The SWOAPG Steering Group has discussed the evolving situation regarding canoeing from Glasbury-Hay and has agreed that our best course of action to support our Members at the moment is to assist Powys County Council in completing its Habitat Regulation Assessment as quickly as possible. We therefore intend to gather and submit information and advice to the Council to persuade them that canoeing operations by Outdoor Activity Providers should continue to be allowed on this section of river and can be managed in a sustainable way that causes little or no environmental damage – drawing on our 10 years’ experience of having worked with NRW and BBNPA to manage sustainable activity by groups in Waterfall Country. To this end we will in due course be asking Providers to help us prepare evidence for this, once we have a clearer idea of what might be required. In the meantime we must, regrettably, continue to ask Providers not to use this section or river, since this could jeopardise the process that the Council must go through and could make it much harder to persuade them that users are able to operate responsibly and sustainably in the long-term. None of us is happy with this situation, but we are convinced that this is the best course of action to protect our Members’ interests at this time.
The Steering Group has also agreed, following requests from some Members, that SWOAPG should approach Hay Town Council to seek improved vehicular access to the public canoe launch in Hay, which is becoming more and more congested with parked vehicles.
If you would like to be involved in the process of gathering and submitting information and advice to Powys County Council; or in any discussions we have with Hay Town Council – or if you have any objections to SWOAPG seeking to support our Members continued access to the river in this way – please let us know!