Access to Rivers in Agriculture Bill?

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Chris Bolton
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Access to Rivers in Agriculture Bill?

Post by Chris Bolton »

The BBC have an article on river access improvements as proposed in amendments to the Agriculture Bill. This Bill is mostly for post-Brexit effects on farming, but the amendments are trying to add incentives for providing access. The amendments appear to be:
[Amendment number] 98
Page3, line17, at end insert—“ “supporting public access to and enjoyment of the countryside ”includes the provision of new public access or improving the accessibility of existing public rights of way and the navigation of waterways.”
Member’s explanatory statement
This amendment is to clarify the specific ways in which public access will be supported by financial assistance, including for recipients who provide new paths or improve the accessibility of existing public rights of way or navigation of waterways that cross their land.

[Amendment number] 99
Page3, line17, at end insert—“ “waters” means any inland, non-tidal lakes, canals, rivers (to the extent that they are non-tidal), streams, ditches, drains, cuts, culverts, dykes, sluices and passages through which water flows and which are located on agricultural land, and includes artificial water courses, reservoirs, whether natural or artificial and whether navigable or not, and includes the bed and the shores or banks thereof.”
Member’s explanatory statement
This amendment ensures that financial assistance is applicable to all waterways and bodies located on agricultural land
It's not entirely clear if the aim is to incentivise access for navigation or to just to cross land get to water. While navigation access sounds good, a law to pay farmers to allow people to paddle over their river bed might be used as evidence that they have the right to control access, and it wouldn't help in non-agricultural areas. Provision of better access points and paths around weirs would be good.

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Pam Bell
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Re: Access to Rivers in Agriculture Bill?

Post by Pam Bell »

A number of amendments were submitted.

There is a summary of the Lords debate here:
https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news ... kHPRJha-NI

And a full transcript here:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/202 ... ultureBill

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