Monthly Archives: January 2016

Update from Angling Trust & Fish Legal about Canoe Access

Update to club, fishery and trade members of Angling Trust and/or Fish Legal regarding the legal position about canoe access
Last year, Fish Legal, working closely with the Angling Trust, challenged the Canoe Governing Bodies (British Canoe Union/British Canoeing, Canoe England and Canoe Wales) to get them to change the information that they were publishing suggesting that the law regarding rights of access to rivers is unclear in England and Wales. This included reference to the academic works of Rev Dr Douglas Caffyn. We felt that this information was contributing to a widespread increase in unlawful canoeing.

We have spent many months of work and several thousands of pounds on this legal case and we are making slow but significant progress. This included commissioning an eminent QC to advise on the legal position and review the works of Rev Dr Caffyn. The QC’s Advice is very clear. The summary of the Advice is set out below and we aim to publish the full document (which runs to 19 pages) in the coming weeks after further discussion with the Canoeing Governing Bodies.
Thank you very much for your support.

Advice Summary
1. There is no general Public Right of Navigation (PRN) on English and Welsh non-tidal rivers for canoeists.
2. A PRN can only be established by long use of vessels on the relevant stretch of river, fulfilling all of the criteria below.
3. That use must have been regular and habitual, and must have made the river of substantial practical value as a channel of communication or transport.
4. The time for which that use must be established is “time immemorial.”
5. The law is entirely clear on the above issues.
6. The law is, however, not absolutely clear on how long is required […]

By |January 19th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Update from Angling Trust & Fish Legal about Canoe Access|

Barbel Tales

We are now down to the last 100 copies of Barbel Tales

Copies can be purchased here Barbel Tales

By |January 19th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Barbel Tales|

Defra proposals to protect farmland could make flooding worse and damage wildlife

Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, in a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference today (Wednesday 6 January) announced a number of measures which could increase the risk of flooding in towns and cities and cause widespread damage to the environment, according to the Angling Trust.

Today’s announcement from Defra states that the department will be allowing farmers to dredge ‘ditches’ without seeking permission from the Environment Agency because they ‘know their land best’. This follows a series of pilot projects last year, the results of which failed to make the case for further deregulation of dredging (note 1).

In 2014 the Angling Trust, water engineers and wildlife groups expressed grave concern about any increase in wholesale dredging because the evidence from the Environment Agency shows that in many cases it simply increases the speed and volume of water heading into main rivers which will then flood more towns and cities. They commissioned a report from the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) entitled “Floods and Dredging – A Reality Check” which was presented as evidence to the Select Committee inquiry into the 2014 floods (note 2).

The Defra announcement goes on to say that investment in flood defences will protect a million acres of prime farmland from flooding. Once again, this proposal makes no sense; stopping rivers flooding fields upstream will only increase the discharge of water downstream where it will cause damaging flooding of homes and businesses.

The Angling Trust is writing to the Secretary of State calling on her to reconsider these proposals and to look not at how farmland can be protected from rivers, but how rivers can be better protected from unsustainable farming that […]

By |January 7th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Defra proposals to protect farmland could make flooding worse and damage wildlife|