Canoeists could be charged for launching from Powys County Council land
Canoeists could be charged in the near future for launching from Powys County Council owned land in to the River Wye.
Powys County Council has asked for “views” on a range of “management options” that they have proposed for launching canoes from Glas y Bont common, Glasbury-on-Wye, near Hay-on-Wye.
Liberal Democrat Councillor James Gibson-Watt, who represents Glasbury, said: “It is clear to me that the aim of all the options proposed is to limit the use of the Bont in one way or another.
“What is less clear is why there needs to be a change to current arrangements.
“If the anglers are unhappy with the volume of canoe usage or the ecologists believe that canoeing is damaging the river and the wildlife in and on it then they should say so.
“Canoe launching at Glasbury does bring significant tourism and recreation benefits, especially for young people and often they are very disadvantaged young people.
“The code of practice currently agreed does limit the times when canoeing is permissible.
“To be sure there has to be a balance with other interests and fishing is an important one that must be accommodated.
“But that looks to me more like an issue to be resolved via the code of practice arrangements, rather than going in to a charging regime or similar.”
Jane Hughes, who runs Wye-Valley Canoe centre, said: “I will be giving PCC my views.
“There is a code of conduct that everyone observes and canoes are mostly launched between 10am and 2pm.”
“There is room for everyone to use and share our beautiful river.”
Steve Rayner, of Canoe Wales, said: “This is targeted at commercial canoeing companies as there have been concerns raised that at times there are too many canoeists using the river.
“The county council as a landowner here has a right to put in controls, but we feel they have been pressured into this.”