River Wildlife

The Wye is a wonderful place to watch wildlife as it flows through miles of unspoilt countryside and is relatively unaffected by pollution. The river has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) along its entire length, one of only a few British rivers to receive this designation. Some of the plants and animals found along the river are of international importance. Because of its nature conservation value, and to protect the wildlife the river supports, the Wye and many of its tributaries are also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Habitats Directive. 

The best way to spot wildlife is afloat in a canoe silently drifting down river, or on foot, walking along the Wye Valley Walk. These are a few of our favourite, often hidden, wildlife events to look out for on the river:

  • The elver run in April between Llandogo and Bigsweir.
  • Salmon leaping over weirs in early summer, when Atlantic Salmon return to spawn in the higher reaches of the Wye and its tributaries.
  • The river ‘flowering’ in June and July, when water crowsfoot carpets the surface of the river.
  • Flashes of iridescent colour as kingfishers dart across the river in summer.

River wildlife

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