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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Canoeing event in jeopardy
Canoe generic
The canoeing event may not go ahead
A tourist town could lose 300,000 if a canoeing tour which has been running for more than 30 years is cancelled.

A dispute between anglers in Llangollen and Welsh canoeists could spell the end of the winter recreational tournament in the town.

The Welsh Canoeing Association (WCA) has told participants that anglers' refusal to allow them on areas of the River Dee means the event's future is uncertain.

Anglers have said they do not want November's Llangollen tour to go ahead as it causes environmental problems.

However, a spokesman for the WCA said he believes the anglers concerns are not solely environmental.


"The removal of permission for the tours this year relates to the fact that the WCA and other landowners asked for access to be on a more regular basis than simply six days a year.

"This was not a proposal that the certain groups would entertain.

"These tours have been running for over 30 years without problems and in recent years have attracted some 1,500 paddlers per tour to the Llangollen area," he said.

Former town mayor Stuart Davies said the cancellation would have a major effect on tourism.

"If we don't have the Dee Tour it will cost 300,000," he said.


"The canoeists and their families come down on Friday night and stay all weekend, they would spend at least 30 per head.

"People don't realise how much we depend on tourism."

In a written statement, members of the Welsh Canoeing Association admitted that the tour is in jeopardy.

"The WCA regret to announce that it is likely the recreational tours which usually take place in the November, December and January periods will be cancelled this winter.

"It has not been possible to negotiate access for these events on the section of river from Corwen to the Horseshoe Weir with all the relevant landowners," the statement said.

Llangollen river
The River Dee runs through the town of Llangollen

Ruth Jones, the chair of Llangollen Chamber of Trade, said anglers were concerned about the environmental effects on the river.

"We would not wish to intervene, the anglers say the canoeing goes on in the middle of the salmon run and you have strong environmental considerations to think about.

"It's a major time for the salmon and trout so one has to respect what they know," she said.

However, Mrs Jones admitted that the cancellation would cause problems for the local tourist industry.

"I don't think it would jeopardise tourism but it would have an impact," she said.

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