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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  ·   ·  Admin →

    891 comments

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      • Chris BowlerChris Bowler commented  · 

        When I first took to the water last year I was totally flabbergasted at the current situation for river access in Wales and England. Then looking into it further I found that only Iraq and England / Wales have such archaic rules in place. I think that more people would find it shocking if more were aware of the situation. Even if access was the same as it is in Scotland then things would be a lot simpler and there would be a lot let people needing to maintain the current many and varied access levels throughout the country.

      • Peter ClarkPeter Clark commented  · 

        It should be illegal to deny people access to healthy recreation and enjoyment of the natural environment. It is a human birthright and should not be limited for the benefit of the wealthy only.

      • JohnDJohnD commented  · 

        With so much concern over healthy lifestyles, obesity etc, I'm staggered that a publicly funded body such as Exmoor National Park can be actively support wealthy private land owners in seeking to restrict how those who pay for it's existence (taxpayers) are "permitted" to use the resources it SHOULD be making available to the public.

        http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/visiting/things-to-do/canoeing/canoeing-on-the-barle

        Note there are no restrictions on numbers of fishermen, cyclists, walkers, joggers, etc, only water users.

        This because the land owners know full well they do not own the river water (only the banks) and thus resort to this type tactic to keep "their" rivers all to themselves.

      • Colin BrentonColin Brenton commented  · 

        Yes, fully agree; responsible sharing of the countryside is the way forward.

      • alan brentonalan brenton commented  · 

        Time we moved out of the feudal era - there are two countries in the world with serious restrictions to inland waterways, UK (excluding Scotland) and Iraq - is this where we see our modern democracy being alligned?

      • Derek WoodDerek Wood commented  · 

        i agree that we should have access to our rivers without any restictions! like scotland

      • Andy FayAndy Fay commented  · 

        The water is a beautiful resource, and should be open to all, providing they treat it with respect and leave nothing behind.

      • Stu MStu M commented  · 

        I want access but it has to be responsible access.

        There is no doubt that there is a need for greater clarity on river access, voluntary agreements can only go so far and we seem to be stuck in a contionuous battle of words and history.

        Im sick of the confrontation and uncertainty with regards to river access and would welcome any move towards a more equitable system as in Scotland/Scandinavia.

      • paulsmithpaulsmith commented  · 

        We've waited far too long for this crazy unjust situation to be sorted out.
        We (the public) should have the access rights to all waters. Just like the rest of the civilised world.

      • paulsmithpaulsmith commented  · 

        We've waited far too long for this crazy unjust situation to be sorted out.
        We (the public) should have the access rights to all waters. Just like the rest of the civilised world.

      • PaulPaul commented  · 

        I enjoy the use of our waterways for a variety of purposes, and find the burocratic red tape about what I can do where farcical. Having also lived up in Scotland where access for all the outdoors activities I enjoy is so much better, I implore the government, please, end this chaotic and confusing situation by giving all the Great British public back one of the things that makes Britain Great!

      • fishyfishy commented  · 

        Inland waterway navigation shouldn't just mean canals, the dug out canoe, corracle and more modern craft have been used on british water from time imemorial. It's time the access issue was sorted for the good of the majority of people not just the wealthy

      • Fran FaulknerFran Faulkner commented  · 

        Mankind navigated all our rivers in time immemorial. We should continue to enjoy that right, whilst exercising a responsibility to look after that same environment.

      • Fran FaulknerFran Faulkner commented  · 

        Mankind navigated all our rivers in time immemorial. We should continue to enjoy that right, whilst exercising a responsibility to look after that same environment.

      • Fran FaulknerFran Faulkner commented  · 

        Mankind navigated all our rivers in time immemorial. We should continue to enjoy that right, whilst exercising a responsibility to look after that same environment.

      • Fran FaulknerFran Faulkner commented  · 

        Mankind navigated all our rivers in time immemorial. We should continue to enjoy that right, whilst exercising a responsibility to look after that same environment.

      • JonJon commented  · 

        Access works well in Scotland. It can work well in England and Wales as well if people want it to. Clashes in interest occur because there is so little access and everyone is forced to share the same tiny areas that they can access. This country needs to increase its tourism & sport participation. This is an ideal way to continue this process for the benefit of all, not just a select few.

      • bo deanebo deane commented  · 

        If there were less restrictions in England and Wales, as in Scotland and most other countries paddlers and swimmers would have more choice and would have less impact on the few places such as the river Wye were there is good access. There are enough rivers, waterways for everyone to enjoy not just the few.

      • Richard JohnRichard John commented  · 

        The present laws are archaic and only vested interests maintain them by constant discussion without action.

      • Richard JohnRichard John commented  · 

        I live in Wales which despite its many waterways is a desert of access. I hope that if access can be improved in our neighbour more pressure will come onto the Welsh Assembly to equal Scotland and England.

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