Saturday, May 12, 2007

Debating Access

I attended a Consultation meeting called by the Environment Agency on ‘Strategic planning of water-related sport & recreation’ held at Bovington 9th May.

This was one of four meetings held across the South West to discuss local and regional access issues. The Bovington meeting specifically targeted the Dorset, Wiltshire (Avon), Poole & Bournemouth area.

There were about 20 organisations that attended, including Surfers, water skiers, horse riders, sailors and, of course, anglers.

It has to be said that Brighton Uni organised the day very well. Each organisation produced an A1 poster prior to the event stating the main issues. Participants were split into two groups and each group ran through four workshop sessions

The fact that the BCU and RCC both attended meant that canoeing interests could be represented in both groups.

The value of the exercise, no doubt, will be known in the fullness of time but the river access issues and case were strongly aired. It was staggering how many attendees at the meeting did not know that canoeists were unable to paddle the rivers! At least our attendance afforded the opportunity to educate the un-informed and, hopefully, bring new allies to the cause!

I didn’t come away from the day too jaded – but neither did I come away fired up with enthusiasm and optimism!

No comments: