Organisers of the popular Monmouth Raft Race are being forced to cancel this year’s event because the water levels in the River Wye are too low.

The event attracted entrants from organisations and businesses all over Monmouthshire.

The charity raft race organised by Monmouth Rotary Club has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years.

However the recent spell of extremely hot weather has affected the river’s flow and to stage the event would be irresponsible say Rotary.

In a statement put out today Norman Williams, Raft Race Co-ordinator for Monmouth Rotary Club said: “ As a result of the extreme weather this summer, the River Wye is at a very low level, and after careful consideration we have reluctantly taken the decision to CANCEL this years’ raft race.

‘’We have held off making the decision to cancel, in the hope that the weather would break and increase the water level.

‘’But it hasn’t, and there is negligible rain in the forecast for the next 10 days.

‘’Several sections of the route can only be navigated by dragging rafts over the stoney riverbed for approximately 400 yards in total. This would be dangerous for raft crews to undertake.

‘’An additional factor is that the river is flowing very slowly. So more physical effort would be needed to paddle over the six mile course.

‘’Also, the River Wye is an important natural environment, currently under stress due to the low water levels.

‘’A raft race would cause damage to the riverbed and the wildlife that the river supports.

‘’We appreciate that this cancellation news will be disappointing, but it would be irresponsible for us to continue to run the event this year.’’