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  1. ITV Report

Rafters and swimmers stage 'mass paddle' at Cardiff Bay

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales / Mike Griffiths

Paddlers, rafters and swimmers have staged a "Mass Paddle" across Cardiff Bay to the Senedd building.

They want to raise awareness of the access issues that these groups face in trying to pursue their chosen sports.

Lowri Davies, one of the UK's most accomplished freestyle kayakers, was at the event.

She is the 2016 Nile River Festival ladies Freestyle champion, European and four times British Freestyle Champion.

The paddlers claim there can be conflict between different land users or between users and landowners.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales / Mike Griffiths

The Welsh Government says Wales needs a better and fairer approach to public access for outdoor recreation.

Outdoor recreation makes a significant contribution to the economy and provides considerable health and social benefits.

This is demonstrated by the huge success of the Wales Coast Path which has increased Wales’ profile at home and abroad.

We now have the opportunity to build on this success.

Wales needs an approach to public access for outdoor recreation that is less burdensome to administer, provides for a wide range of activities, but at the same time, respects the concerns of landowners.

Whilst we can learn from other countries’ approaches, Wales requires laws which suit its cultural and physical landscape.

We are very much aware of the concerns of landowners and the aspirations of access users.

I will publish our proposals at the earliest opportunity so people can have their say, so we achieve a system that works in the best interest of all parties.

– Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths