A Better Bishopswood – Rescheduled Public Meeting

Bishopswood from Goodrich

Now that the Covid-19 numbers are falling we feel it appropriate to reschedule this postponed public meeting. Please pass this information on to your friends and neighbours to make as many parishioners as possible aware of the meeting date.

The popularity of outdoor activities in the UK has grown significantly over the past few years, with the Wye Valley and River a major attraction. The stretch of river from Ross-on-wye to Symonds Yat is a particularly popular destination for canoeists, stand up paddleboarders and wild swimmers. But uncontrolled demand is already damaging the very things that make the area such a draw, and with this comes increased environmental and local community pressures.

At Kerne Bridge the canoe launch, community and environment are struggling to remain in balance due to the growth in visitor numbers, bringing with it increased road and pedestrian traffic, overcrowded car parking facilities, public toilets that can’t cope with the demand, and interference with local community pastimes. This is unsatisfactory for our visitors; frustrating for the community; and increasingly damaging for the environment.

It is time to act before our amenities and environment are damaged significantly. If we in this community don’t do something, no-one else will, because no one else shares the full impact of this damage. A group of like-minded parishioners have drawn up several ideas aimed at restoring and managing a balance between tourism, community, and environment to ensure that each has a long-term sustainable future.

An outline of those ideas has been presented to the Parish Council, who have indicated their support. Clearly the involvement and agreement of stakeholders such as the canoe companies, the launch management company, Parish and Herefordshire councils, AONB, Natural England etc. will be required as a more concrete plan emerges.

But first, we want parishioners’ input and are therefore holding a public meeting to discuss current issues, possible mitigations and begin building a robust plan for future action. The rescheduled meeting will be held Friday 11th February 2022 7:30pm at Bishopswood Village Hall. Please come along and give us your thoughts and together we can build a better Bishopswood.