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Thread: A model to follow?

  1. #61
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    Which is why I was suggesting that we make a working alliance with the ramblers, and go for a full solution, involving proper access to all of the countryside, including rivers, lakes and land. And that recent (ish) legislation which works in Scotland would be a good model for England and Wales to push for.
    When this was tried before the BCU backed the rambers over crow but the ramblers would not back the BCU over the removal of the river access by other user groups pressure.

  2. #62

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    I appreciate that no one is taking offence at my very direct and aggressive statements on this matter.... thank you. This what I see from the responses:

    1. There is some confusion as to whether (1) we should be campaigning for acceptance of our view of the existing law or (2) for a change in the law or (3)not campaigning at all because we might end up worse than before.

    2. RAFA is campaigning for the acceptance of our view of the existing law. I would like to know what form this campaigning takes and what progress has been made. Do RAFA regard this as feasible? I do not, because the community of land owners and anglers and the conservative legal fraternity will never accept it. Of course a 1,000,000 court case would decide it. Does anybody think we have any chance of getting 50p from each of the 2,000,000 canoeists who get in a canoe every year?

    3. Some people think we should campaign for changes to the laws similar to Scotland. I favour this because it gives access to the bank as well as the water, it offers the opportunity to work in cooperation with other bodies with similar interests, and we have a clear model of the legislation as used in Scotland.

    4. Adrian points out the risk that, by actively campaigning, we end up worse off than before. In my view this a risk inherent in any campaign, and not a reason to remain silent.

    I do know the current situation is unfair, unnecessary and detrimental to the physical, mental and spiritual health of the English and Welsh nations. I know that freedom of access is available in virtually every other country in the world.

    My campaign plan is to draw attention to the fact that the present situation is a farce because canoeists cannot legally be required to adhere to the requirements of Anglers and Land owners. This requires hundreds of canoeists to give up a Sunday afternoon to demonstrate this.... in small groups on many rivers. Once it is demonstrated that the law is farcical, then the powers that be will need to work out a proper solution, whether it is option one or option two or a combination of the two. It is the work done by the likes of Dr Caffyn, Angut and Keith that makes this campaign plan feasible because it gives us a basis to claim we have the right to access. It also helps with our PR message to the general public, who I believe would favor us over our adversaries when news of the struggle reaches the national press. The flaw in my argument is that it depends on canoeists being committed enough to give up one Sunday afternoon. As we know they are not.
    Last edited by dougdew99; 19th-February-2015 at 07:58 AM.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  3. #63

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    By coincidence I received this in the email this morning. Now, who might have an emailing list of canoeists? The BCU? Hopefully I'll get an email from them soon...

    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  4. #64
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    Several years ago, probably before 2004, paddlers were probably under the impression that a change in the law was required. The government commissioned a series of reports from Brighton University, the first into the extent and issues of access to rivers and the other two into a model for agreeing access and a pilot study into how this would work. The reports were roundly condemned in the canoeing fraternity partly because, at the same time Douglas Caffyn was also carrying out research into the actual law rather than assuming the public perception was correct.

    Caffyn's work and the further reseacrh by River Access For All has helped to give canoeists new confidence in their rights to be on rivers.

    Just as the Brighton University pilot study ended up reducing the extent of agreed access to some of the rivers they looked into, so would government interference of the law in this area.

  5. #65

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    What is it about government in England and Wales that it makes certain that any change to the law will be against our interests? When the law was changed in Sotland it was very much to our advantage. Every other country in the world has framed laws which would be to our advantage, even countries lwho share our common law system. I admit the possibility of this outcome, but it is not a certainty or even likely. My guess is that voters would be our side if they knew the whole story. I have not meet a single person who was not our side when the facts were explained to them, besides Anglers.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  6. #66
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    You have a potentially sensitive issue with a number of interested parties, all of whom will be entitled to have their say. We know the arguments, they are all well rehearsed. On issues like this, the government will want some form of consensus so they will turn to the available research on this, conveniently already drafted by Brighton University (at great expense to the tax payer). This says that VAAs are the way to go. Why wouldn't the government follow that advice?

    I think the process which was gone through with CROW Act demonstrates that simply adopting the Scottish model is not likely to get anywhere.

  7. #67
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    I really don't see a problem with both campaigning to have our ancient rights recognised and accepted whilst also campaigning for suitable modern legislation that allows access to rivers (and lakes) in a way that meets the current and future needs of our society. It seems a no brainer to me. Achieve an accpetance of the ancient principle of PRN but also campaign for modern legislation providing assurances of access for the public as a whole, rather than the initiated few who are familiar with various access sources on the internet. Afterall you don't need to be initiated into special information resources to go for a walk or ride in the countryside so why should you have to in order to go paddle a canoe? we're not asking for the world here, simply that access to rivers and lakes should be on a similar basis to walking and riding in the countryside.
    Mike

  8. #68
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    If we split the two types of campaign into our right to navigate and access to the river bank there is no conflict, the Ramblers have a desire to gain more access to our river banks so there must be some way of us working together on that project. This is there policy statement on Rivers, Canals & Lakes.

    Access to rivers, canals and lakes

    At present there is no general public right to walk alongside inland water in England and Wales. The Ramblers believe the public should have a right to walk alongside rivers, canals and lakes, subject to safeguards to protect wildlife, privacy and restrictions to allow landowners to manage land as they see fit.
    The Canal and River Trust (which replaced British Waterways) was set up to manage Britain’s waterways for public benefit and enjoyment - including public access on foot, in recognition of the fact that walkers are amongst the largest groups of people to use our canals and rivers.
    The Ramblers warmly welcome this commitment to our waterways and the importance of improving public access to our rivers and canals for recreation, health and social wellbeing. We will work closely with the Trust to improve canal towpaths and better integrate these routes with wider walking opportunities.

    http://www.ramblers.org.uk/policy/en...and-lakes.aspx


    "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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