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Thread: Halton Rapids, River Lune, Lancaster Town Centre.

  1. #1

    Default Halton Rapids, River Lune, Lancaster Town Centre.

    In the current issue of the BCU's membership magazine, "Canoe Focus", there is an article about about Canoe England having leased a section of the riverbank giving access to Halton rapids. The article explains that "negotiations are in progress with the fishing rights owner to increase the number of March to October canoe days"...

    Can anyone explain why, in this case, the owner of the fishing rights controls the navigation rights? Has the PRN been extinguished by statute?
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  2. #2
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    I read that article too.

    Canoe England, were at pains to make a distinction between navigation (passing up or down the river) and occupation (where canoeists want to paddle the same features again and again). They don't indicate that there is any change in their stance on navigation rights but it seems they are prepared to discuss how "occupation sites" can best be shared with other river users who also need to occupy the same water to enjoy their sport. In this case they suggest that there is, to a large extent, a natural segregation between the winter period where there is plenty of water and no fishing due to the closed season and other times of the year where a reasonable discussion on how the river can best be shared may be appropriate.

    If there is ever to be any progress towards agreement with other water users we have to start somewhere. Is this the place to start? Certainly it takes riparian rights out of the equation - because Canoe England (British Canoeing) have them. Is this a demonstration of the responsible recognition of the needs of other river users that we would like to see when the boot is on the other foot?
    Keith

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    This is a similar logic to the one we adopt in the case of angling competitions. That is, to allow the competition to progress unhindered by passing through. Provided each party know of the other’s intentions, it makes sense to adopt a good neighbour approach.

  4. #4

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    Agree
    Promoting sustainable access on the welsh Dee from gradientfood.com - an outdoor sports themed sandwich bar in Llangollen

  5. #5
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    I agree BCU/CE have gone about this is precisely the right way, but accommodations like these can take place if there is an equitable use of water to start with.

  6. #6

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    Consider this. CE's and our position on access is that, as citizens, we have a right to paddle on this river when ever we choose. We do not have to ask permission of the owner of the angling rights.

    If the owner of the angling rights wants us to not exercise this right at certain times, then he needs to ask CE, as a favour, if they would be prepared to curtail their use of the river at certain times to permit him to enjoy his or her fishing, without the presence of canoes.

    Presumably CE would weigh up their duty to the thousands of their members, men, women and young people, who might wish to paddle there, against the request of one or more anglers to have privileged access.

    Having received such a request, CE might be prepared to request their members, ( having no power to stop them) to act as 'good neighbours' and desist from paddling on agreed days, say, one day per year, (to adopt the angler's usual approach) or more frequently. If the anglers do not like the solution proposed they are free to fish while canoes are present, or go fish somewhere else on the 40,000 miles of rivers they try to deny to canoeists. Hopefully The anglers would only request a mutually agreeable favour from CE, and amicable and reasonable cooperation would ensue.

    Meanwhile whatever CE decide, all canoeists can use this water at any time they choose, because it is their right as citizens. Most canoeists would comply with a reasonable arrangement, provided it was clear that the anglers were reasonable and did not adopt the bullying tactics of the Anglers Trust.

    This does not appear to be the way CE see it.

    CE talk about "negotiations that are in progress with the fishing rights owner to increase the number of March to October canoe days". This concept of an 'agreed number of canoe days' seems in contravention to CE's position on access.How did it arise? Who agreed it? On whom is it binding? Has CE already agreed that it exists and is asking anglers for extra days? If so, CE is deeply confused about rights of its members and its power to forfeit them.

    This might be a time for CE to show some intestinal fortitude and stand up for its members rights, not casually try to give them away.

    The worst case would be that the CE has signed a lease whereby it gives anglers the right to decide when CE may paddle on the river and this so-called number of canoe days is in the lease. What a mess that would be, because CE cannot force its members to desist from paddling there, given that as citizens they have the right to do so. They can only ban canoeists accessing the river from their stretch of the bank, except on 'canoe days'. Is this what they intend to do? I guess canoeists would then access from another public access point. How strange that would be if CE was seen to be supporting the denial of every citizen's right to access to this river.

    Last edited by dougdew99; 2nd-October-2014 at 05:40 AM.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    A very well argued point of view Doug. The problems that CE/BC have is that they consider themselves a governing body for the sport, which they are not, and, in the North, there seems to be a high level of residual feudalism, much more than down in the South.

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    From the dim and distant past, I seem to remember that Lancaster Uni had a boat house in the area, and used the rapids for slalom and white water training, one of my team mates in Mersey Canadians was ex Lancaster Uni. We used to use the rapids for practice, and a day out. I don't recall any problems, certainly not like the Ribble at that time.

    However, right now I'm with Doug. What the CE/BC are involved in is access, not passage, and buying the property seems to be to ensure 365 days a year access, and, if they want, the denial of such access to fishermen. It is a problem with our right to paddle that we do not have a corresponding right to access, and I, for one, am not advocating trespass to access the river. If a landowner wants us out, it seems to me to be his right. If there is a public access, (footpath) he has not got that right.

    Cheapskate though I am, it would now seem possible for CE/BC to charge for parking or loos, and changing facilities, along the lines of the Tryweryn, where use of the river is free, but there is a charge for facilities

    CE/BC seem to have achieved one step forward, and two back.

    Impcanoe

  9. #9

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    I posted my thoughts on the CE Facebook page. Hopefully we get some feedback from someone at CE.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  10. #10

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    If i read it correctly:

    1) Get on the river from the river left BCU leased land on the days that fisher folk allow. Using the facilities if you have paid for the key and managed to get one of the few parking spaces.

    or

    2) Get on the river from the river right whenever you want (With due consideration for environment and other users) using the large car park


    I know which I will be doing

  11. #11

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    Adrian posted this in another place

    From Canoe England North West:
    "This section of the River Lune has been used for Kayaking & Canoeing since at least the 1970’s. In the 1980’s National Division 2 and Division 4 Canoe Slalom Events were held here. These events were run from the North Bank of the river, where there was parking, toilet & changing facilities provided courtesy of the owners of the land and fishing rights, Luneside Engineering Company.


    In 1989 paddlers were refused permission to use the North Bank and its facilities in preparation for the sale of the fishing rights. So paddlers were now required to use the public car park on the south bank and paddle upstream to use the rapids."


    If CE has leased the land from the owner of the fishing rights, then we probably have the very worst case; they have signed an agreement on behalf of thousands of canoeists, that the owner of the fishing rights also owns the navigation rights and used our money to do it.

    Does anyone know if the lease is a public document?
    Last edited by dougdew99; 4th-October-2014 at 06:09 PM.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Generally to keep the peace most paddlers including the club dont bother in the fishing season it saves hassle. Tend to leave it till close on Nov the 1st.
    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

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    Fishing seasons for salmon, trout and other relatives, appear to be flexible. Or it looks like willy nilly, dates have been moved on some occasions.

    At Halton Rapid I suffered the wroth of an irate angler because "canoeing is illegal in fishing season and the Canoe orgs are being taken to court." He was the only person fishing and it is a large stretch of rapid where he would not have been disturbed by me and a friend on another part.

    If we have riparian rights then stop fishing until we have proper uncontested access. Contentious maybe but we have suffered that for a long time.

    On the River Ribble, last weekend, a friend encountered the stinking attitude of a man, who declared, "I own this river" "It is illegal to canoe this river" and after much verbal abuse from this person his parting shot was, "I hope you drown". I have met the same attitude probably the same man even outside the fishing season on the Ribble.

    I think we have a long way to go!

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


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    Jimmyads.
    I am far from convinced that you correctly report the action of "most paddlers". How ever, on the Tyne Tour I "fell in" (in the old fashioned sense of "joined") a group from Pendle Canoe Club, who reported that they had given up using the Ribble because of antagonistic anglers. I was on a legal high from the excitement of the Tyne, but recalled, with disappointment, that the Ribble had been established as a navigation since Roman times, when I started paddling in the early 70s. So what has happened in the last say 30 years since I moved south??

    I have certainly paddled the Welsh Dee recently in the season and in almost every case, been greeted affably by fishermen on bank or up to their middles in the river.

    Impcanoe

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    Well living 10 minutes away from there and knowing most of the paddlers on our local river including club instructors I beg to differ, most paddlers in this area tend to keep the peace (maybe not non local paddlers) also from Halton wier to the iron bridge you are not allowed there at all in season
    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyads View Post
    from Halton wier to the iron bridge you are not allowed there at all in season
    Says who?

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    Been told quite a lot by kayak and canoers don't actually know the reason for it there are signs up as well. Its just this section I would like to know myself been trying to find out.

    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

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    Found this:
    HALTON RAPIDS is classified by Canoe England as an “Occupation Site” also referred to as a“PLAYSPOT”This is the section of the River Lune from Forge Weir downstream to Denny Beck Weir.Start Forge Weir Grid Reference SD 511(73)646(92)This is one of the two stretches of the River Lune where Canoe England has an agreement in place: weappreciate you respecting these agreements.If you want White Water to play on then Halton Rapids may suit you.Access for canoeing is permitted 1 November to 15 March, from 16 – 31 March access may be allowed byprior arrangement with the fishing club via the LWA (at present Patricia Green). The agreement is forplaying at the site, which is occupation and is different to touring, and which will not comply with CanoeEngland guidelines for touring access agreement.Whether touring or playing this site is not open for canoeing outside agreed dates.

    All descriptions do not include this area, Lancaster canoe club also only paddle the rapids to the wier and th flat section to the bridge but don't seem to enter this area

    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

  19. #19
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    Well, if that came from canoe England (who no longer exist) then they are talking hogwash. I can understand entering into an agreement for 'occupation' but they cannot exclude people passing through, navigating the river. They have no right to do this and any agreement they enter into is unenforceable.

  20. #20
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    Have you not read the evidence for the existence of public navigation rights on all rivers physically capable of navigation. This right has always existed. Only Parliament has the right to modify it ....and they haven't!

    I'm all for constructive relationships with other river users and a bit of sensible give and take when it's helpful to create and foster constructive sharing. But we must start from the right to navigate not "permission" to.
    Keith

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    Listen I'm not getting into a drawn out debate about this, it is my local river and i am not rocking any boats and as far as I can see other local paddlers do the same.
    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

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    Well Jimmyads, that's a great effort on behalf of the rest of the counties' paddlers, and helps to reinforce the incorrect fisherman's view.

    Impcanoe

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    Thats your opinion so I think well just leave it that thankyou!
    If in doubt, hit it with a hammer!!

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