Canoeing & the River Wye environment
To ensure that you paddle responsibly, and do not disturb wildlife environments, the following steps should be followed.
- Find out about the area before you go and take note of its sensitive areas, protected areas, wildlife species and their breeding seasons. We will inform you in the brief if there is anything in particular you must look out for or be aware of during your paddle.
- Keep out of any areas you are requested to do so either on information you are given before hand, or while on the water. These may be for your safety or for the protection of a fragile habitat or a particular species.
- No landing your canoes between Glasbury and Hay, except when advised by us.
- Keep to designated paths and launching points where available. Only in the case of an emergency and for your own safety should you land at any other points along the river.
- Stay in the deepest water channel while on the river. We will go through how to choose your position on the water and the main things that determine this, mainly river depth and potentially hazardous objects in the River (trees and flood debris).
- Take care not to cause disturbance or damage to habitats that you cross to access water or when in the water.
- Be particularly careful not to damage or disturb shingle beaches (they may be nesting grounds) and can be fragile habitats. Shingle banks and islands contain rare burrowing beetles and nesting birds, that are sensitive to disturbance and trampling.
- When launching your vessel, take care not to trample on or damage bank side vegetation. Also take care not to cause erosion to the physical features at the edge of the water. Float your canoe for launching, lift out when landing, and carry it to and from the water. Do not drag the boat at anytime.
- When canoeing on rivers, avoid paddling over gravel banks in low water conditions as they may contain fish spawn. If you run aground whilst on the river, get out of the boat if it is safe to do so, do not push off the river bed with your paddle.
Canoeing on the river
Canoe at a suitable distance from wildlife (eg otters, swans and other birds) as well as their nesting grounds, shelter or feeding areas, so as not to cause disturbance or stress. If you see signs that you are distressing wildlife, move away quietly. Particular care should be taken during the breeding seasons to not disturb wildlife, this may be pointed out to you if your trip is during a breeding season.
If you see any signs of pollution, damage, or disturbance to wildlife, please inform our team.
Leave the environment as you find it. Take your litter home with you, and, when safe to do so, take other peoples litter home too.
Keep noise to a minimum so as not to disturb wildlife or other users of the waterway.
Wildlife on the River Wye
The River Wye is a very important place for wildlife. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area for Conservation (SAC). It is famous for its beds of floating water crowfoot that produce a mass of white flowers in the summer. Many birds breed along this part of the river, including ducks, swans, kingfishers, sand martins and little ringed plovers, which nest on the gravel banks and islands. These areas are also the home to a great number of burrowing beetles, shingle spiders and the distinctive five-spot ladybird. Dragonflies, mayflies and damselflies are common and you may also encounter otters on the water if you are particularly lucky. The river contains a variety of different fish - large chub, shoals of minnows and other small fry are conspicuous here during the summer months.