S&TA supports voluntary canoe access agreements

Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) fully supports the principle of voluntary negotiated agreements. Today (October 3rd) this principle will be championed at the Environment Agency launch of the two-year Brighton University pilot study on the delivery of canoe access

Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) fully supports the principle of voluntary negotiated agreements.
Today (October 3rd) this principle will be championed at the Environment Agency launch of the two-year Brighton
University pilot study on the delivery of canoe access.

Anglers are bound by statutory rules and regulations, and it is only right that voluntary canoe access agreements
carry the same level of obligation and responsibility, and above all else are strictly enforceable. However, it is
difficult to envisage how these agreements will be enforceable when one of anglers’ requests for canoeists to be
individually identifiable appears to have been dismissed.

Voluntary canoe access, rather than legislated access, is the best way to ensure protection of sensitive river
habitats and fair financial contributions to local economies and healthy rivers. Additionally, voluntary access
agreements will address health and safety issues and suitable parking and entry and exit points from rivers.

Paul Knight, Executive Director of the S&TA, says, “Locally-negotiated voluntary access agreements are the only
fair way forward for canoeists and need to be underpinned by fully-binding rules and regulations which riparian
owners and fishery managers can be satisfied are both reasonable and enforceable. For these agreements to work
canoeists must adhere to the terms, be individually identifiable and pay, as anglers do, for the right of access.
We call on the British Canoe Union to fully support voluntary access agreements as the way forward.”

Angling is the most popular participation sport in Britain with over 4 million people of all ages and abilities
participating. Angling contributes over £3 billion to the UK economy, and generates over £20 million in licence
fee payments to the Environment Agency every year. This money is spent on environment enhancements to rivers and
lakes that benefit everyone, not just anglers.