British Canoeing would like to make paddlers aware that high water levels at Symonds Yat rapids on the River Wye have caused movement amongst the boulders that make up the rock walls (groynes) on river left of the island. These groynes were installed several years ago to protect and enhance the enjoyment of the rapids, as well as to create somewhere for paddlers to train on the white water. The original work around 10 years ago also involved protecting the island from further erosion as it was at risk from disappearing entirely.
The fragmentation of the groynes mean that there is an increase in difficulty when paddling the rapids at certain water levels, leaving some boulders detached and in the main flow. If you are going to use the rapids you are advised to inspect them first, assess the risk and be aware of the effect of different water levels.
The damaged groynes need to be repaired; to this end discussions have been ongoing with experts to undertake remedial works and reduce the hazard.
Discussions with Herefordshire County Council are ongoing and the work may be subject to planning permission and ecological survey work. Unfortunately this is likely to delay any works. In the mean time you should be aware of the change in the rapids and take the appropriate precautions for yourself and/or your group.
Symonds Yat is an iconic feature; thousands of people pass over it each year. It was purchased by British Canoeing to protect for future generations and is now cared for by dedicated local volunteers. To find out more about Symonds Yat please click here.