Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: When access is unclear?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,066

    Default When access is unclear?

    Hi,

    On Saturday I was paddling on the Wey Navigation & spotted one of the old parts of the river going off the main channel, & saw that this continued for some distance on my OS map. I was a little unsure about access but explored up it anyway. It was superb, one of the loveliest rivers I have ever been on. Only on my way out did I notice a sign high up in a tree - No Boating, No Fishing. Am I a boat, given no engine?

    Should I have been there?

    There is no right of way to or by most of this branch of the river, it is surrounded by private land, mostly fields, until further up where there were some rather nice houses & I turned back. I noticed that some of the houses have boats, & indeed 2 boats are visible travelling up it on google earth!

    What should I have done? I'd be interested in opinions. I'd also quite like to post a blog as it was a fantastic little stream & I had probably the best afternoon's paddling I've ever had, but feel I shouldn't if I was somewhere I shouldn't have been!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Fantastic. I paddle up one of those off shoot bits on the Wey near Guildford when I lived down there. It was beautiful with dragon flies all over the place. Still sticks in my mind as one of those special paddles.

    As to whether you should be there or not I would say yes if its part of the original river. If its a tribritory then that might be different but what are "they" going to do about it? Just smile and glide on by.

    Marcus

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,751

    Default

    I'd say that the only thing that is clear is that the landowner owns the ....er.. land. There is no clarity over the right to navigate the river sections that are not covered by the Navigation.

    If you cause no nuisance and do no damage to the banks, the river bed or the flora & fauna, then we have no reason not to claim the right to paddle. I don't know if we have that right but thankfully neither does anyone else including the landowners or the fishing clubs etc. One day all will become clear.
    Keith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,066

    Default

    Keith, that was pretty much the way I thought about it. I didn't land on any of the banks, & saw not a soul in nearly 2 hours. If anybody had challenged me I'd have been politely confused & offered to return downstream, but nobody did. Don't know if it would be more of a problem during fishing season.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    726

    Default

    If the situation is unclear I tend just to do it, trying to be pleasant to any fishermen. However I wouldn't knowingly go where I shouldn't be. For example if there is an access agreement for certain times of the year I wouldn't break that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gloucester
    Posts
    2,767

    Default

    Generally the stance on access now is:

    If there is a reasonable access agreement, abide by it. I think this is a fairly rare occurence.

    If there is no access agreement, or if there is no reasonable agreement, paddle it responsibly. In my book this means:

    - Access from public land (eg. footpaths). Admittedly the bank between the path and the water may not be public land, but don't go tramping across private fields.
    - Be polite to any fishermen. If challenged stay calm, it takes two to argue. If they threaten to call the police, let them.
    - Paddle in small quiet groups.
    - Only paddle if there is enough water in it to not damage the river bed by scraping down it.
    - Park responsibly, don't block lanes and field entrances etc.

    I'd post the blogg and keep paddling there. Unless you damaged anything trespass is a civil offence anyway, all a landowner can do is ask you to leave by the most practical route. That's normally downstream.
    'Of all the paths you choose in life, make sure some of them are wet'

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •