11:43am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Letters
I WRITE with reference to the proposals by the Welsh minister of culture and sport, John Griffiths. His proposal is to open up all waters in Wales, with the right for public access. There are many aspects to be considered. The Countryside Alliance, supported by the Angling Trust, landowners, riparian owners and anglers from across Wales held a meeting at the Royal Welsh Showground on September 15 to discuss the Welsh Government’s review on increasing access to land and water. On July 22, Mr Griffiths announced a review of legislation which would increase access to the countryside and would include inland water. The Welsh Government has since held two ‘workshops,’ one focussing on access to land, and the possibility of opening up footpaths for multiple usage and the other on access to inland water allowing paddle sports and wild swimming.
It is evident from these workshops that they are looking towards adopting the ‘Scottish model’ here in Wales. Those present on September 18 were given invaluable advice on the legal position and clarity on myths of rights of navigation on non-tidal rivers as well as an example of a functional local voluntary access agreement set up between canoeists, anglers and landowners. The meeting, with 130 people attending, was extremely well supported by other rural organisations and charities, who were equally as concerned about current proposals.
Frederick Burton Johnstown Carmarthen
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