Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Right to navigate on the River Arun?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Right to navigate on the River Arun?

    This sounded good, up to the point that say they'll only go further with a landowner's permission. What am i missing?

    Help us keep up the right to navigate on the River Arun

    Wey & Arun Canal Trust organises an annual small boats rally between Pulborough and Pallingham on the Arun, helping to maintain the navigation rights on the river.

    As we would like as many boats and canoes to take part this year, we wonder if members of your organisation would like to bring their craft to take part in the event, on Sunday, April 19th, launching from 1.15pm.

    This rally is a key feature in the Trustís quest to restore the canalís link to the river at Pallingham, and eventually the entire length of the 23-mile waterway up to Shalford in Surrey. We want to ensure that there will be no legal hold-ups in enabling boats to use the Arun to travel to and from the canal where it connects with the river.

    The canal is, of course, already open for use by small boats and canoes at Loxwood and at various other points where restoration has taken place.

    Our rally will aim to reach the site of the original junction of the canal with the river and then go on to Pallingham Quay, the highest navigable point for boats on the Arun.

    There will be a break at Pallingham Quay and, if time and water levels permit, participants can also stop for refreshments at the White Hart, Stopham Bridge. If we obtain landowner permission, we hope to be able to continue further along the river this year.

    As with all such events, itís the more the merrier and we want to have a large and colourful flotilla making its way up the Arun on April 19th. We hope you can send some representatives to join in.

    I hope your members would like to take part. Please can you let me know by e-mail or letter whether you can send a contingent. If so, I will send you a form nearer the day to record the numbers and provide more details of launch information etc.

    *Rob Searle*
    Assistant fundraising, press relations and publicity officer Wey & Arun Canal Trust

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Makes me smile a bit.

    1. I regularly do this trip, as do quite a few others, and can offer blogs to show usage. So its not like its never paddled.
    2. I've got as far as the weir about a mile upstream of Pallingham.
    3. They'll be bloody lucky to get that far most of the time, its rare that its deep enough/slow enough. Normally even Pallingham Quay is a battle against low water and fast flow - perfect poling country in a way, but that might be disturbing the river bed in a way that doesn't help the cause.
    4. I've never had any problem with landowners or other users up here, they won't actually even know you're there, even with a group. And obviously we don't need to ask permission if we're staying on the water.
    5. Above the old junction with the W&A, the river isn't actually on the route the canal took, so not sure if its really relevant to their cause (though its relevant to all river access). The canal straightened it out, and contoured the land along the side of the river valley to the east.
    6. Whilst their efforts are appreciated, it will take the society many decades to restore this section, they've managed 3 miles since 1970, out of 23.
    7. A better option, and one that MIGHT warrant permission to use a launch point suitable for a group, would be to come downstream from somewhere near Billinghurst, then they're not fighting the flow.

    Saying that, I'd have joined them if it wasn't my folks' Golden Wedding anniversary that weekend.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Keynsham near Bristol


    The public right of navigation that exists on the Arun can not be lost by disuse. This was confirmed by the case of Rowland v The EA. There is therefore no need for such an event to protect the PRN. Further, the suggestion that the event is in anyway dependant on landowner permission is confused - the whole point of a public right of navigation is that it is not dependant on permission by anyone.

    This confusion can be eliminated if you think of the event as a celebration of the PRN which has always existed and which was protected by Clause 33 of Magna Carta for 750 years. For those that would like to attend, I hope that you have a good day celebrating the PRN and the good work of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust but have no truck with the notion that you need anyone's permission to exercise your public right of navigation.

    I have written to Rob Searle to try to eliminate the confusion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    On the bank of the Basingstoke canal


    Is there a link to the page please.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    West Sussex


    As said already, and well know to the many people who regularly boat on the river,the Arun is tidal up to Pallingham Lock and therefore uncontroversially free to navigate and even fish as long as you don't do it from the bank.

    Some of the people living next to the river are boaters or canoeists and I've never had anything but politeness or cheery comments from them.

    On my last trip a land-owner stopped for a chat and it was made plain that he had no problem with us coming ashore to enjoy our packed lunch while waiting for the tide to turn.

    If the Canal Trust are using the river trip as a bit of jaunt to add to their funds that's fine ; but to promote the idea that a yearly influx of a flotilla of small craft is necessary to retain the right to navigate the stretch is bunkum and hopefully won't lead to unnecessary radicalism that might upset the locals.

    Having said that; I'm in two minds about being on the river that day. Purely as a freelancer. I'm not interested in signing-up for a right I already have but would possibly like to meet other floaters.

    Then again, would I really like to be caught up in the bottleneck of U-turning craft in the narrow Pallingham sections? Will some Philistine be tempted to unsympathetically hack back every overhanging bough or alter the character of "The Archway" too much ?. Lord ,suppose there are motor-launches or big craft in the fleet!

    Looking at the tides,highwater at Pallingham is going to be about 16.30 so anyone hoping to come back with the tide on their side will have time to kill. not that the flow is a problem that far up ,its just more fun to let the water pick-up.

    Ooh; its local ;should I stay or should I go?
    Carruthers decided that the best way of getting close enough to the orca for a photogragh would be to disguise his canoe as a sea-lion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Romsey, Paddle estuaries within an hour, also club member and coach, and scout canoeing helper


    As well as a historic public right of Navigation, the Arun has Acts of Parliament ( Navigation acts) dating from 1785 which do not appear to have been repealed. It was confirmed that the public can navigate such waterways in the appeal in Yorkshire Derwent trust vs Brotherton et al. 1992
    So I agree this event iwould be celebrating an existing right confirmed by parliament.
    The truth (about Rights of Navigation) is out there
    Romsey, Hampshire
    Twitter: BrevanM
    Follow my blog at

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts