Severe criticisms have been levelled at the state of the River Wye by a Ross businessman, who’s been trading in the town for over 40 years and been a fishing guide for 20.
Adam Fisher told the Gazette that whilst the issues around pollution and waste on the riverbanks are long-standing, they’re now worse than ever before.
The eight hour ride from Hoarwithy to Ross is an established route for canoers and there is not a single toilet facility along the river, resulting in human feces being littered along the riverbank, including soiled toilet paper.
Mr Fisher asserts that it’s the Environment Agency’s job to address this as they’re responsible for navigation on the Wye, but also believes that canoe companies ought to use their initiative to keep the area clean and safe, to keep the tourism sustainable. He adds that this also applied from Ross to Symonds Yat, one of the most popular routes.
There are toilets at Bishopswood, however he says they’re rarely open and the canoe launch is so busy with launching that people canoeing can’t get out of the river because it’s too busy.
Despite this being an issue which has been going on for some time, the desire of improvement is gaining traction. A programme being produced by David Attenborough’s crew will be touching on this issue in a series which is being released next year.
The pollution caused by this is expected to be contributing to the harm caused to weeds along the riverbanks and wildlife including protected species like the otter. Mr Fisher adds that a contributing factor is the sheer number of people at canoe launches, and the failure to build more appropriate infrastructure to deal with it.
The state of the river banks is proving to have a vastly negative effect on those fishing on the Wye. Mr Fisher explained how many of his customers to whom he provides his expertise as a fishing guide are having a poor experience on the river amidst the smell of faeces left by other river users.