Rivers: Navigation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd March 2021.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the guidance for riparian owners published by the Environment Agency entitled Living on the Edge, what the legal basis is for the statement in that guide that there is no public right of navigation on most non-tidal watercourses.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The legal position is complex. It is the Government’s view that those seeking to navigate inland rivers for recreational purposes where there is no navigation authority should establish that they have a legal right to do so, either through voluntary agreement with riparian landowners or otherwise.

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