Negotiating recreational access under asymmetrical power relations: the case of inland waters in England

Andrew Church, Paul Gilchrist, Neil Ravenscroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses recreational conflict between anglers and boaters in England. While recognising that interpersonal conflicts between individual anglers and boaters exist much as they do in other countries, the paper argues that the position in England is mediated through complex land and property rights that position the stakeholders asymmetrically, as legal rights holders (anglers) and moral rights claimants (boaters). Under this scenario, negotiated attempts to increase access for boaters are interpreted not primarily as a means of adressing the asymmetry, but as a mechanism for underwriting the dominant power of the anglers. Using data collected from focus groups involving stakeholders the paper suggests that, in cases where recreational access to natural resources is mediated through socio-political institutions such as law, weaker stakeholders have very limited options in terms of the legal or social mechanisms through which they can pursue or assert their claims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Society and Natural Resources 2007, available online:


  • anglers, boaters, England, property rights, recreational conflict


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