About Clear Access Clear Waters campaign

What is Clear Access Clear Waters?

Clear Access Clear Waters is a campaign for fair, shared and sustainable open access on water for all. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

  • Paddling, whether that’s canoeing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, is proven to be great for physical and mental wellbeing
  • More than 2.1 million adults and children go paddling at least once a year, and it’s growing in popularity among all ages and abilities.
  • Yet we can access less than 4% of rivers across England and Wales without fear of confrontation and challenge.
  • This is because access to those waterways to go paddling has been disputed for more than 60 years and the situation is getting worse.
  • Many waterways are now considered ‘off limits’ or even closed off from public use

People want to go paddling whether it’s for health, fitness, social time, family time, to protect the environment or for mental wellbeing, but the law is so unclear that they simply cannot in many parts of England and Wales.

Waterways are beautiful places to enjoy the great outdoors. We don’t want this enjoyable resource to be lost and the waterways closed off to the majority of the population.

The Clear Access Clear Waters campaign is asking for clarity of rights over access for this generation and future generations to come. If we can’t paddle on rivers and lakes near our home, where can we go paddling?

Why now?

Now is the time to bring about change. As the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy, new legislation will offer a rare opportunity to help shape how land and water are managed in the future.

Put simply, Brexit has opened the door to push through change and clarity.

How can you help?

Infographic. 70,671km inland water resource but fewer than 4% have clear or uncontested right to paddle.
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