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 Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights   Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Angling bodies have been getting increasingly concerned at the conduct of the British Canoe Union (BCU) and Canoe England (CE) who are encouraging canoeists to defy the law and trample over anglers rights.

They have been promoting a 'Right to Paddle' campaign for several years and simply refuse to acknowledge the existence of limitations on navigation in civil law. Both organisation promote canoeing guides and events which encourage canoeing on rivers where no lawful right of navigation exists.

Organised trespasses are becoming all the more commonplace and are promoted through the 'independent' website 'Song of the Paddle' http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/ which promotes what they call 'open canoeing'.

The Angling Trust recently sought clarification on the canoeists demands from Fisheries and Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon. The minister strongly rebutted the notion of an automatic 'right to paddle' up every stream, brook and river in the country regardless of the impact on either the environment or other river users.

Richard Benyon made it clear in an interview for the Angling Trust members magazine The Angle that there will be no legal right to paddle without the riparian owners permission. The previous Labour government was clear on this and the policy of voluntary access agreements only has now been re-affirmed by the Coalition government.


Text from Fisheries and Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon's interview on canoeists

1. Will you rule out a statutory 'right to paddle' for canoeists?
I want to be really clear about this. While we want more people to get out and enjoy activities in the countryside they must be complimentary. There are plenty of places to canoe where it is appropriate and others where it is not. There will be no change to our policy of supporting voluntary access agreements as the only way forward. Anglers and fishery owners spend a lot of time and money caring for our rivers and streams and their rights deserve to be respected


Angling Trust National Campaigns Coordinator Martin Salter said:
"The Angling Trust has been challenging the claims being made by militant canoeists that they should have a right paddle up every river, stream or brook in Britain irrespective of ownership or the impact this has on wildlife or other people's enjoyment. The rights of navigation are clear in law and there are thousands of miles of navigable rivers and waterways to which canoeists have legal access. We also have well worked voluntary access agreements in place which allow canoeing on some rivers such as the Dart and the upper Wye at times of high water when fishing will not be affected.

Because the BCU is refusing to recognise the law of the land it is pulling out of these voluntary access agreements claiming they are now unnecessary.The rejection of a 'right to paddle' by Richard Benyon is most welcome and we call upon the organisations that represent canoeists to recognise the law of the land and that it is not going to be changed in their favour any time soon.

Continued authorised trespasses by the BCU could put funding for their sport in jeopardy which would be a shame as there is plenty of water out there for everyone to share provided that people agree to operate within the law and do not think that they can trample over the rights of anglers and others."
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Steve Appleford



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PostSubject: Re: Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights   Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:50 pm

Wont be rejoining the BCU for my Kayak licence this year...someone told me the angling trust do some sort of licence for Kayaks anyone know if this is true??? if not give a few more shillings to the EA i guess .
Some of the militant Kayakers really are looking for conflict methinks .
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John LeSurf



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PostSubject: Re: Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights   Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:15 am

About 18 months ago I was doing some work on my stretch of the Roding at Stanford Rivers and a canoeist came downstream ,I told him he was trespassing and he gave me a verbal there was about six more and I gave them a choice of leaving the river now or being arrested at Shonks Road Bridge,they said were not trespassing
but I pointed out they would be when they got out to bypass the fallen trees ahead,their attitude changed and
they got out.I buzzed Andy for assistance and he arrived about 20 mins later.I gave them permission to cross the farmers field along the brook to access the nearest road.It was the height of the spawning season and they
must have damaged this seasons eggs in the 6ins -12 ins shallows which they must of walked along on entering seven miles upstream .They were very apologetic,and it looked like Pocahotas with them traipsing along the Brook with canoes above there head,It was with me and Andy a good cop ,bad cop situation (you can guess whos what) with Andy strapping the canoes on his Roof Rack and dropping them off at Pasingford Bridge.I leave
fallen trees in the River at the start of our section upstream.
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Keith Collett

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PostSubject: Re: Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights   Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:30 am

THE Thing is, wot rivers can they use, or not use, as I can not find anything about it,
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over Anglers rights   Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:49 am

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