§ Adam Price
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement on the accessibility to rivers for canoeists; 
(2) what recent discussions she has had with representatives of canoeists regarding accessibility to rivers. 
§ Alun Michael
In December 2001 we published the findings of research into the opportunities and demand for water-based sport and recreation. The report, "Water-Based Sport and Recreation: the facts" concluded that there is some unmet demand for white water and long distance routes for canoeists. However, the findings also demonstrated that for most canoeists, as for most other water users, supply is equal to demand.
In the light of these findings, I have asked the Countryside Agency (in partnership with other Government agencies) to pilot some demonstration projects to develop best practice for access agreements on key stretches of water in England.
I have held a number of discussions with the British Canoe Union to discuss the accessibility of rivers. The Countryside Agency is also in regular contact with them and other relevant organisations in taking forward the research into demonstration projects to develop best practice for access agreements on key stretches of water in England.118W
The promotion of access to rivers in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.