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“The rivers aren’t used to their potential!” Readers react to ‘fabulous’ idea to bring day boats and punts to River Welland in Spalding

A vision to boost tourism by opening up a town’s rivers for punting and day boating has been labelled ‘fabulous’.

LincsOnline recently reported that South Holland district councillor James Le Sage would love to transform the River Welland in Spalding into a bustling hub of activity – albeit when the levels are higher than in recent days.

And he believes that this plan could also encourage more river-facing businesses to the area.

Coming soon? One councillor dreams of Cambridge-style punts on the River Welland. Our mock-up shows what that could look like.
Coming soon? One councillor dreams of Cambridge-style punts on the River Welland. Our mock-up shows what that could look like.

“I don’t see why we cant have punting on the river, why we can’t have a slip so people can day launch boats,” Coun Le Sage told Spalding Town Forum.

“If you look at a lot of towns and cities, people congregate where there are boats.

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“I truly think we’re not making enough of it and need to do more.”

Coun James Le Sage
Coun James Le Sage

Many readers have responded positively to Coun Le Sage’s plans, although others have raised concerns, including potential affects on wildlife.

“Fabulous. Ever since moving to Crowland I’ve felt the rivers around here aren’t used to their potential; great business venture for people,” wrote Tracy Neal.

“Love water, all that canoe hire, anything to keep the kids off the streets as well.”

The River Welland
The River Welland

Maria Bass was also in favour of the plans.

“It’s lovely seeing the river go through the town” she said.

“Be nice to have those boats in the summer.”

Kerry Wylie thinks a day messing about on the river could be finished off with a refreshing drink.

“Brilliant idea, even better if they can drop you off at The Moorings for a cold pint in the sun,” she said.

Paul Sketcher said ‘yes please’ to the idea while Inga Dulkiene described the plans as ‘great’.

Keith Seaton fears that more activity on the river could affect wildlife.

He said: “I used to do wildfowl surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology from 1998 and had seven to eight great crested grebe, 10 or more coot and six or seven moorhen and some mute swans previous to the water taxi on the Welland and Coronation Channel, but these soon became a lot less after they started running during breeding season due to the wash they created.”

Robert Unsworth believes attention should be paid elsewhere before the river: “Can see shopping trolleys in river alongside beer cans on river embankment. Then drop tourists off in town to see empty shops, drunks sat in town centre followed by run down areas such Bull and Monkie site, White Horse pub, old sorting office and other places.

“Maybe if the council spends money on attracting new business to area to fill shops and then invested money to sort out grot areas, probably then they could invest in these ideas like encouraging river tourism.”

Roland Hare wondered how this vision would affect angling.

“Anyone thought to ask the licenced fishermen who can legally fish the waters and hold match days normally on a weekend what their thoughts are because it will impact on them?” he asked.

“No, I don't fish but I do like to be on the water.”

What do you think? Post your views in the comments below...

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