Downstream of Glasbury, the River Wye is a popular touring river all the way to its tidal reaches. The Environment Agency publishes a helpful canoeists’ guide with details of the river, amenities and access arrangements. This is due to be reviewed when stocks of the (2011) hard-copy booklet run out.
From Glasbury to Hay-on-Wye there is no confirmed Public Right of Navigation, but launching of canoes is permitted by Powys County Council at Glas-y-Bont common between 10am and 4pm and canoeists should plan their journey so that they are off this stretch of the river no later than 5pm. The Council’s permission is given on the condition that those launching canoes abide by the Code of Conduct published on this sign (which also shows the only ‘approved’ landing sites on-route), while commercial providers must sign up to a formal Code of Conduct. For more information about how to do this or to seek permission for other activities, please contact Powys County Council’s Countryside Services team, during office hours, on 01597 827500 or by email at email@example.com
Many birds – including Little Ringed Plover – nest on shingle banks along this stretch of the river and can be very sensitive to disturbance during the breeding season. One particularly important site at the oxbow lake is marked on a map on the sign. Birds may be nesting at any time between the middle of March and mid-August, so it is important not to go onto the large shingle areas at these times.
From Hay-on-Wye to Bigsweir (mostly in England) there is a statutory Public Right of Navigation, managed by the Environment Agency. Downstream of Bigsweir the river is tidal. The Environment Agency states that “below Bigsweir Bridge the Wye can be very dangerous, especially below Tintern. If you wish to canoe this stretch, leave Tintern no later than one hour after high water and travel down without stopping. Inexperienced canoeists are advised to avoid this stretch and should on no account travel below Chepstow, as currents in the Severn Estuary are extremely dangerous.