Campaign Moves forward!
January: In the face of continued inaction from the Welsh Government, WoW organised a profile-raising “Mass Paddle” on the River Dee in Llangollen on 8th January to raise the profile of our campaign, with Lowri Davies Champion Freestyle kayaker doing a great job of speaking out on our behalf.
February: A “Paddle to the Senedd and Quayside Rally” was held on 14th February, a day when the petition was on the agenda. The paddle was attended by over 100 paddlers, including members of the Canoe Wales Board, and was also endorsed by British Canoeing. Lowri Davies, Frances Bateman (GB Paralympic sprint champion) and GB Ice Swimmer Vicki Brice joined us for the event, and spoke to the assembled media. Pam Bell, spokesperson for Waters of Wales was interviewed live on Radio Wales, and we featured on BBC Wales Today and ITV Wales News. Several Assembly members met WoW members arriving at the Senedd and discussed our campaign. Steffan Lewis AM (South Wales East) who sponsored the event on our behalf, accepted papers supporting our case.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths published the following statement on the day.
Outdoor recreation makes a significant contribution to the economy and provides considerable health and social benefits. This is demonstrated by the huge success of the Wales Coast Path which has increased Wales’ profile at home and abroad. We now have the opportunity to build on this success. Wales needs an approach to public access for outdoor recreation that is less burdensome to administer, provides for a wide range of activities, but at the same time, respects the concerns of landowners. Whilst we can learn from other countries’ approaches, Wales requires laws which suit its cultural and physical landscape. We are very much aware of the concerns of landowners and the aspirations of access users. I will publish our proposals at the earliest opportunity so people can have their say, so we achieve a system that works in the best interest of all parties.
June: Launch of Welsh Government Consultation ‘Taking Forward Wales’ sustainable management of natural resources’
Chapter 4: Access to Outdoors: The current system underpinning access to countryside is too complex and burdensome. As such, Wales needs a better and fairer approach to public access for outdoor recreation, which is less burdensome to administer, provides for the wide range of activities people want to participate in and has sensible safeguards for land management activities. The Welsh Government intends to develop a coherent system for outdoor recreation, which allows for a broad range of non-motorised recreation on paths, open country and inland water.
Waters of Wales – WoW Response
Waters of Wales – WoW has set out our views on the proposals, which can be used as an online response form or as a template to help people compose their own letter.
Our full response will be delivered shortly before the closing date of 30 September, and will be available on our website.