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Thread: Tyne Access Agreement?

  1. #1
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    Default Tyne Access Agreement?

    Hi,
    Thinking of paddling the Tyne either side of Haltwistle in a couple of weeks.
    There is some mention of access agreements about high water only in April in posts from 2007.
    I might be being technologically challenged but I can’t find anything more recent.
    I don’t want to queer anyone’s pitch over this so all advice appreciated.
    Also....any good camping around Haltwistle?
    Many thanks,
    Dick
    Last edited by Patterdale Paddler; 3rd-April-2018 at 09:20 AM.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  2. #2
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    There's a Camping and Caravan Club site near Haltwhistle by the river.

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    Access agreement appears to be no longer on any canoeing websites. Even the Tyne Tour only makes reference to it.

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    I thought I read that access agreements were no longer regarded as relevant, and that a public right of navigation was assumed?

    It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer

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    PM pinged ....
    I like canoes ......

  6. #6
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    Oh, this, well, umm, yeah, OK.

    I have no idea about access agreements these days.

    As far as I'm aware with my out of date information.

    There was an agreement, that the Tyne based clubs are sticking too, that goes something like, start of November to end of March, open access, April to June or July, high water only, June or July to end of August, spate only, September to October, no paddling. The clubs I believe are sticking to this because it makes it easier to negotiate certain concessions for the Tyne Tour event (access, parking, camping, fewer complaints about the abusive amount of plastic throw at the river that weekend) and because they don't want access to their local river to devolve into what's going on in Wales and the South.

    However, most of us aren't members of those clubs.

    Tyne fishermen are generally nice, happy folks (probably because they catch fish far more regularly than other places), and a boat or two politely going past them once in a blue moon is an interesting novelty, rather than annoying.

    A big part of the reason for this is that the Tyne isn't generally a honeypot river, it's slap bang in the middle between the two main arteries of the A1 and M6, so if you're travelling you've got to turn off and drive a fair way to get to them. If you're heading north on the A1 you pass the Swale and Tees, coming south you pass the Tweed, if you're on the M6 you've got the Lakes, so it all dilutes the desire to travel to the Tyne, keeping the number of paddlers low.

    The other big factor in this is that the South Tyne at least, isn't a river that goes at any level. The locals know this, but if you don't believe me, ask folk who did the South at last years Tyne Tour, it wasn't a scrape, it was a walk. It's quite flashy in the summer too, as an example, I went to Prudhoe (local play spot outside of the agreement and well down the main Tyne) last summer, because I knew there was a big thunderstorm in the Pennines the evening before, and sure enough 12-16 hours later I had plenty of water at Prudhoe for about 6 hours, and then it was gone, back to low summer level. Haydon Bridge being much further up the system will be even more flashy. It's not always that predictable however, I've seen big storms do nothing more than soak into the ground.

    And that's not the limit of the spanners of confusion that are hurled into the engine of paddling the Tyne. I understand the terms "high water" and "spate" but I have no idea where those marks are on the Tyne guages. While the clubs are sticking to the agreement (as far as I know), and are BCU affiliated, plenty of BCU coaches are working all year round on other local rivers that I thought were covered by the access agreement for the Tyne, so what the BCU's opinion of the agreement is, is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in pointless bureaucracy.

    So what does this all boil down to?

    Well, if there's water in the river in early April, go paddle it, if there isn't, don't bother, you won't enjoy it. Be very polite and friendly, they're nice, friendly, chatty folk round there. In the highly unlikely event that you are greeted with anything other than chirpy, friendly attitudes from fishermen, put on your best, strongest southern or scottish accent and plead ignorance.

    Hope that helps, but I'm pretty sure it didn't!
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

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    I'd go along with most of that John except maybe the idea of putting on a southern accent. Do you really think this would engender us to them?

    Just a small point with my access hat on; I think that sticking to an access agreement is a really bad idea for the long term argument that there is a public right of navigation. If you want to discuss your use of a river with the other 'stakeholders' come up with a general policy and recommend it to your members. Go no further than this.

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    If you put on a southern accent they might not like you, but they're much more likely to believe you're ignorant.

    I'm not sure I agree with the PRN path to access. It needs a court battle clarifying ancient laws and seems like a good way to line the pockets of lawyers with no realistic timely resolution. I'm more on the side of parity with Scotland and completely new legislation. Either way the end point of that discussion is the same, access agreements are pointless.

    I haven't paddled the Tyne outside of the agreement, yet (not stirctly true, but I haven't relevantly). The opportunity hasn't presented itself, and isn't all that likely to given the nature of the rivers, the agreement and that I'm normally quite busy when the agreement is at it's most restrictive. If the opportunity did arise, I'd think quite hard about it, I know local club paddlers, and if there was an incident that caused problems, people know who I am and it would be "that bloody John" causing problems, not that that would be anything new. I wouldn't discourage anyone else, one of the catalysts that could see my ideas for access coming to a head would be the fisher folk preventing a big event like the Tyne Tour.

    I'd love to know the BCU's position on the Tyne agreement. Is it still in place? Is it for Hexham, Tyne Valley and Tynemouth clubs only? Is it for all members? Is it just voluntary for the clubs? Is there a national opinion on agreements? But I'm not going to hold my breath for an answer.
    The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.

  9. #9
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    Many thanks for the replies - will report back what we decide and what happens (long way to drive to drag a boat down some rocks)

    I'd consider a southern accent dead posh - I'm stuck with a right gor'blimey guvnor Eastenders accent (think the local criminal thug character!) but I play nicely with everybody!

    Cheers all, Dick
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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