Canoes

peterjg

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Can anyone confirm the legal standing regarding canoes on non navigable rivers?

The other day I was fishing a non navigable private stretch of the Kennet when a two man canoe came passed. Are they allowed to go anywhere, on water which flows through private land etc?

The definitive answer would be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
 

Derek Gibson

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Having suffered at the hands of these plonkers I would be interested in the answer too. What inflames the situation even more is when they s****** on passing through.
 

Peter Jacobs

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The angling community are convinced that there is no right of passage for canoes on non navigable rivers.

The paddlers believe this to be wrong and yet don't have the testicular fortitude to take the matter to Court for a once and for all ruling . . . . .

If you do a search here on Paddlers or Canoes you'll find many interesting debates but none as distinct as the position proffered by our own ex-Barrister Windy.

So, having (at least for now), quelled the potential for Barbel Wars #37 I guess we will see an influx of misinformed paddlers peddling their own version of the Law . . . . . . and please, please not the good Reverend . . . . . . .

Ye gods!
 
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floatfish

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Once a canoe is launched and moving, who is going to be able to stop them
going to whatever destination they want. They launch from any handy lay by for instance, and land at the same, or in a town centre car park alongside the river.
They can get away with this as there is almost no possibility of them being caught and prosecuted.
We are in the position of helpless watchers of events. Some paddlers say sorry as they pass, some don't.
This is regardless of the rights and wrongs under the law of trespass or whatever.
Having been a victim of canoes over the years, you just have to grin and bear it.
 

cassey

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The paddlers believe this to be wrong and yet don't have the testicular fortitude to take the matter to Court for a once and for all ruling . . . . .
Out of interest why don’t anglers/ clubs/ affiliates etc take the matter to court, as they are the ones that feel ‘wronged’ ?
 

nicepix

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Once a canoe is launched and moving, who is going to be able to stop them
going to whatever destination they want. They launch from any handy lay by for instance, and land at the same, or in a town centre car park alongside the river.
They can get away with this as there is almost no possibility of them being caught and prosecuted.
We are in the position of helpless watchers of events. Some paddlers say sorry as they pass, some don't.
This is regardless of the rights and wrongs under the law of trespass or whatever.
Having been a victim of canoes over the years, you just have to grin and bear it.
The same way I dealt with off-road motorbikes. Intercept them at their loading / unloading points. If you witness people unloading canoes make a note of the vehicle VRM and descriptions of people and canoes and make a complaint to your local Neighbourhood Police Unit via the force telephone system. That way the complaint is auditable and accountable. Someone has to deal with it.
 

sam vimes

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Out of interest why don’t anglers/ clubs/ affiliates etc take the matter to court, as they are the ones that feel ‘wronged’ ?
Because, as it stands, the only offence committed is trespass. Trespass alone is rarely persued successfully through the legal system without an aggravating offence being committed. The canoeists know full well what they are doing is wrong, or at very least it's a grey area. They don't want to go to court against landowners/riparian rights holders in case a legal precedence, that isn't in their favour, is set. It's a whopping great catch 22 scenario. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (damage caused in pursuit of access/egress), the chances of a canoeist being caught up in legal action is slim.
 

nicepix

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Protection From Harassment Act is being used by all sorts of people who feel intimidated by laughable threats made on social media and by text. If anglers made a report of being harassed by canoeists the police are obliged to follow up the complaint.
 

thecrow

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Protection From Harassment Act is being used by all sorts of people who feel intimidated by laughable threats made on social media and by text. If anglers made a report of being harassed by canoeists the police are obliged to follow up the complaint.
Having endured over 8 hours of noise from a neighbour last Saturday I phoned the police to be met with the usual "its the local authorities you should contact" I informed the operator that it was causing me harassment and distress and her attitude changed completely, result 30 mins later the noise stopped, got a follow up from a police constable a few days later who said because I reported it as causing me harassment and distress it was dealt with as a breach of the peace. been very quiet since.
 

nicepix

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Having endured over 8 hours of noise from a neighbour last Saturday I phoned the police to be met with the usual "its the local authorities you should contact" I informed the operator that it was causing me harassment and distress and her attitude changed completely, result 30 mins later the noise stopped, got a follow up from a police constable a few days later who said because I reported it as causing me harassment and distress it was dealt with as a breach of the peace. been very quiet since.
Three magic words: Harassment, Alarm & Distress. Use all or any of these in the right context and the police are legally obliged to respond.
 

barbelboi

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Once a canoe is launched and moving, who is going to be able to stop them
going to whatever destination they want
. They launch from any handy lay by for instance, and land at the same, or in a town centre car park alongside the river.
They can get away with this as there is almost no possibility of them being caught and prosecuted.
We are in the position of helpless watchers of events. Some paddlers say sorry as they pass, some don't.
This is regardless of the rights and wrongs under the law of trespass or whatever.
Having been a victim of canoes over the years, you just have to grin and bear it.
A 3oz lead..........?????;)
 

cassey

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassey View Post
Out of interest why don’t anglers/ clubs/ affiliates etc take the matter to court, as they are the ones that feel ‘wronged’ ?
Because, as it stands, the only offence committed is trespass. Trespass alone is rarely persued successfully through the legal system without an aggravating offence being committed. The canoeists know full well what they are doing is wrong, or at very least it's a grey area. They don't want to go to court against landowners/riparian rights holders in case a legal precedence, that isn't in their favour, is set. It's a whopping great catch 22 scenario. Unless there are aggravating circumstances (damage caused in pursuit of access/egress), the chances of a canoeist being caught up in legal action is slim.
Thanks Sam. Ok I understand what you’re saying about a tenuous case of trespass. So in answer to the OP canoeist can lawfully go where they like as there is no precedence of trespass or any other law to stop them
Part of your reply contained “They don't want to go to court against landowners/riparian rights holders in case a legal precedence, that isn't in their favour, is set” BUT my original question still remains as “why don’t any of the angling bodies take them to court and get a precedent set once and for all, one way or the other?

The way I read the replies is ‘if the canoeist doesn’t want to go to court then you just let them continue’. Why doesn’t an angling body take the intuitive? or am I missing something?
 

The bad one

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The Angling Trust campaign and lobby but it remains quite a complex issue if you start to factor in enforcement and punishment and that's after the riparian owner has been encouraged to make a complaint to the Police, i'm not sure if this helps...

Benyon rejects canoeists campaign to paddle over anglers' rights - The Angling Trust
Further to this the ATr wrote to BCU late last year requesting they stop promoting paddling on NNR. A precursor as I understand it to taking them to court for inciting it's members to brake the Civil Law of the Land. Where that is at now, I don't know, as there hasn't been any further updates since that announcement.
 

sam vimes

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Thanks Sam. Ok I understand what you’re saying about a tenuous case of trespass. So in answer to the OP canoeist can lawfully go where they like as there is no precedence of trespass or any other law to stop them
Part of your reply contained “They don't want to go to court against landowners/riparian rights holders in case a legal precedence, that isn't in their favour, is set” BUT my original question still remains as “why don’t any of the angling bodies take them to court and get a precedent set once and for all, one way or the other?

The way I read the replies is ‘if the canoeist doesn’t want to go to court then you just let them continue’. Why doesn’t an angling body take the intuitive? or am I missing something?
Unless someone goes down the road suggested by Nicepix, it's a complete waste of time and money to take someone to court for trespass. Whilst technically an offence, it's a consequence free one as it stands. These signs you often see "Trespassers will be prosecuted" are a load of old baloney. That's the reality for angling as it stands. There's generally nothing to take canoeists/canoeing to court for. My suspicion is that finding another angle using alternate laws (harrassment, much as I'm uncomfortable with the thought, as suggested earlier by Nicepix) might be the only option. I do wonder if the canoeing bodies that actively promote go anywhere canoeing might be guilty of incitement to commit an offence. I don't know whether incitement to commit trespass might carry a penalty even though trespass itself doesn't really. It's the kind of daft legal anomaly that does crop up. However, I'd guess that the legal eagles would be all over it if it were the case.

The canoeists bleat on about their rights, but the reality is that they are well aware that they are on dodgy ground. They have repeatedly backed away from court proceedings where an unfavourable legal precedence might be set. They are quite happy with the status quo. Angling can't do a great deal to stop them whether they are right or wrong. Until the laws on trespass don't require a further offence to make them prosecutable, a canoeist is dumb enough to go all the way in a legal fight for their "rights", a new law is passed, we are forever stuck in this legal limbo. What we really need is for a canoeist to exercise their "rights" on a stretch of river owned by Lord Whateverhisnameis, an MP, or a very private billionaire. Lawmakers aren't generally bothered by the issue. If it starts affecting some of the rich and powerful, things might be different.
 

cg74

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Surely if someone is trespassing on a water body and in doing so they disturb an angler fishing legitimately, then they've effectively stolen the anglers fishing rights - Theft, which is a criminal offence?
 
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cassey

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Binka,The bad one, Sam.
Thanks for replies and info. To correct my second post “intuitive” should have read “Initiative”.

Being in Ireland it’s not a UK topic I’ve followed so curiosity prompted me. As an outsider it seems like a stale mate with neither side wanting the legal route in case they ‘loose’. If there is no viable ‘trespass laws’ then the canoeists have just as much right as anglers to use the waterways. The Irish way would be to batter them or get yer mates to canoe/paddle through a club water and take them to court for trespass (or whatever law you think they are breaking) to get a definitive ruling and precedence.

CG74 you’re on a looser, as previous posts “Trespass” is not prosecutable, nothing has been stolen, and I don’t think anglers have fishing ‘rights’, you’re allowed to but it’s not a legal right.

Interesting insight but I’ll bow out now..
 

Peter Jacobs

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