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Thread: River Stour (Suffolk/Essex) Boxted Mill Access

  1. #1
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    Default River Stour (Suffolk/Essex) Boxted Mill Access

    There's a reminder in October Canoe Focus about contacting the BCU River Advisor in advance if you intend to use the portage around Boxted Mill. The portage is through a dear lady's garden. The agreement has always been that we should inform her of our intention to pass through in advance. Someone's been counting as according to Canoe Focus only 25 out of 251 people have asked permission in advance since March 2011.

    We are reminded that if we intend to pass through Boxted Mill to please contact Lesley Quinlan lesleyquinlan @ hotmail .com who is the BCU River Advisor for the Stour well in advance so she can inform the landowner.

    Access through this private garden is required if paddling between Nayland and Langham. There is no other way through. It would end many trips if we were not able to portage around the mill.


    Regards

  2. #2

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    I haven't completed this section of the Stour yet. The Envirinment Agency map and information leaflet mentions the private garden but does not appeear to mention the requirement to contact the owner via the BCU river adviser. Not surprising that 225 people have failed to do so!!!

  3. #3
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    Picking the phone up 251 times (not including the people who weren't noticed) to answer canoe enquiries would drive me mad. [add to this all the e-mails generated to/from Lesley Quinlan]. Then what happens if the weather turns bad and you decide not to do the trip or are delayed?

    If it were me, I'd just fence the bit off and say 'get on with it' - life's too short! Maybe it's a power thing - I occasionally came across it when I was walking cross-country surveying electricity lines.

  4. #4
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    It may be a legal thing too, to do with not creating a 'right of way'. (I'm not a lawyer, but I've a half-remembered idea that if permission is granted then it counters the danger of establishing a right of way through long use or something; no doubt someone more knowledgeable than me could correct or confirm this.) However, if Caffyn's assumptions about navigations are correct then presumably the owners of the mill weir are responsible for providing a right of way around the weir anyway? But for the sake of ease it probably makes sense for more people to inform Lesley Quinlan when possible anyway.
    Cheers,
    Ian

  5. #5
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    Ah, yes, the legal thing might have something to do with it - after all, if a burgler comes in to my garden and trips over my canoe, then he's probably within his rights to sue me [world gone mad etc etc]. I suppose he ought to ring me in advance and ask for permission to be there???

    My default position, and I guess that of the majority on here, is politeness, courtesy and respect at all times - after all, we are in someone else's back garden both literally and metaphorically. I did the Sudbury to Cattawade run in August with Stour Boating; there were about a dozen and a half portages and, from memory, this one had a sign saying 'private - ring for permission'. I assumed that Stour Boating, with their local knowledge, sorted this out beforehand on behalf of the group - but it would have been difficult for someone independently arriving on the spot with no prior knowledge/warning.

    I'll bet that the vast majority of those who didn't comply with the rule acted out of ignorance rather than bloody-mindedness or a lack of respect.

  6. #6
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    I'm sure you're right. It wouldn't have occurred to me to pester the owners (or indeed a rivers access officer) in order to say I was going to be there.
    All the best,
    Ian

  7. #7
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    I was just wondering how, without reading this particular thread, a potential Stour paddler could have known about this in advance - is there some sort of repository for such vital information?

    Just then, Canoe Focus popped through the letterbox - as a newbie, I hadn't realised that it would be delivered as part of the BCU subscription. I found the small item on P48 - but would I have spotted it if I hadn't been looking specifically for it?

    Al

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lineman View Post
    I was just wondering how, without reading this particular thread, a potential Stour paddler could have known about this in advance - is there some sort of repository for such vital information?
    I've exchanged emails with Lesley Quinlan this morning and as a result added this information (and more that she was able to suggest) to the Access Map. In the absence of anything better I am happy for the Access Map to develop as the one stop shop for this type of information but this is dependant on the level of support it receives from paddlers and BCU Rivers (Waterways) Advisors.
    Keith

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your note, Keith, Canoe Days Out is much appreciated. I can't seem to get to the access map via the CDO homepage - could you explain where I'm going wrong, please?

    Al

  10. #10
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    I did my own version of the S2C trip earlier this year and went through said garden quite early in the morning and met the daughter of the owner, she was quite chatty. I did ask if it was o.k. to pass through and said I never know whether to ask or not and she didn't seem bothered at all but I guess a solo paddler making no noise, leaving no litter and not peeing in her garden (which she said does happen a lot) is a different prospect from a possee of paddlers!
    Gibbo.
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  11. #11
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    I haven't done the Sudbury to Sea recently, but this portage always causes a traffic queue through the garden which must be a nightmare for the lady who owns it. I don't know why she doesn't shut the curtains and stay inside for the day, but instead, the last time I was there, she was out patrolling and telling off anyone who as much touched the river bank at any point other than the official signed get out. I agree that it is courteous to ask, but the stour is, I think, a navigation and so a portage route should be provided rather than being at the gift of the land owner. I think it is this way because this was negotiated when the stour trust were working on the re- opening of the navigation: If paddling rights were sorted in law nationally in a logical way, there would be a right to portage the weir and no need to ask - but it still would be polite


    Sam

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    I've exchanged emails with Lesley Quinlan this morning and as a result added this information (and more that she was able to suggest) to the Access Map. In the absence of anything better I am happy for the Access Map to develop as the one stop shop for this type of information but this is dependant on the level of support it receives from paddlers and BCU Rivers (Waterways) Advisors.
    Just a note to congratulate Keith and his son on this amazing resource.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lineman View Post
    I can't seem to get to the access map via the CDO homepage - could you explain where I'm going wrong, please?

    Al
    You are not going wrong all! I see the two as essentially different projects so apart from the fact that they share the same server and the same domain name (for reasons of economy) they stand alone. The Access Map is here.
    Keith

  14. #14
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    Ah, thanks for the link/explanation, Keith - I'll store it as a separate entry in favourites.

    Al

  15. #15
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    I emailed Lesley over a week ago informing her of a trip that myself and a friend are going to do in the not too distant future and have heard nothing back, not even an acknowledgement so we'll see what happens when going through the mill portage.
    Pete.
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  16. #16
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    There will be all sorts practical issues lying it wait for this barmy protocol e.g. illness/holidays/dodgy computers etc.

    Good luck with the trip, Gibbo, let us know how you get on.

    Al

  17. #17
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    Have you tested this one yet, Gibbo? If so, how did you get on?

    Cheers Al

  18. #18
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    If its not a right of way, it's called an 'easement': I had one across the bottom of a neighbour's garden once. Very satisfying it was too . . . .
    'Life is Art, and not otherwise' C.S.Lewis

  19. #19
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    Hi Al - I did the aforementioned trip with a friend a while ago but we didn't end up going that way, instead we started from Bures and went upstream to Henny and back. I never did hear from Lesley regarding that trip but we did a trip last weekend and BigRich emailed Lesley and did get an acknowledgement. We passed through without incident. It was a lovely mild day, hat and gloves not required.

    Regards,
    Pete.
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  20. #20
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    Excellent, Pete - glad you made the trip!

    How was the water level? The headline item on BBC local (East) news today was a dire warning about lack of water and projections of draught next year. The flow on the Lark here in Bury St Edmunds is so slow that it's starting to whiff again.

    Al

  21. #21
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    Water level was high, with a bit of flow too. The shallow parts (around Nayland);;which sometimes require one's feet getting wet, didn't come into play at all. That whiff, you sure it's not Woolpit?
    Pete.
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  22. #22
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    Nah - definitely not the noted Woolpit Whiff - it's 9 miles away and the wind would have to be in the east. Anyway, I reckon the culprit has been jailed and the pigs, sausaged - or, was it the other way round???

    The prevailing wind is from the west so, on my side of town: NW - it's the beet sugar factory; WSW - it's the brewery but, if you're riding your bike into town across the meadows, it'll be the Lark!

    Al
    Last edited by lineman; 1st-December-2011 at 05:11 PM.

  23. #23
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    In case anyone has found this thread looking for info about Boxted Mill access - an update.

    See the info on this thread
    Last edited by Quercus; 3rd-July-2013 at 01:33 PM.

  24. #24
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    Exclamation Boxted Mill Portage Change

    Please note the following re Boxted Mill

    "The portage at Boxted Mill, on the River Stour, is changed. There is major construction work on the river, and all river users should take extreme care if portaging the slightly longer portage route, and be aware of large machinery in the area.This disruption will continue between now and the end of January 2014.
    Contrary to a river guide published recently in Focus, powered craft are NOT permitted on the river, with the exception of small electric motors in specified areas."

    I have not visited this since receiving this message so not entirely sure what is going on.

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