One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Access to Waterways in England and Wales

Did you know that in England and Wales we have no legal rights to access inland water for swimming, kayaking or any other activity? I’ve copied an e-petition submitted by a fellow wild swimmer below. Please follow the link, sign and pass it on!

Put public access at the heart of the proposed ‘New Era for the Waterways’

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The government is calling 2012 ‘A New Era for the Waterways’. It has said it believes that “millions more can enjoy our canals & rivers”. And yet, people in England and Wales do NOT currently have a clear legal right to access inland waters. / People love our waterways – the growing popularity of outdoor swimming, ‘wild’ swimming and canoeing show this. But people often find themselves confused, being ‘moved on’, breaking the law or (perhaps worst of all) staying away from inland waters altogether, because it is not clear where they are allowed to paddle, wade, kayak, canoe & swim. / The time is right for change. The ‘New Era’ will fail if many people cannot access inland waters in the ways they choose. But the government is currently drawing up legislation and forming a New Waterways Charity and there are obvious opportunities to amend the law. We therefore call for the government to put public access to inland waters at the heart of the proposed ‘New Era for the Waterways’.



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