Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

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Dr Robin
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Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Dr Robin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:59 am

I paddled the lower Moriston on Tuesday. I reached what I believe to be the normal take-out: a big pool with a metal sluice gate on the right just below the final grade 3 rapid. I was greeted by a large man in his thirties with his dog. He told me firmly but politely not to use this take-out again. He said that I was on private land and the landowner was threatening to fence off this area to prevent access. He advised me to catch an eddy halfway down the final grade 3 rapid and clamber up the bank there. Since it would only cost me 20 metres of grade 3, I agreed. As I walked back upstream I found that the gate I usually walk through had a big padlock around it. On my next run, I caught the eddy as he told me and I emerged just upstream of the gate where I presume the private land begins.

Can the landowner do this? If he builds fences and locks gates, isn't he hindering people from accessing his land, in violation of the right to roam? Has anyone else met this man?

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Jim
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Re: Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Jim » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:51 pm

The actual wording is about access to open land, I have never been entirely sure where the line is supposed to be drawn with enclosed land (i.e. fields), however it is quite clear (despite vociferous protestations against large estates) that if the enclosed land (or open land) is set out as gardens there is no right of access across it.

I normally only run the upper and can't even visualise the lower takeout - most of the lower seems like open woodland, but some of this could be a private garden I suppose - it seems unlikely. You need to report it to the SCA access group and let them look into what's what. The landowner may or may not have a case, and if he does, SCA will need to try to make arrangements.

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Re: Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Dr Robin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:13 pm

You definitely can't walk across crops or gardens. However the take-out is neither of the above: it's woodland, as you say. You can see a house in the distance but I don't think you could say that you're invading anyone's privacy. The area is enclosed by a fence.

I have contacted the SCA.

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Re: Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Alec » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:36 pm

Isn't the get out for the Lower Morriston on River Left?

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Re: Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Dr Robin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:34 pm

Yes. Perhaps I was unclear: the sluice gate is on the right. I got out on the left opposite the metal sluice gate.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Access issue at the take-out of the lower Moriston

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:19 pm

Most immediate action would be a complaint to the local Council access officer. Facilitating access and enforcing the removal of obstructions is a Council task.

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