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Thread: Usk Questions ?

  1. #1

    Default Usk Questions ?

    Paddled from Crickhowell to Abergavenny yesterday with my son. Lovely day out and a great river. Water level was very low (will it ever rain again) so a bit of a scrape in places. It was really a recce for a future trip and I am hoping to do some inconspicuous wild camping, thus making a trip over a couple of days. I am seeking local knowledge really. I have 'Run River Run' by Alan Fox and the 'Welsh Rivers' by Chris Sladdon - both excellent books, but not giving specific detail for us open canoeists. Has anyone open canoed from Sennybridge/Brecon down to Usk/Caerleon? The grading varies from 1/2 to 3/4 according to the guides and mention is made of access due to the Glenusk Estate shooting! Any advice would greatly assist.

  2. #2

    Default Usk

    Please check out the details of the access agreement for the Usk on the WCA website.

    This agreement was hard won so please stick to the agreement to avoid putting the whole thing at risk

    I posted some details of our trip from Sennybridge last January on the site earlier in the year.Have a look back through the Bloggs and you should be able to get some idea of what the river is like at lowish winter flows. It does get harder/ more dangerous at higher flows apparently. Most of the harder drops could be portaged or lined if needed.
    "All right" said Eeyore "We're going. Only don't blame me"

    www.canoepaddler.me.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,654

    Default

    The Access Officer for the Usk is Pam Bell. There are very good details on the Mountain and Water website which give contact details for booking access for the various sections. I am not a great believer in access agreements but if they are in place, there seems little point in rocking the boat by not complying with them.

    htp://www.mountainandwater.co.uk/usk_access.htm

    I think the best section is from Tal-y-bont to Chrickhowell but this is probably because it contains the best white water and is fairly continuous so you can't get bored.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Otley, Yorkshire
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Hmmmm....the usk access agreement.

    This is one unworkable, pointless document.

    I can tell you from years of experience of paddling this river that being responsible, parking neatly, changing discreetly, sticking to small groups and only boating when theres actully water in it (the usk is rubbish at low water), then you will have no issues. The fishermen will be friendly and you will be well received. It is a great river with an active and vibrant paddling scene around it, the vast majority of whom never use the full terms of the access (dis) agreement. Just go paddle it! (in season - Mid Oct to March 1st)

    I beleive that paddling in this way is the only way that we can demonstrate that not only are access agreements un workable in their current state but also that they are not really needed at all!
    dog-dirty and loaded for bear.

  5. #5

    Default Access Agreements

    I couldn't agree more! I have now read the agreement and basically it appears to me that as paddlers we are expected to make all the effort, play second fiddle to all other water users and pay 10 for the privilage of canoeing past the Glenusk estate. No other body/individual makes any compromise and we are supposed to be grateful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Otley, Yorkshire
    Posts
    228

    Default What happens if it spates in summer?

    Have a read of what it says about paddling out of season (March to October).

    You can, but only when river is in spate. Spate being described as when the river is running brown.

    Now, The river can get into spate conditions in a matter of hours and these can be gone just as quick. The usk is a very 'flashy' river. And it needs only the smallest of downpours to turn brown due to the deep red soil of its banks. It can be brown and still too bony to paddle. Further highlighting how this fisherman-heavy aggreement has not done its research.

    And!!! You still have to write to the Solicitor who represents the riparian land owners 2 Weeks in advance of your out of season tour that has been inspired by the summer down pour that happened last night! So you have to be psychic weather forecaster too!

    This document was written originally as a way of preventing canoeing, not managing it. It should be held up as an example of where a voluntary access agreement has been totally up.

    Matt
    dog-dirty and loaded for bear.

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