Please select your home edition
Edition
Kiwi Yachting - Lewmar

No universal right to paddle on most rivers in England and Wales

by Stillwater Trout Fisheries Association on 27 Sep 2013
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal Stillwater Trout Fisheries Association
The Chief Executive Officer of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal has written to the British Canoe Union demanding that it publicly accepts the established legal position that there is no universal right to paddle on most rivers in England and Wales, and to support the government policy of local voluntary access agreements.

The BCU has in recent months suggested on its web site and elsewhere that ancient laws might give people the right to paddle or row boats wherever and whenever they like.

Confusingly, the BCU is at the same time campaigning for a change in the law to allow free unlimited and unregulated access to all rivers at all times. The Angling Trust says it has also been reliably informed that the BCU has ordered its local staff and volunteers not to sign voluntary access agreements with angling clubs and landowners unless they allow access at all times.

According to the Angling Trust, this conduct by the BCU has coincided with a spate of widespread unlawful canoeing, increased conflict on riverbanks and threatening behaviour towards law-abiding anglers and their clubs over the past year. Anglers pay rent and a rod licence to go fishing, and are subject to close seasons and a wide range of bye laws, said the Trust.

The issue has been highlighted in a recent article published by the BBC, in which the BCU's suggestion of general public rights of navigation dating back to medieval times was explained as a 'misunderstanding' of the law by highly respected and independent barrister Jonathon Karas QC, an expert in this area of law. The BCU has responded to the article, hinting that it has conflicting legal advice. Lawyers at Fish Legal, which acts as the legal arm of the Angling Trust in England, have previously confronted the BCU with the established legal position, but have never been shown the BCU's advice.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, has now written to his counterpart at the BCU demanding that they reveal the conflicting advice, accept the law and work with anglers to promote voluntary access agreements so that paddlers and others can enjoy greater lawful access to rivers.

Mark Lloyd said: 'The BCU's position has now been independently referred to as a misunderstanding of the law, and I believe it would be irresponsible for them to risk greater confusion and conflict by denying that the law is anything other than clear: there are no general public rights of navigation above the tidal limit unless specifically acquired (usually by statute). They may not like the law, or the Government's policy, but as a national governing body they must accept both. The Angling Trust and its members are keen to increase access to waters for boats and swimmers where appropriate, but on a small island it makes sense to have agreements drawn up between local people to share access and to avoid conflict between users and potential damage to the environment.'
Bavaria R40 660x82Beneteau PWR GT40 660x82 1Gold Coast Marine Expo 2017 660x82

Related Articles

Lakes Entrance to celebrate food, fishing and tourism
Lakes Entrance celebrate/showcase wonderful array of Victorian seafood caught by commercial and recreational fishers Lakes Entrance will celebrate and showcase the wonderful array of Victorian seafood caught by commercial and recreational fishers and the beautiful places it comes from at the “Hooked on Lakes Entrance” event on March 12.
Posted on 23 Feb
See it first at the Gold Coast International Boat Show & Marine Expo
Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place Boating enthusiasts will find everything they need to have fun on the water all in one place when the first major Australian boat show for 2017 gets underway on Queensland’s Gold Coast in just three weeks.
Posted on 23 Feb
Summer compliance blitz - Fish in protected zone and you'll get caught
Dedicated on-water and aerial patrols over the Christmas break resulted in 48 incidents of illegal recreational fishing Dedicated on-water and aerial patrols over the Christmas break resulted in 48 incidents of illegal recreational fishing in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with these breaches threatening the health and resilience of the Reef.
Posted on 22 Feb
Honda Marine Introduces a bold new concept engine at Miami Boat Show
Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd breaks the mould for marine engines Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd breaks the mould for marine engines at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show with a bold new concept engine that could power the future of boating. With inspiration from across Honda’s line-up – including automotive, marine and aeronautical – the design concept engine is a blue sky vision for what future marine engines could look like.
Posted on 17 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
New Simrad S5100 Sonar Module
Simrad® S5100 High-Performance CHIRP Sonar Module is first sonar module to offer three fully-independent sonar channels Announced today, the Simrad® S5100 High-Performance CHIRP Sonar Module is the first sonar module to offer three fully-independent sonar channels to deliver high-resolution sonar across multiple depth ranges, making it a perfect fit for offshore sportfishing anglers
Posted on 17 Feb
New shellfish reefs is born in the bay
Andrews Labor Government is restoring shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay through a project, aims to improve bay health The Andrews Labor Government is restoring shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay through a project that aims to improve bay health, juvenile fish habitat and water quality.
Posted on 12 Feb
Club Marine Perth Intl Boat Show, a major event for WA Marine Industry
The Boating Industry Association of WA is announcing a major new event for the WA marine industry. The Boating Industry Association of WA is announcing a major new event for the WA marine industry. The Club Marine Perth International Boat Show will be launched in 2017 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and Elizabeth Quay.
Posted on 11 Feb
Sportfishing products at the Miami Boat Show
The Taco Marine® booth at next week’s Progressive® Insurance Miami Intl Boat Show will feature several products The Taco Marine® booth (Tent C, booth 254) at next week’s Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show will feature several innovative and unique products in the company’s sportfishing range.
Posted on 10 Feb
GO9 XSE brings radar and SiriusXM® weather to XSE Series
GO9 XSE offers plug-and-play support for Simrad® Broadband Radar™ and Halo™ Pulse Compression Radar systems The perfect way to expand the capabilities of sportboats, cruisers, and smaller center consoles, the GO9 XSE offers plug-and-play support for Simrad® Broadband Radar™ and Halo™ Pulse Compression Radar systems
Posted on 8 Feb