This page briefly details where (locally) members of the SCC can paddle.
Christchurch Council have requested that Club members do not land or access the harbour area via Stanpit Marshes, this area is a protected bird sanctuary and should be avoided. Care must be taken in the Harbour area due to the tidal changes. Only Club members who have gained their BCU 4 star kayak proficiency are permitted to paddle through the ‘Run’ at Mudeford, at changing tides the water speed is very dangerous.
Access to the River Stour for all Club members shall be from on the foreshore beside the Christchurch Rowing Club. There is also access on the upstream River Stour at Iford Bridge, which is also recognised as the upper tidal limit. There is a dangerous boulder weir about 1/2 a mile upstream of Iford Bridge.
There are no access points on the upstream River Avon, access should only be gained via the harbour. Water Works Weir (above the railway bridge) is recognised as the upper tidal limit although paddling above the low boulder Weir (above the dual carriageway) has caused problems in the past with fishermen. English Nature have requested that Club members do not access the Millstream that runs parallel to the Avon starting above the dual carriageway, as this area is being left to return to the wild.
The Law (in England and Wales)
As most paddlers know there is no god given right in England and Wales to paddle on inland waters. The Canoeing England website gives a comprehensive overview of the legal situation at the following location:
You and the environment
As sports, Canoeing and kayaking is widely regarded to be a sport with a benign environmental impact. It is however important for all paddlers to be aware of their responsibilities in helping ensure the environment is protected and enhanced for all.