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Thread: Perception of 'open access' rivers may be wrong

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    North Devon
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    Default Perception of 'open access' rivers may be wrong

    I think one problem we have is the perception held by the folks who ultimately make the laws and the big decisions. Like it or not the folks who own the land the rivers pass through on the whole are well off and well connected and if we can't convince these landowners it's a good idea it may never happen. They will just put pressure on the MPs/lawyers (who are far more likely to be salmon anglers than canoeists) and the stalemate will continue. If you look at a river where access is either a legal right (eg River Wye) or where there is an 'agreement' ( eg Rivers Barle, Dart and others) there are huge numbers of canoeists using the facility. (there were at least 40 boats on the Barle the other week)
    I think the perception is that if access is allowed every river will be overrun by boats in the same way. This is clearly not the case as they (the canoes) will be spread over all rivers and most waters will see no more than a couple of boats a week. The river I paddle on a regular basis has a winter paddling agreement. Yet in the last 3 years of paddling every weekend through the winter, I've only seen one other party of boats. So it would make little or no difference to numbers paddling if the river was available all year round.
    I'm not sure how this perception can be changed. If they won't talk to us and we can't talk to them. we will get nowhere. Any suggestions?
    Paul.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Keynsham near Bristol
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulsmith View Post
    Like it or not the folks who own the land the rivers pass through on the whole are well off and well connected and if we can't convince these landowners it's a good idea it may never happen.
    Why wasn't this a problem in Scotland? The decision was made by politicians and politicians from time to time need to be well connected too - to their electorate. How ever unlikely you believe the desired outcome is, the are only two choices.
    • Try in a sensible and persistent way to influence change and stand some chance of success or

    • not try and stand no chance.


    Negotiated agreements on the basis that all parties have equal rights and responsibilities is fine but if you start a negotiation by agreeing that the other party has all the rights and you have none it's not negotiating - it's begging!
    Keith

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Gourp of 40 paddlers? Because there isn't enough access elsewhere?

    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Gourp of 40 paddlers? Because there isn't enough access elsewhere?
    Just noticed my typ above. Maybe we should keep this as collective term for paddlers !!!
    GOURP instead of group or flock or school or swarm?

    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

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