound locks first appeared. There were repeated Royal Commissions charged with maintaining the navigation before either "The Lea Navigation" or the locks existed. (http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/docs ... idence.pdf)

Unless someone can demonstrate when the right of navigation was extinguished by Parliament it sounds like they are just making it up.
It's hard not to be super impressed with that.
dave

garya
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by garya » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:14 am

We have had problems on the piece of water for some time. You will need to follow this up up with Lee Valley Parks. The Parks employee probably wasn't that clear in his explanation, although it was half correct.

You can use Horsemill stream from fishers green to Waltham Town Lock as it forms part of a canoe trail put in by Lee Valley parks, they have made it overly complicated to use as it is part of a man made flood relief channel and flood defences run by the environment agency.

Both parties claim that the reason access to it is restricted is that it has automatic sluice gates that will open without warning to compensate for flows upstream and to prevent flooding. The Problem with sluice gates that are below Waltham Abbey is that they are in a concrete channel with vertical walls from which there is no escape if you get things wrong ! this section of the flood channel is not open to paddlers. When we use the canoe trail we have to run it as an organised and planned trip. This involves booking it with Lee Valley Parks authority and the EA. EA confirm the flow is ok and they are not carrying out any planned releases, we also have to have an emergency for EA number in case we have an issue so that they can close any sluices remotely. This process satisfies their risk assessment for being on that section of water.

The corn mill stream that runs into Waltham Abbey gardens under the Saxon bridge runs through an SSSI so is rarely paddled as it is too shallow and is very sensitive from an access perspective.

Both the above pieces of water are also fiercely defended by local fishing interests who cause most of the issues for paddlers, lee valley also have a slight conflict of interest or delicate balancing act in this area depending on your view. https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/go/fisheries/

The Lee Navigation is a Canal to the west of these and this is the only part run by canals an rivers trust as a navigation that can be paddled at any time of year. Above Waltham abbey it is a rural, quiet and pleasant trip.

Gary Archer

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:10 am

garya wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:14 am
We have had problems on the piece of water for some time. You will need to follow this up up with Lee Valley Parks. The Parks employee probably wasn't that clear in his explanation, although it was half correct.

You can use Horsemill stream from fishers green to Waltham Town Lock as it forms part of a canoe trail put in by Lee Valley parks, they have made it overly complicated to use as it is part of a man made flood relief channel and flood defences run by the environment agency.

Both parties claim that the reason access to it is restricted is that it has automatic sluice gates that will open without warning to compensate for flows upstream and to prevent flooding. The Problem with sluice gates that are below Waltham Abbey is that they are in a concrete channel with vertical walls from which there is no escape if you get things wrong ! this section of the flood channel is not open to paddlers. When we use the canoe trail we have to run it as an organised and planned trip. This involves booking it with Lee Valley Parks authority and the EA. EA confirm the flow is ok and they are not carrying out any planned releases, we also have to have an emergency for EA number in case we have an issue so that they can close any sluices remotely. This process satisfies their risk assessment for being on that section of water.

The corn mill stream that runs into Waltham Abbey gardens under the Saxon bridge runs through an SSSI so is rarely paddled as it is too shallow and is very sensitive from an access perspective.

Both the above pieces of water are also fiercely defended by local fishing interests who cause most of the issues for paddlers, lee valley also have a slight conflict of interest or delicate balancing act in this area depending on your view. <span class="skimlinks-unlinked">https: ... s</span>/

The Lee Navigation is a Canal to the west of these and this is the only part run by canals an rivers trust as a navigation that can be paddled at any time of year. Above Waltham abbey it is a rural, quiet and pleasant trip.

Gary Archer
Gary,

Thank you very much for this information, if that is the case regarding safety on the Horsemill stretch then I will certainly give it a miss, I certainly did not see any warning signs etc in the area but hey it is what it is..

Real shame as the put in jetty at that location is perfect and only 30 yards from the car park..


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garya
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by garya » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:47 pm

it is a nice simple piece of water to explore that is close to London. The safety thing is being over blown. unless there is a big flood. you would see it big and brown and a couple of meters higher, good enough signs to stay well away.

There really is nothing to recommend paddling the flood channel below Waltham Abbey, as well as the fact there is no way to get out to the road as it is all steel palisade fencing.

pm if you need further info as I am based locally

Gary

Keith Day
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Keith Day » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:39 pm

.......Canoes where not permitted to be used on this section of water as there where no locks
I expect he's forgotten about the lock (Powder Mill Lock) between Powder Mill Cut and Horsemill Stream.
Image
See also http://www.leeandstort.co.uk/Gunpowder_Mills.htm

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Hobobeard
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Re: Denied access River lea 2017

Post by Hobobeard » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:59 am

garya wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:47 pm
it is a nice simple piece of water to explore that is close to London. The safety thing is being over blown. unless there is a big flood. you would see it big and brown and a couple of meters higher, good enough signs to stay well away.

There really is nothing to recommend paddling the flood channel below Waltham Abbey, as well as the fact there is no way to get out to the road as it is all steel palisade fencing.

pm if you need further info as I am based locally

Gary
Easy access was why I chose that stretch at Fishers Green, I went for a quick drive yesterday on a rare day off and attempted to find car parking and access to the Lea Navigation off Station Road near the White Water centre but it is totally fenced off from any car parking.. Would I be right in thinking the only other access point will be at Broxbourne by the Cycle and Boat centre??..


Regards

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