We have been very busy over the past few months working on the issue of canoe access in both England and Wales and we need your help (see how at the bottom of this blog). It’s important to state up front that the Angling Trust is not anti-canoeing, and we think that there should be more canoe access to rivers where appropriate, but we simply believe that access should be controlled so that it doesn’t damage fish and fishing. We live on a small island with 60 million other people and we need rules to avoid conflict between users of natural resources. Anglers have close seasons, bylaws and other restrictions on what we can do and where we can go (and we pay licences and permits). Why shouldn’t paddlers?
This week, we have launched a major dossier of evidence documenting the rise of unlawful canoeing, the role of the UK’s Canoeing Governing Bodies in blocking the England and Wales Governments’ policy of Voluntary Access Agreements and the impact on fisheries, anglers, angling clubs and riparian owners. Please CLICK HERE to read the press release and download the dossier and please spread the word.
Last week, the Angling Trust and other partners launched the Sustainable Access Campaign Cymru (www.accesscymru.org) in response to proposals being mooted by the Welsh Government for universal access for canoes to all rivers in Wales. We heard yesterday that the green paper on this subject that was going to be launched this autumn has now been put back until late January at the earliest. We believe that this is a result of our campaign and the hundreds of letters that have been sent to Assembly Members by anglers, farmers and landowners, but we need to keep up the pressure.
How can YOU help?
To support this initiative, please visit the web site and sign up as a supporter, which takes less than 1 minute. There are also instructions about how to contact the politicians in Wales if you have time to do a bit more. Even if you don’t fish in Wales, this is important for you too, because it could be the thin end of the wedge for a similar policy in England…
I couldn’t help notice on a well-known canoe campaign forum the following exchange:
“Fair play to the Anglers for getting organised, calling the troops to arms and setting out a stratergy for members / interested parties to follow. I think they are wrong, but fair play to them for recognising what needs to be done to fight their corner, and then getting off their backsides and doing it.”
“Unlike us they have a representative organisation that is run by anglers, whereas we have a representative organisation run by people in suits who don’t paddle.”
Please join us for £2.50 a month, less than the cost of a pint, by visiting www.anglingtrust.net/join We fight to protect your fish and fishing!