WKKC Response to the Welsh Government Consultation Document

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Improving Opportunities to Access the Outdoors for Responsible Recreation

As in Clive’s Facebook post – this is an important Consultation see Welsh Gov

Our club response is below, but I would encourage you all to respond.

WKCC Response

In response to your consultation on Improving Opportunities for Responsible Recreation paper, I include some input from our kayak and canoe club.

Firstly – some small facts about our club.  We are a family-centric club and have almost 100 members.  We are based in Worcestershire, in Pershore on the River Avon and we train on the Avon, Teme, Lugg and Severn.  But Wales is where we play.  The club makes weekly usage of the full range of Welsh water facilities – to name but a few; Wye, Dee, Treweryn, Lake Bala, Llangorse Lake, Cardiff White Water Centre, Usk.  We are passionate about our sport, but also passionate about the environment in which we paddle.

Our response to your Consultation:

  • we agree that use of the environment for responsible recreation is really important, providing opportunities for young and old, and that this access, if managed fairly, is advantageous for the environment
  • most of us are also walkers, climbers and cyclists, many  of us use Wales for these sports so would support any investment in facilities, and improved clarity on usage, and better signage

But with a focus on access to inland water

  • we are keen to have clearer frameworks for paddling, including clear rules on access to and usage of river courses
  • we believe there are more opportunities for negotiated arrangements that take into account the needs of all (paddlers, farmers, fishermen, and others)
  • however we believe the right way forward is for Wales (and indeed also England) to adopt the same legislative framework as adopted by Scotland in 2003, similar to other countries such as Sweden or Norway.  The club also paddles in Scotland and has seen first hand the benefits of such an arrangement, on rivers such as the Spey and the Tay

We hope our views will be taken into consideration.  We believe appropriate recreation provides a force to secure a high quality environment, and is also a boost to local economies.  We can see this can only move forward where there is a forum to discuss this and think your Consultation is a brilliant way for everyone to provide their input, and for all to benefit.