View Full Version : somerset access??

bram - n/a
15-Aug-08, 03:03 PM
After reading some interesting replies to the 'hovercraft in the news'Post last weekit raised some interesting thoughts for me

I've been on occasions been to weston and brean to hovver though not this year cos of gremlins but i remember the wardens are cool guys as long as you hover below Mean High Water and from my sailing days i remember MHW is where the landowners territory ends. - of course the land owner controls access to the coast so it becomes a problem for those who want to use the sea.

This is my thought, roughly 18months ago I read in the local rag in somerset about an organised protest by anglers, climbers, kite surfers ect they were angry that the local landowners restricted access to the coast (in this case Nat Trust atbrean down) to a degree it was impossible for them to go about their activities on large swathes of the british coastline.

did anyone else hear of this? I was just interested to hear what issues it raised

If you watch the boat racing and jet skiing at weston its clear that the local authorities seem to permit other noisy users.

REMEMBER- below Mean HIGH WATER ONLY is my understanding. PLease correct me if you think im wrong on this

Looking 4ward to getting back in the air . bramp, Worc

jon_curtis - n/a
15-Aug-08, 06:50 PM
brean, burnham and weston dont currently allow, personal/private hovercraft to lauch!

bryan - n/a
15-Aug-08, 07:52 PM
Is this a fact John or just bad luck on the day.These wardens always need approaching waving paperwork and a promise of no buzzing the beach.Building a good rep with these people is always the key.It only takes one ass with an ebay special and thats that.

jon_curtis - n/a
15-Aug-08, 10:28 PM
hi bryan

i spoke to both the beach wardens, and local councils of all three places and its a no go! passed some phone numbers to ian!

everyone was nice and friendly, except the beach warden at brean, who was really rather rude, to the point of being confrontational. the local council there, appears to be all old dears, that dont want the noise! they are currently trying to ban jet ski lauches, and beach sports at brean! (they were quite sweet on the phone, but still said NO) http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_sad.gif

it would appear its already been spoiled, by a beach buzzer! weston had trouble with craft almost hitting someone about a year or so ago!

weston requires a slip pass, and will not issue, brean and burnham are not up for the idea, mainly due to the local land owners not allowing access to the beach!

a boat yard in weston, would allow me to launch, but the slip is very steep, and you could only launch at high tide, which is a shame!

I have spotted a slipway top end of weston, on satelitte imagery, but have not had the time to go have a look to see who owns/runs/has a key for the gate!

the see front manager at burnham was the most open to the idea, and might be convinced if shown various things such pilot licenses, 2million plus insurance, some form of body, like the club may sway him, if craft were regulated! but for now he said no.

Ian Brooks - n/a
16-Aug-08, 05:31 PM
We have this on the to-do list, I will approach the authorities on behalf of the Club once we have all the paperwork in place - probably in the winter.

I also have a prospective launch point below Burnham that I'm working on - more on that if it comes to fruition

Cheers for now


bram - n/a
19-Aug-08, 03:22 PM
Glad to see the subject is relevant and im sure access is always a topic.

This shows that hovering below High water mark is totally acceptable but the grip on access to the sea is the problem.

of course the less places to launch concentrates the prob of noise to smaller areas.

I'm still interested in facts about the access protest around weston/ brean 18months ago, even a name of the protest group would allow me to search the net

any ideas???

jar2 - n/a
19-Aug-08, 06:48 PM
This shows that hovering below High water mark is totally acceptable

Not quite true. There is a common law public right of navigation over all navigable tidal waters (for hovercraft, almost everywhere is navigable http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif ). The important word here is WATER. You do not have the right to "navigate" over beaches, mudflats or any exposed intertidal LAND. You do, however, have the right to anchor/moor/stop (for as long as you want) on exposed tidal land as part of a journey (and that includes launching over it!). That is my understanding of the law as it stands.


If you launch from elsewhere you can "arrive" from the water and park your hovercraft on any beach you want regardless of byelaws, etc. You do NOT have the right to "navigate" over the beach as part of your journey (other than to launch). Technically, the navigation right includes parts of slipways that are below MHW (most of the slipway, by default, has to be below MHW) - the problem will be with the bit with the gate on it that is above MHW!

However, as you say, sometimes its the "getting onto the water" that's the difficult bit!