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Thread: Acess to river teme???

  1. #1

    Angry Acess to river teme???

    Hello all,

    Yesterday i had a paddle session on the teme and the onnie planned between little Hereford and Eastham bridge, we turned up and we getting the boats off when a fishery agencies officer pulled up and tolled us that the teme is a SSSI and that kayaking and canoeing was not permitted on the river at all with the exception of a tiny stretch in ludlow and.

    We were dubious but didn't argue as we didn't know the law about Kayaking / canoeing through SSSI and the Lugg was only 15 minutes away.

    Can any one shed some light on this please ?. Are you allowed to kayak / canoeing on the teme?

  2. #2
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    Hi Zep,

    The WIKI page for river Teme does state that the whole river has been declared an SSI although it also talks about historical navigation on it.

    I think in your position I would make sure the officer you talked to was actually an proper EA official and not some angling club shill and, if they were genuine, be very polite and scrupulously follow his instructions. There are plenty of small rivers where rights of navigation are unclear and I'm happy to paddle but SSIs I'd avoid - particularly if a genuine EA official is interested.
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  3. #3
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    You can find a list of operations that require consent from Natural England here.

    These usually indicate activities that they perceive are likely to cause damage.

    Near the bottom of the list, item 27 refers to recreational activity that may cause damage to riparian habitat or disturbance of species of interest.

    Contact Natural England for clarification if canoeing is included.

  4. #4
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    I paddled from Ashford Carbonell down to Erdington. Did it mid week with no issues. My village is designated as an SSSI, I best not walk through it? The Teme has been this way for about 20 years. Take a trip down to knightwick weir, most weekends folk play on the wave! I would take no notice and go ahead and enjoy this beautiful river!

    Proving you're there intentionally disturbing/destroying the flora and fauna is very difficult!

    It is an offence under Section 28 P(6) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as incorporated by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000), without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly to destroy or damage any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which land is of special interest, or intentionally or recklessly to disturb any of those fauna. A person found guilty of any such offence may be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000 or on conviction on indictment to a fine.

  5. #5
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    The issue of being an SSSI is entirely irrelevant. Substantial portions of many statutory navigations (like my local Basingstoke Canal) are SSSIs and the flora/ fauna coexists perfectly happily with powered and un-powered craft.

    The question of navigation rights is, of course a big one without universal consensus but the evidence is clear enough, A summary of specific evidence for the Teme is here and wider evidence for all rivers is here.

    There is no such thing as a fishery agency. The Environment Agency regulate fishing but have no position on navigation on unregulated rivers. The guidance they have issued to their staff is here. Of particular note is section 4
    In order to avoid confusion for canoeists on the difference between Agency Fisheries bailiffs and gillies or club bailiffs, Agency staff should always show their warrants or identity cards.
    and 4.3
    Agency Fisheries bailiffs should avoid becoming involved in landowner/canoeist disputes over access to rivers.
    Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, made the position very clear in this letter.

    Defra have said (to me in writing)
    There is no clear case law on whether a common law right of navigation exists on unregulated rivers. This is widely accepted to be an unclear and unresolved issue.
    (that means that it has to be resolved on the basis of the evidence).

    The person who spoke to you was not a public official and was expressing no more than a poorly informed personal opinion.
    Last edited by KeithD; 2nd-November-2014 at 11:46 AM.
    Keith

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
    You can find a list of operations that require consent from Natural England here.

    These usually indicate activities that they perceive are likely to cause damage.

    Near the bottom of the list, item 27 refers to recreational activity that may cause damage to riparian habitat or disturbance of species of interest.

    Contact Natural England for clarification if canoeing is included.
    Thanks for pointing out where this info is held Quercus. An interesting read, item 26 as well as 27 would possibly cover canoing.
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
    Contact Natural England for clarification if canoeing is included.
    This guidance note provides the necessary clarification, particularly
    SSSI3 Canoeing may be covered directly or indirectly as part of the list of Operations Likely to Damage (OLDs) notified to
    the owner or occupier of an SSSI such as:
     "use of vehicles away from existing roads and tracks
     “use of craft on the river except for 1) craft used on the river for fishing and fishery management..."
    However, these relate to the consent needed from us in order for the owner or occupier to carry out an OLD or to
    permit an OLD to be carried out. Where there is a statutory right of navigation or a common law right, the owner /
    occupier is not obliged to notify us of people using this right because he is not responsible for or authorising the use in
    question.
    4. Where there is no statutory right of access, third parties wishing to canoe along the river would still not need
    Natural England consent as they themselves are not covered by OLDs. However, if they were being permitted to do
    so by an owner or occupier, that owner or occupier should have our consent.
    Keith

  8. #8
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    You can read all the details relating to this SSSI here, I can find nothing in the "Operations requiring Natural England's consent" section about canoeing.

    http://www.sssi.naturalengland.org.u...ssi_id=2000102

    They rely on paddlers not knowing the details of an SSSI, allowing them to use them as a weapon against us, next time I would take a copy of these details with you so that you can educate him.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  9. #9
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    The Tryweryn the most paddled river in Wales and the National watersports centre is a SSSi and there has never been any issue there.

    As keith said

    The issue of being an SSSI is entirely irrelevant. Substantial portions of many statutory navigations (like my local Basingstoke Canal) are SSSIs and the flora/ fauna coexists perfectly happily with powered and un-powered craft.

    The question of navigation rights is, of course a big one without universal consensus but the evidence is clear enough, A summary of specific evidence for the Teme is here and wider evidence for all rivers is here.

    There is no such thing as a fishery agency. The Environment Agency regulate fishing but have no position on navigation on unregulated rivers. The guidance they have issued to their staff is here. Of particular note is section 4 In order to avoid confusion for canoeists on the difference between Agency Fisheries bailiffs and gillies or club bailiffs, Agency staff should always show their warrants or identity cards.


    and 4.3 Agency Fisheries bailiffs should avoid becoming involved in landowner/canoeist disputes over access to rivers.


    Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, made the position very clear in this letter.

    Defra have said (to me in writing) There is no clear case law on whether a common law right of navigation exists on unregulated rivers. This is widely accepted to be an unclear and unresolved issue.


    (that means that it has to be resolved on the basis of the evidence).

    The person who spoke to you was not a public official and was expressing no more than a poorly informed personal opinion.

    Last edited by KeithD; Today at 12:46 PM.
    Keith

  10. #10
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    I've paddled the section down to Ludlow several times.

    (Downton Gorge?)
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  11. #11

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    Reminds me of this poem:

    The Gentleman at the River


    The gentleman at the river
    The one who owned the land
    Said I could not paddle
    He told me I was banned
    He explained that this was ‘his river’
    And he was not obliged to share
    But he kindly agreed to an access agreement
    Which he considered fair
    An annual trip on a very short stretch
    On a specified date and time
    Would be how canoeist’s could enjoy ‘his river’
    Without committing a crime

    I thanked this gentleman profusely
    For his reasonable and generous ways
    For agreeing to canoeists’ access
    On those few, selective, days
    And for forty years I kept to his rules
    And I requested that others did too
    This was, after all, ‘his river’
    My negotiations reinforcing this view

    But it was when he withdrew his permission
    That I finally realised
    That at that very first meeting
    This gentleman had lied
    This was no more ‘his river'
    Than it belongs to you or me
    In law nobody owns the water
    Meaning that all our rivers are free
    The river has flowed for thousands of years
    Long before this man
    His house, his fences, his cows and sheep
    Had occupied the land
    It is part of our natural heritage
    Which is not the preserve of the few
    Rivers are free for all to enjoy
    Including me out paddling my canoe

    The gentleman at the river
    The one who owned the land
    Said I could not paddle
    He told me I was banned
    I did not apologise, I did not speak
    I launched within sight of this man
    If someone says that you can’t paddle
    Show them that you can

    Jules

    Posted on ukrgb Wed May 21, 2008

  12. #12
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    Excellent, my sentiments exactly!

    I have never, and never will ask for permission from anyone to paddle/swim a river....ever!

  13. #13
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    Excellent poem, I have done a few reprints to use at an appropriate time as a polite way of saying **** off.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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