I suggest a campaign about ...

Access rights in England

Rights to access the English countryside, including waterways, should more closely resemble those of Scotland. The land should be free for all to enjoy and use responsibly, it works in Scotland, it can work min England too.

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    Richard OpenshawRichard Openshaw shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    889 comments

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      • Karen CatlowKaren Catlow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I should be able to swim in any open water area I chose as long as I am willing to take responsibility for myself

      • Philip Sheldrake.Philip Sheldrake. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The situation in England and Wales at present is feudal. What have the land-owners to fear from a general right of access to, and over, navigable waterways? If it works in Scotland, why not here?

      • Philip Sheldrake.Philip Sheldrake. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The situation in England and Wales at present is feudal. What have the land-owners to fear from a general right of access to, and over, navigable waterways? If it works in Scotland, why not here?

      • BrianBrian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        In Wales we have Tourist bodies being funded by the taxpayer to promote the country as a destination for healthy outdoor pursuits. But if your interest involves swimming or canoeing our beautiful rivers then tough luck - that is in nearly all cases verbotten. Echoing the sentiments of an earlier poster....did my 12yrs risking my neck to defend my country only to find I am banned from accessing large swathes of it. This needs sorting out just as they did in Scotland.

      • Ian HavelockIan Havelock commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a silly state of affairs - paddlers have just as much of a right to use the rivers as the anglers do, so lets reaffirm or right of use over the waterways given to us by nature - NOT given to us by the government...

      • Bob HBob H commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think the trouble is that too much finacial gain can be made by selling day tickets for good fishing stretches that the "Landowners" are loath to pass up the income. Government must be made to see that we, the general public, should also be given the right to access this natural resource. I'm even willing to have an increase to my Canoe licence to achieve the same rights as anglers :-)

      • Sarah CollingsSarah Collings commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        HELP- 'No Swimming' Views wanted!
        Attentiion all posters!- Your comments are really interesting. I'm researching a feature for the Outdoor Swimming Society whose members have encountered lots of spurious 'No Swimming' signs and warnings.
        Would be great if I could hear your experiences- you can contact me on sarahcollings@fsmail.net
        Thanks very much for your help!

      • DellaDella commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have a river running through our village, part of which is adjacent to the county road. People have accessed the river for decades and generations. Recently a local farmer who owns adjacent fields has ordered our children out of the river. There are only a handful of days warm enough for children to go in the river. The local anglers and parish council have no issues with the children swimming in the river from the roadway. Can I challenge this attempted restriction in view of the history of swimming and proximity to public highway? We need to formally free up such areas of river in line with Scotland and other parts of Europe.

      • TrevorTrevor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The swimming situation is crazy in this country. As a triathlete I would love to be able to swim in many lakes and rivers but the fraction that allow it is tiny :(

      • Eddie StalkperchEddie Stalkperch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Facts:
        • Only 2% of rivers in England and Wales have Public access
        • The public do not have access along 65, 000 kms of rivers in England and Wales
        • Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over.
        • If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you’re committing trespass by paddling or even wading in it.
        • Nearly all the most beautiful inland rivers are not accessible to the public.
        • Canoeing is an increasingly popular recreation, and is not socially exclusive
        • Canoeing is an affordable means of getting “on the water” for everyone, especially young people, families and the retired.
        • Providing greater access to the rivers will enable a healthier and fitter nation as canoeing and other water sports are very much about participation.

        For more information check out http://www.riversaccess.org

      • Eddie StalkperchEddie Stalkperch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Facts:
        • Only 2% of rivers in England and Wales have Public access
        • The public do not have access along 65, 000 kms of rivers in England and Wales
        • Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over.
        • If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you’re committing trespass by paddling or even wading in it.
        • Nearly all the most beautiful inland rivers are not accessible to the public.
        • Canoeing is an increasingly popular recreation, and is not socially exclusive
        • Canoeing is an affordable means of getting “on the water” for everyone, especially young people, families and the retired.
        • Providing greater access to the rivers will enable a healthier and fitter nation as canoeing and other water sports are very much about participation.

        For more information check out http://www.riversaccess.org

      • stustu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        when i was in the forces we were told we were fighting for queen and country maybe they should have explained that after we finished we should stay off the best bits because they belong to the rich, perhaps the ones who own so much should go and defend it themselves,as for letting people eat a picnic in my garden what a pathetic comment why dont you come and see the size of my garden then ill take you to the duke of northumberlands GARDEN see if your tiny mind can take in the difference

      • Amanda McCaigAmanda McCaig commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Historically people in the UK had the right to use any inland waterway that could float a boat - literally. Rivers were public highways. Land owners have stolen these from us. Time to put this right.

      • Eddie StalkperchEddie Stalkperch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Canoeing and Kayaking is enjoyed by more than 1,000,000 people, providing a healthy outdoor activity for young people, families and older people. We have 41,000 miles of rivers suitable for canoeing, but only 2% - 4% of our rivers are available to us. I hope you see the benefits of providing a general right of recreational access to rivers within a sustainable and responsible framework such as works so well in Scotland. This would be a very positive step, providing benefits to all who enjoy the countryside.

      • Eddie StalkperchEddie Stalkperch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        England and Wales seem alone in Europe and the English speaking world in not having a general right of public access to inland waterways. Currently only 4% of rivers have a clear right of access for canoeists, wild swimmers etc

      • Eddie StalkperchEddie Stalkperch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "The general public seems to have no idea that access to rivers for canoeing, swimming, paddling and picnicking is denied by landowners and anglers."

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