Views sought on a Voluntary Management Scheme for Upper Glas-y-Bont common
14 January 2019
Powys County Council is seeking views from individuals, commercial canoe operators and people with fishing rights to establish a voluntary management scheme which will balance the needs of all parties who enjoy using the River Wye from Upper Glas-y-Bont common in Glasbury.
A number of proposals have been developed in conjunction with commercial canoe operators and people with fishing rights and views are now sought on these by Sunday 17 February 2019.
The aim is to ensure a sustainable and long term balance between the volume of commercial canoe use that happens at peak times, with other activities such as angling, land management and nature conservation.
The Council has allowed canoe launching all year round from 10am to 4pm each day from the common onto the River Wye. This means that canoeists can make use of the access arrangement that was published by the Wye and Usk Foundation until May 2018, to canoe from Glasbury down to Hay-on-Wye. However, since this time there is no confirmed public right of navigation on this section of the river and launching from the common is not a legal right.
Councillor Aled Davies, Cabinet Member for Countryside Services said: "Our over-riding aim is to ensure that commercial canoe operators, individuals, canoe clubs and fisherman are able to enjoy the river all year round and respect each other's needs and rights. There is no confirmed public right of navigation on this section of the river and launching from the common is not a legal right. The Council can allow launching, as the landowner, but we do need to consider the impacts of doing that - both positive and negative - as our decision to allow launching can be challenged.
"Since 2016, a voluntary Code of Conduct has been in place to help sustain the local canoeing and fishing economy and the Council has allowed launching, as the landowner, but we do recognise the need to consider the impacts of doing this - both positive and negative - and we feel a management scheme is the next step. I'd invite anyone with an interest to complete our survey by the closing date."
In the options commercial activity is considered to be that taking place for 'hire or reward', so this does not include individuals with their own canoes, canoe clubs or non-profit-making groups or organisations.
A full set of the 11 proposals and a survey to capture views can be found at www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay until Sunday 17 February 2019.
The proposals include:
- considering restricting canoeing launch times or days when commercial canoe companies operate/use the river
- considering whether guided trips for those hiring canoes may be a way forward
- installing water level indicators so canoeing only takes place when water levels are at a sufficient level to reduce issues for those fishing the river (e.g. taking rods in and out of the water can be an issue when water levels are low)
- introducing a commercial canoeing quota
- installing flags at key sensitive points to alert canoeists to navigate with fisherman in mind