Where can I paddle?

Why is there a campaign?

In England and Wales, unlike elsewhere in the world, the public cannot assume there is an automatic right to have access to rivers.

People are incredulous when they are made aware of this situation. The campaign is to secure this right as a matter of public interest. In the UK, Scotland already enjoys that right.

Research has revealed that prior to 1830, it was generally accepted the public had a historical right of access to rivers. Legal opinions since have continued to diminish this position and created a lack of clarity for such a right.

Original research by The Reverend Douglas John Morris Caffyn is summarized in "Boats on our rivers again" which concludes ...

1. From 1189 to 1600 there was a public right of navigation on all rivers which were physically usable.

2. Rivers were more navigable in the period 1189 to 1600 than they are now.
3. A right of navigation can only be extinguished by statute, statutory authority or the section of river becoming un-navigable.

4. There is, therefore, a public right of navigation on all unregulated rivers which are physically usable.

The material in this booklet is based on theses which were submitted to the University of Kent for the degree of Master of Laws and to the University of Sussex for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. These theses are available at caffynonrivers.co.uk

Please see the full and original work of The Reverend Douglas John Morris Caffyn for detailed information.