Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

River access clash

The sustainability committee heard mixed views regarding access to the inland waters and rivers of Wales on the 4 November 2009.

As a part of their inquiry members listened to evidence from the National Farmers Union (NFU) Cymru , Farmers Union Wales (FUW) and the Countryside and Land Owners Association (CLOA).

NFU Cymru, FUW and CLOA were unanimous in their belief that unlimited access to inland waters was not a viable option and that access had to be on a voluntary basis.

They believed that a statutory right, giving people unlimited access to rivers, could cause disruption and would make it harder for farmers to keep and manage livestock.

AMs also heard evidence from British Waterways and Welsh Water.

British Waterways control canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs across Britain and would welcome the opportunity to make waterways even more accessible to paddlesport.

Welsh Water stated that they were committed to providing access for the public in so far as there was no significant risk to health and safety, risk of pollution or damage or harmful impact to wildlife.

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