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I have just watched all the videos, what a one sided and pretty picture they paint.
Can you imagine loads of canoes on a shallow river whilst birds are breeding and fish are spawning, what about their statement saying they will keep the rivers clean of rubbish, I don't think so !
Can you image canoeists stopping and picking up rubbish ?
The so called Wildlife Eviromentalists have been concerned about the declining Water Voles and some water birds, and of course we must not harm the Otter by order of the goverment, also the spread of some invasive plants will be spread by watercraft along certain stretches.
The disturbance by watercraft in shallow water will have a big future impact.
Whilst river keepers and landowners keep their rivers clean and natural, the influx of loads of watercraft will help destroy it.
The problem that worries me is the goverment, can you honestly trust them to make a right decision.
I could waffle on forever, but allowing watercraft on our river is 100% a no no.
All the evidence you will need to prohibit free access is demonstrated on the Wye any summer afternoon. One evening on the Warks Avon this summer along came a long canoe with at least a dozen paddlers rowing to the beat of a huge kettle drum drummed by a woman at the stern. I was dumbfounded and said something along the lines of wtf!! They replied that rivers are for the use of 'everyone'
The local weir has a gravel run that used to be an important spawning area, not any more since the EA has put up canoe portage signs. The whooping and hollering is deafening do they respect the environment?
Do they .....
None of this comes as a surprise, .. the boaters/ canoeists have been consistently more proactive than both riparian owners and angling,..... you could probably add wildlife trusts to that as well.
Local councils,.. including mine are on a mission to open up rivers to the public on the basis that they are a natural asset and should be available to all.
With some exceptions,.. riparian owners just don’t want the hassle so don’t actively defend their rights but still enjoy taking the rent from clubs.
I live on the river and although my little bit of heaven is deemed non navigable above the tidal, it see’s plenty of boaters in the warmer months,... many happen to be neighbors who have obviously confused mooring rights with navigation rights.
Had a few strangers moored up and sitting in the garden last summer and have now put a beware of the dog sign on the bank for fear of being prosecuted in case my hound takes a dislike to those who want to treat my property as a public convenience.
I watched a boatload of drunks push a swan family off their territory onto a neighbouring cobs patch in July who promptly drowned two of the cygnets,... yet my council still uses “ the beautiful natural wildlife corridor “ slogan to attract more support for its public access agenda.
Sometimes it’s just plain ignorance ,.. more often it’s just that many are on a mission .
I wrote to my local MP when this reared its head a few years ago and she (Susan Kramer Lib Dem) replied, 'granting open access has done wonders for Germany, look at how well they're doing in the Olympics!'.
It confirmed my opinion that you didn't need to be too clever to sit in Parliament, and thus there was no point in responding further.
Really, and I do feel this quite strongly, the environment in this country is well down the list in terms of it's importance to government policy, and feel that with the EU having provided a lot of the quality controls in our environments in recent years, it will soon get worse. The simple fact is that for such a small country England's population is just too large to maintain the environment to the levels we would like to see; it is the most densely populated country in the whole of Europe, and sitting 35th in the world list, 3 places behind India with it's 1.3bn people. Every rise in the numbers populating this country whether by births or by immigration sees a larger demand placed on the river resources here (not to mention other resources), not just in terms of needing drinking water and in the treatment and disposal of effluent, but also as a resource of enjoyment.