I completely agree that continued pressure needs to be put on NRW and for that matter local councils to ensure support is not given to private organisations wishing to benefit themselves by restricting others. Public money is not to be spent to the disadvantage of anyone, as those organisations would agree. However, it needs considering that they havent done so with any belief that it was and so its more a case of educating them to our needs and our value to economies.
I could not run my shop in Llangollen if outdoor tourism - specifically rafters and canoeists/kayakers were not here.
I think however that we need to be careful not to make demands as it seems to put noses out of joint. I fully believe our rights are clear and should be exercised and respected by all - but for those less interested in our cause than us, and those that wish to avoid confrontation with any group, the law really isn't clear and this leaves us and the general public in a position where gentle but persistent pressure stands a better chance of gaining government body support than shouting about our rights. Personally, i think paddlers, swimmers and all other river users need to get more of the public on side as our case really is one that is in the best interests of everyone (even the militant anglers if they would allow themselves to see past their noses).
I think we also need to seek more local involvement in ensuring that where meetings happen that involve our rivers we are represented. We have tried ignoring them and carrying on about our business without affecting anyone but apparently that doesnt work!! - hence the likes of Welsh Dee Partnership popping up with government funding and trying to erode our rights.
Yes we all just want to go boating and dont want the aggro, but its our unwillingness to actually "do" anything that means we dont get anything. Those that go about their business and allow others in our sport to believe rules set by private angling organisations such as WDP and WUF are as selfish as those organisations (if a little less inhibiting to others)
Promoting sustainable access on the welsh Dee from gradientfood.com - an outdoor sports themed sandwich bar in Llangollen