many years now people have enjoyed canoeing down the River
Wye and stopping to camp overnight on the riverbank at the
White Lion Inn at Wilton, before setting off the following
morning for Symonds Yat. This facility is now under threat
due to objections from Bridstow Parish Council and a few
immediate residents. Dave Newman, Landlord of the White
Lion arranged a meeting which took place last Thursday to
discuss the issue properly, as he had previously been unable
to state his case fully. There were several points raised
at the meeting which was attended by four members of Bridstow
Parish Council, John Edwards, Chair of Ross Sports and Leisure
Federation, the County Land Agent, George Thompson and Chris
Burgess, Area Manager for Enterprise Inns.
Ross Town Councillor had been approached on the subject
but informed Mr. Newman that it was a Parish Council matter
and nothing to do with Ross Town. Which brings us to point
Ross-on-Wye relies heavily on tourism and in this time of
recession, anything that can help to boost the local economy
should be welcomed. The people who camp at the White Lion
more often than not, go into the town centre and spend money
in the town's shops, restaurants and pubs.
The camping facility is used by many schools and organizations
taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Schemes.
Camping is no longer available at Benhall Farm. This means
that, if the White Lion Inn is no longer allowed to accept
campers, there will be nowhere along the river between Hoarwithy
and Symonds Yat for canoeists to pitch up. This could potentially
put an end to this popular activity in Ross-on-Wye itself,
as such a distance is too far for the average canoeist to
travel in one day and certainly too far for those striving
for their D of E Awards.
The landlords of the White Lion do not allow cooking or
glassware on the riverbank. Any disregard of this rule is
replied with advice to stop, then followed up with a request
to leave if an offender should persist. (These cases are,
however, extremely rare.)
At Wyenot News, we receive many hundreds of enquiries each
year as to where people can hire canoes in Ross-on-Wye.
Until the River Wye Canoe Hire Company (which incidentally
is not part of the White Lion business) began operating
from the riverbank at Wilton, there was nowhere and we had
to direct people to Kerne Bridge, Symonds Yat or Monmouth.
Since advertising the canoe hire company on Wyenot.com,
Proprietor Mark Simons has been inundated with calls to
such an extent that he has needed to extend his fleet. Those
using this service often go into the town after their trip
and do their bit to boost the local economy.
ownership of Wilton Village Green (VG8) had been in dispute
but it has now been clarified that the land is in fact registered
to Enterprise Inns. There is an issue regarding camping
on Village and Town Greens however, no matter who the land
belongs to and an application to English Nature who govern
such matters is being made by Enterprise Inns.
you would like to lend your support
to the White Lion's endeavour to be allowed to continue
to offer camping facilities, please send your letters of
support in the first instance to Mr. & Mrs. D. Newman, The
White Lion Inn, Wilton Lane, Wilton, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
seems to us that, whenever somebody does something to help
local tourism, (or when an enterprise is successful) a small
minority, with nothing better to do than look for something
to argue about have to do their very best to try and spoil