With the exception of a few rivers where there is a Statutory Public Right of Navigation (the Lugg downstream of Presteigne, the Severn downstream of Pool Quay and the Wye downstream of Hay-on-Wye), there is no confirmed Public Right of Navigation on other physically-navigable, non-tidal rivers in Wales.
It has long been assumed by some that rights of navigation on these rivers are private (and generally controlled by riparian owners – i.e. the owners of the river banks). However, some published research
now challenges this assumption. Canoe Wales therefore acknowledges that there are different opinions on the legal position on rivers where public rights have not been confirmed and cannot advise paddlers whether they have a right to paddle on such rivers.
In addition, any public or private rights of navigation on rivers do not in themselves grant paddlers any rights to cross land to access those rivers, so paddlers should seek permission to paddle or cross land wherever or whenever it is clear and unambiguous in law that you do not have the right to do so.