We should have a “Right to Roam” on English waterways

I recently took up canoeing as a sport, and found it's great for fitness and seeing the countryside.  I've been disappointed to find however that, although in England we have a right to roam on all our traditional footpaths, we don't have a similar general right to roam on our waterways, which seems an absurd limitation on our civil liberty.

I understand that in most other countries (including Scotland) there is an assumed right to roam on any waterway, provided the craft used is appropriate to the waterway, and in my opinion we should have the same freedom here.

Why is this idea important?

I recently took up canoeing as a sport, and found it's great for fitness and seeing the countryside.  I've been disappointed to find however that, although in England we have a right to roam on all our traditional footpaths, we don't have a similar general right to roam on our waterways, which seems an absurd limitation on our civil liberty.

I understand that in most other countries (including Scotland) there is an assumed right to roam on any waterway, provided the craft used is appropriate to the waterway, and in my opinion we should have the same freedom here.

Allow ‘Right To Roam’ in England and Wales

Allow us to roam freely in our countryside.

Allow us to paddle our boats and swim in our waterways.

Allow us to wild camp on our public land.

If we endanger conservation, teach us how not to.

Bring us in line with Scotland. Please.

Why is this idea important?

Allow us to roam freely in our countryside.

Allow us to paddle our boats and swim in our waterways.

Allow us to wild camp on our public land.

If we endanger conservation, teach us how not to.

Bring us in line with Scotland. Please.

Trespass and access to land

It is wrong for landowners and farmers to be able to fence off vast swathes of the countryside.  People should be able to walk on any piece of land provided they do not:

1. Go within a certain distance of a residence (e.g. 400 metres).  This would protect gardens and the privacy of people's homes.

2. Cause any damage.  For example, if there are crops planted in a field people should walk around the edge rather than through the middle.

3. Drop litter, cause excessive noise or in any other way affect the quality of the land.

Why is this idea important?

It is wrong for landowners and farmers to be able to fence off vast swathes of the countryside.  People should be able to walk on any piece of land provided they do not:

1. Go within a certain distance of a residence (e.g. 400 metres).  This would protect gardens and the privacy of people's homes.

2. Cause any damage.  For example, if there are crops planted in a field people should walk around the edge rather than through the middle.

3. Drop litter, cause excessive noise or in any other way affect the quality of the land.