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Thread: River Wensum Consultation

  1. Default River Wensum Consultation

    Hi all - hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and getting onto the water!


    We received an email from Norwich City Council regarding a consultation event taking place regarding a new strategy for the River Wensum in Norfolk. This is open to all to attend, details in the copy of the email below.
    We'll be in attendance at this event too, so you can also send any comments or thoughts over to us beforehand, and we'll represent these at the consultation, and hopefully working in partnership with the new strategy into the future too. I know there has been concerns about previous environmental work completed on the river, which resulted in potentially unsafe installations for paddlers.


    I'll keep this thread up to date with news on how to get involved in the consultation, whether at the event or through the survey etc. If anyone would prefer to email any thought please pass them onto me at chris.page@britishcanoeing.org.


    Norwich City Council, The Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council, The Environment Agency and The Wensum River Parkway Partnership are working together to develop a River Wensum Strategy. The strategy is in the early stages and we would appreciate your input to help us identify opportunities and issues on the river.


    We will be holding a consultation event on Wednesday 24 June between 1pm and 7pm at Blackfriars Hall, St Andrews Plain, Norwich, NR3 1AU. You will be able to give us your views at this event. Alternatively, you will be able to submit comments using an online survey which will be launched at the same time we will forward you the details of this once it is live.
    (Thought this the most appropriate sub-forum to post this - please feel free to move it if not!)

  2. #2

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    I understand that there has been serious intimidation from anglers on this river... Others may know more... Not just the now deceased Bernard Matthews but other more sinister activities...
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I understand that there has been serious intimidation from anglers on this river... Others may know more... Not just the now deceased Bernard Matthews but other more sinister activities...
    Yes - we've heard tell of some very serious intimidation on the river. We hear about the incidents mostly through the forums, but I would encourage anyone who has such encounters to report them to us directly too, in confidence if preferred. You can contact us via access@britishcanoeing.org.uk.

    I know River Access For All also have a reporting mechanism for such incidents too.

  4. #4
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    Its a lovely river and would love to paddle the upper reached but I too have heard tales of intimidation. As we approach 16th June which is the start of the fishing season a good window of opportunity may have been lost to paddle without confrontation . I believe it is a specimen Barbel fishery in the upper reaches.
    Are there any official launch points or canoe routes on this river?
    Get Paddling!

    Blott

  5. #5
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    This seems a sincere attempt by Norwich City Council (Labour: 22 seats, Green: 14, Liberal Democrat: 3.) to establish a river strategy to benefit residents and visitors to the area. There is clear evidence of navigation rights on the non-tidal river (see http://access.canoedaysout.com/map/showonly/529) including the case of Haspurt v Wills (1671) which established that craft passing through Norwich (the tidal limit) i.e. " they only passing by, and were bound for another place" were not liable to pay tolls at the city wharf. Many of the problems of the past were related to the late Bernard Matthews who died in 2010.

    This looks like an opportunity for positive and constructive engagement with the council and other river users that deserves the support of local canoeists. It certainly will not do our cause any good if we are not adequately represented.



    The river viewed from Marriott's Way, Costessey (from wikipedia)
    Last edited by KeithD; 11th-June-2015 at 04:41 PM.
    Keith

  6. #6
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    For those of us not living on the doorstep but who may be inclined from time to time to take a holiday in the Norfolk Broads area; it would be useful to have access to any links to the draft strategy documents and any means of responding to them online.
    Mike

  7. #7
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    I paddled the section from Swanton Morley to Ringland on 13th June 2014 - here's an extract from my log:

    Possibly the best river I've ever paddled. Clear water, teeming with fish and ideal for swimming. Dragonflies and damsels in their hundreds. Kingfishers, egrets, swans and all the usual stuff. And on the bike shuttle at the end, a fox with prey, stoat with prey and a muntjac deer

    I only met one angler who very helpfully drew my attention to a sunken board in the river ahead which had been put there for some fish management reason.

    Andrew, North Yorkshire
    Never get off the boat
    - not unless you're going the whole way.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 25272527 View Post
    For those of us not living on the doorstep but who may be inclined from time to time to take a holiday in the Norfolk Broads area; it would be useful to have access to any links to the draft strategy documents and any means of responding to them online.
    Mike
    I'll keep this thread up to date with any details of ways paddlers can be involved.

  9. #9
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    Many thanks for your response, greatly appreciated, as is your contribution with news and information to the forum. I hope that I can look forward to regular posts regarding environmental and access issues.
    Mike

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    Hi all. I went along to the consultation yesterday, which was a bit brief, but positive. From the feedback from the Broads Authority there were plenty of paddlers who had also attended and given positive views (and I was there quite early too), so if anyone else on the forum was there it would be interesting to hear your views.

    The consultation is on a Norwich city focused project (within the city boundary), to look at how various agencies and bodies can work together to make more of the leisure, environmental and heritage potential of the Wensum in the city. They are looking at linking leisure opportunities together, making the river a more accessible and integral facility for the city - while at the same time improving the environment for wildife too. They are getting feedback from user groups on how this can be done. I filled in a questionnaire, which anyone can also access and complete now from the following link:
    www.norwich.gov.uk/riverwensum

    My chief feedback initially was:
    - There is great potential for the river in the city to be a hub for paddling activity of many sorts, but a range of facilities are needed to make accessing the water easier and more attractive - especially in linking up parking and the city's other attractions. Much of the river is high walled, with existing boating pontoons difficult to use for launching
    - Get local paddling groups and individuals involved - they will know where is best to put new facilities
    - Although a city based project don't ignore upstream/downstream. People will use the length of the river, and make the city a hub for longer trips in both directions, especially those touring around the Broads. So while the focus is on the city's facilities linking to to sites outside the boundary will bring bigger benefits to Norwich itself
    - Improving the city's facilities for paddling, and availability of information for both potential and experienced paddlers will bring potentially big knock on benefits for the environment (better awareness), business (more people coming - and existing visitors/residents accessing the river in a new way) and other users (linking facilities together)

    All the stakeholders I spoke to (EA, Norwich City Council, Broads Authority) were very positive about paddling, and see this as a big opportunity. We'll very much be following this up and keeping involved - we'll try to get local clubs involved as much as possible. But the more paddlers who give their views the better - especially locals who can really help steer the need for potential improvements. If anyone does contact the consultation with their local knowledge please let me know so that I can make use of that knowledge too!

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the update, I really appreciate the way you are sharing information with us.

    My recollection is that the part of the Wensum which contenscious, is outside the city boundaries, although it is arguably the best part for paddling. Will this initiative address those issues? Facilities to paddle on the contenscious part of the river would provide a very authentic and beautiful tourist attraction, being real wind in the willows country side.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  12. #12
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    I have filled in the questionnaire, thanks for the info.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  13. #13

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    completed Questionaire, stressing the need to include access issues further upstream to provide an unparalleled natural resource to families and young people
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    completed Questionaire, stressing the need to include access issues further upstream to provide an unparalleled natural resource to families and young people
    Likewise, with an added bit about up and downstream access, referenced the success of the Medway Canoe Trail, and the potential for bringing visitors from further afield if there is enough easy, accessible paddling to make a weekend of it, and therefore spend money locally.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  15. #15
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    Submitted a contribution stressing the need for clarity over access and egress to the river and the opportunities for greater visitor numbers and knock on benefits to the economy if the river is clearly available for canoeing. Also the need to increase the strategy beyond the city boundary to incorporate the whole river.
    Mike

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC Waterways&Environment View Post
    Hi all - hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and getting onto the water!


    We received an email from Norwich City Council regarding a consultation event taking place regarding a new strategy for the River Wensum in Norfolk. This is open to all to attend, details in the copy of the email below.
    We'll be in attendance at this event too, so you can also send any comments or thoughts over to us beforehand, and we'll represent these at the consultation, and hopefully working in partnership with the new strategy into the future too. I know there has been concerns about previous environmental work completed on the river, which resulted in potentially unsafe installations for paddlers.


    I'll keep this thread up to date with news on how to get involved in the consultation, whether at the event or through the survey etc. If anyone would prefer to email any thought please pass them onto me at chris.page@britishcanoeing.org.



    (Thought this the most appropriate sub-forum to post this - please feel free to move it if not!)
    I've just tried to respond directly to this email link and it bounced back as undeliverable.
    Mike

  17. #17
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    Should be ..............org.uk

  18. #18
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    Thanks for that, well spotted Adrian!
    Mike

  19. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I understand that there has been serious intimidation from anglers on this river... Others may know more... Not just the now deceased Bernard Matthews but other more sinister activities...
    Quote Originally Posted by 25272527 View Post
    I've just tried to respond directly to this email link and it bounced back as undeliverable.
    Mike
    Oops! Sorry! What Adrian said though!

    chris.page@britishcanoeing.org.uk

  20. Default

    Just to say I was with the Broads Authority yesterday, who said there was a great response from canoeists to the consultation. This has helped them in steering where to flag for potential improvements in the project area. More to follow soon...

    Best wishes, Chris

  21. #21
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    That's good to hear. It would be interesting to see the outcomes from the consultation when they arrive.
    Mike

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