British Canoeing would like to see the outdoors open to all sustainable recreational pursuits to all responsible recreational users. This will enable the public to enjoy the health and well-being benefits of recreation in, on or beside water.
To that end, the team at British Canoeing have been working on developing a new Access & Environment Charter and Campaign, to be launched September 2018. This will be a very exciting step forward for British Canoeing, bringing together the views of its members and the wider paddling community to clarify our vision for fair, shared, sustainable access to water.
The Charter and Campaign will clearly set out our beliefs and our pledges as well as our asks of Government to bring about fair, shared, open access.
In February and March 2018, British Canoeing sought the views of paddlers through 12 consultation events across England. This was followed by an online survey, to which 659 people responded with their views on Charter.
The team will now be collating all the feedback from paddlers and partner organisations and producing a final version ready for launch in September. It is hoped that the Charter will be presented to Westminster later in the autumn.
Through the Charter, British Canoeing will be asking the Government to legislate through new modern legislation: to confirm fair, shared, sustainable open access to water. The paddling community has said very clearly, it wants to see public rights enshrined in law, to move towards a model that is seen to work in Scotland.
Over the next few months, the Places to Paddle Team will be sharing progress on the Charter as well as other projects through a series of blogs. We will also be inviting guest 'bloggers' to present their opinion and comment on all things access and environment related.
Watch this space for news and updates in the coming months...