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Canoeists left high and dry


The Jubilee River banks (ICE News 18 July) have been open for recreational use all year but the river remains closed to small boats such as canoes able to portage the six weirs.

Although the Thames Conservancy Act of the 1930s gives a right of navigation on water leaving and returning to the Thames, as in this case, the right of navigation has just been overridden for a third time, leaving the river closed since contractors left last year.

The Environment Agency claims it is concerned that small boat washes might scour plant growth although the river has already resisted flood scour. The Agency has a statutory duty to encourage navigation on our rivers, throughout England and Wales.

This is not happening and some 98% of main rivers remain permanently closed with little attempt being made to improve the situation.

Stuart Fisher,

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