In March the Harbour was made aware of a proposal by Natural England to “exclude public access” to a large part of our Harbour; the creeks and saltmarsh to the east of the main channel. Natural England did not consult with us before making their proposal. At the time we did not know whether they intended to interfere with the operations of the Harbour or deny access for Harbour users.
We now have written assurance from Natural England that their proposal is not intended to (and cannot legally) affect boating or kayaking within the Harbour, in any way. We also have independent professional advice to the same effect.
Natural England is in the process of re designating existing paths as part of a national coastal path. Doing so can create new rights to roam on foot on land to seaward of the path. The proposal is to avoid creating such rights in parts of Wells. It cannot remove existing rights.
Wells Harbour includes all creeks and inlets on Wells and Warham marsh and marsh land covered by spring tides. As a Harbour we can (and do) allow Harbour Users to access those creeks and inlets by boat and kayak subject to observing Harbour Master’s Directions. That will continue.
Any Harbour Users wishing to visit the marsh for the first time should consult the Harbour staff or better still come on one of our kayak safaris to understand how to access the area safely and responsibly. The marsh is a unique and special environment that we are all very proud of. Users must reduce speed to avoid creating wash and must not pick or take anything from the marsh. You may see crabbing buckets and other rubbish that has been washed or blown on to the marsh, if you are able to recover it without danger to yourself please do so.