Conflict between canoeists and anglers

Published: Monday, 03 December 2018

CANOEISTS are demanding 'a right to roam' charter to address problems with anglers.

They are complaining they are getting abuse from anglers with British Canoeing releasing a charter that allows them right over rivers and canals and wanting the government to give them a 'right to roam' on all waters, Alan Tilbury reports.

Be made law

The association believes that the rights of canoeists is unclear so are demanding its charter specifying that they have the right, notwithstanding the complaints of anglers, be made law.

But the Angling Trust has hit back stating the charter is 'irresponsible' and 'encourages its members to trespass'.

A spokesman for British Canoeing tells that it has ended up with a situation where its members are being accused of trespassing being told they have no right on the water, with incidents of being threatened both  physically and verbally.

Waterways not covered

The problem is that though rural roaming rights were enshrined for walkers and runners in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, waterways were not covered.

However in Scotland canoeists have such rights to roam all waterways enshrined in its Land Reform Act 2003. British Canoeing is now calling for a similar right for English waterways, which has received the backing of a number of MPs.


But the Angling Trust is objecting saying that the charter encourages its members to trespass which may damage the interests of other legitimate users of watercourses, that includes thousands of angling clubs in communities throughout England and Wales.