The Angling Trust (AT), Country Land and Business Association and the Countryside Alliance are urging ministers to tackle the problem of canoeists trespassing after the British Canoe Union (BCU) gave misleading advice to members.

The Angling Trust has published a dossier that shows canoeing governing bodies have ordered their staff not to sign voluntary access agreements with angling clubs and owners of river rights unless they offer unlimited access to rivers.

The BCU and its national bodies, Canoe England and Canoe Wales, have provided conflicting and confusing guidance to their members, suggesting that there might be access along all rivers, says the AT. The AT believes this has contributed to the widespread increase in unlawful canoeing and trespass, which not only impacts on the rights and the sport of anglers, but can also lead to environmental damage to fish spawn and populations.