To all Members:
Some of you will already be aware of the proposals made yesterday by Geoff Maynard to charge for passage of canoes through his property on the Wye between Glasbury and Hay. Canoe Wales has made the following statement and (since our Coordinator and the Canoe Wales Waterways & Environment Officer are one-and-the-same person!) we will be working closely with them to get the best advice to Members between now and Easter.
From Canoe Wales: "At a meeting convened by Powys County Council on 22 Feb to review the arrangements for launching canoes at Glas-y-Bont common and paddling to Hay-on-Wye, Geoff Maynard (the owner of Llanthomas fishery at Llowes) announced his intention to charge all paddlers passing through his fishery with effect from 2 April 2018 – based on his belief that there is no legal right to navigate this stretch of the river. Mr Maynard left the meeting immediately following his announcement, but Powys County Council staff intend to discuss his proposals with him as soon as possible.
"Canoe Wales believes that there is a Public Right of Navigation on this stretch of the Wye and that Mr Maynard therefore has no right to impose such a charge. However, this has not been confirmed in law, which can only be done through legislation or a court case. The Welsh Government’s proposals to extend CRoW access land to include rivers would not resolve this particular question, since it largely concerns the use of the river for commercial purposes, which are excluded from the CRoW legislation.
"We hope that Powys County Council will be able to facilitate a sensible resolution to this matter before the end of March and we will keep our Members informed of progress.
"If the situation is not resolved, organisations, groups and individuals using the river will need to make their own judgement after Easter whether to pay Mr Maynard’s charge, to avoid his stretch of the river, or to risk being pursued by ‘security staff’ and/or sued for trespass. We will endeavour to provide advice as soon as possible to assist paddlers in making this decision."