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Thread: 2 Canals and 3 rivers

  1. #1

    Talking 2 Canals and 3 rivers

    Taking some inspiration from this thread
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ht=fromebridge

    On September 18th, my friend Adrian and myself decided to tackle a similar trip as an out and back venture, starting at the Fromebridge Mill Inn, getting to The George Inn at Cam for lunch and then retracing our steps for a pint at the finish.

    After a grey start it turned out to be a fine and pleasant day.

    The 12 mile round trip was between The Fromebridge Inn (on R Frome) where the pub let us use their nice lawn to prepar for the trip and park our cars for the day.


    PICT0142 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    Then it was off down the River Frome


    PICT0145 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0147 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0153 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    into the jungle


    PICT0160 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    and then the portage from the River to the Stroudwater canal
    from here


    PICT0163 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    to here


    PICT0183 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    Some fun negotiating the "Low headroom" bridge


    PICT0178 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    and then out onto the Gloucester Sharpness canal headed south and eventually into the River Cam


    PICT0168 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0169 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    a diversion into Wicksters Brook.


    PICT0171 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    where a 27 point turn was required to get stern and stem unstuck from between the reeds on the river bank
    and then on up the Cam for Lunch at the George Inn


    PICT0172 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    The George Inn by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    A pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord at The George, and then the reverse trip.


    PICT0174 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0175 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    Low bridge, portage, the jungle


    Untitled by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    the river with friends!


    PICT0181 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0184 by G4ISJ, on Flickr


    PICT0187 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    a look at the mill wheel


    PICT0189 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    and then in for a pint of Dark Star, American Pale Ale

    Fomebridge Inn take out by G4ISJ, on Flickr

    12 mile round trip.
    Great day out - car parking free :-)


    Last edited by Paradox Pete; 3rd-October-2013 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice looking trip!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  3. #3
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    Its always nice to do a round trip, and miss out the relay ! looks like a good day weather wise,through varying countryside,

    I think I know Adrian if he is a friend of Chris Murray, he is a good lad,who likes a pint, and a one liner !, he made that canoe in his front room.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    , he made that canoe in his front room.
    and his other one!


    P1000592 by G4ISJ, on Flickr

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    It does look like an excellent trip, and so much nicer than the map suggests.

    Good waterwheel, too!
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    That blue boat appears to have quite a bit of rocker, but I expect that the slab sides help keep it on track. If it were widened and rockered more, it would look like a Grand Canyon dory. Is it possibly wide enough to row?

    Nice shots.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    Is it possibly wide enough to row?

    Nice shots.

    The blue boat (Polythene Pam) is a Selway Fisher Ranger 16
    http://www.selway-fisher.com/Opcan16.htm#RANGER

    Yes, they can be rowed with outriggers fitted, but who wants to see where they've been?

    Pam is heavily modified however!
    http://port-na-storm.blogspot.co.uk/...thene-pam.html

  8. #8
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    A whitewater river dory is paddled "backwards" so the boatman can see to plan the course. When I was a sculler, I did face sternward, but I sometimes used little head mirrors so I could spear sailboats before they got clear.

    Polythene.... Have to look up that word. Something like it is in the first number of Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. "...Appears a mighty polythene", if that is the word, made large by the low evening sun casting a huge shadow from a stripling boy.

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    good trip...it is vitally important that you take on sufficient ale to keep energy levels p...well done
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

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    nice looking trip with a couple of nice pints

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    I did this trip in reverse this weekend, sadly there is now a REALLY low bridge across the Cam where it joins the Glocs/Sharpness Canal and the disagreeable house/landowner will sprint 200 metres up his drive to tell you you can't portage round it (in what's now been made his garden around what was a lock) and "The EA don't want anyone up there" (response from the EA awaited). We were JUST able to get under by lying completely flat on a SoT tandem with my hat brim scraping rust off the RSJ's under the bridge. Such a shame, his unnecessary vitriol was the only tarnish on what was an otherwise lovely paddle.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by markflip View Post
    I did this trip in reverse this weekend, sadly there is now a REALLY low bridge across the Cam where it joins the Glocs/Sharpness Canal and the disagreeable house/landowner will sprint 200 metres up his drive to tell you you can't portage round it (in what's now been made his garden around what was a lock) and "The EA don't want anyone up there" (response from the EA awaited). We were JUST able to get under by lying completely flat on a SoT tandem with my hat brim scraping rust off the RSJ's under the bridge. Such a shame, his unnecessary vitriol was the only tarnish on what was an otherwise lovely paddle.
    Hello, welcome and thanks for posting an update.

    Let me guess, the posh new place right on the end of the Cam? He may well find himself on dodgy ground here, so thanks for letting the EA know. They're not always quick to react, but if he has blocked a navigation or river that has NOT specifically had its navigation rights removed by an Act of Parliament (which seems unlikely), then the EA should be interested, and portaging the blockage by a reasonable route should in theory be your right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Hello, welcome and thanks for posting an update.

    Let me guess, the posh new place right on the end of the Cam? He may well find himself on dodgy ground here, so thanks for letting the EA know. They're not always quick to react, but if he has blocked a navigation or river that has NOT specifically had its navigation rights removed by an Act of Parliament (which seems unlikely), then the EA should be interested, and portaging the blockage by a reasonable route should in theory be your right.
    Yes Mal, that's the one. The plethora of NO ACCESS signs are obvious looking up the Cam from the navigation but not when coming down river as we did. Their positioning implies 'no access' to the river, but when i made the contrary case in our discussion, he accepted my right to navigate the river, but maintained nobody can alight onto his land and siad we'd have to stay in the boat, then made the claim 'on behalf of' the EA. He was driving golf balls across the river when we returned and struggled under the bridge again, but he at least stopped as we passed... I have emailed the EA, I don't know what/any permission he/the developer needed to install a bridge, but have asked the question of the EA and will update this thread when they get back to me.

    Mark

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    Cheers Mark

    The River Access for All site has some info. The 1472 act would seem relevant, in that it demonstrates that rivers should not be blocked, and has never been repealed. http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/w...idence.php#How

    You could also report this to Canoe England: access@britishcanoeing.org.uk

    https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/g...nd-environment
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    Response from the EA (who I had asked whether the bridge had the appropriate consent and whether they did, in fact, object to anyone accessing the river):

    Dear Mr Phillip

    Thank you for your email of 24 June 2019 regarding a structure constructed over the River Cam I can provide the following details to your query.

    The structure to which you have referred to was granted a Flood Defence Consent in 2015 (now termed as Flood Risk Activity Permit) to replace an existing footbridge.

    The underside of the bridge was designed at the same level as the previous structure as this satisfied all flood risk/environmental requirements for the application.

    The Environment Agency would only consult on navigation issues where a navigation body exists on any watercourse, be it ourselves as on the River Wye or River Thames for example, or where some other body exists, such as, the Canal & Rivers Trust or the Avon Navigation Trust on the Warwickshire Avon. To our knowledge the River Cam has no formal navigational status.

    We are aware that this issue is highlighted upon the British Canoe website which could provide you with some useful information on your rights to accessing watercourses where there is no formal navigation body present.

    I hope the above clearly sets out our role in this situation and please contact us if we can be of further help.

    Yours sincerely

    Sarah Payne
    Customers and Engagement Specialist
    Environment Agency | Sentinel House, 9 Wellington Crescent, Fradley Park, Lichfield, Staffs WS13 8RR

    The EA seem to be happy with the bridge (It looked likely to get stuff wedged beneath it in a flood to me, but I'm no expert) but confirm that they have no opinion whatsoever about anybody navigating any river anywhere unless they are the statutory body.

    It was my first time visiting the River - if anyone has any evidence to show that the new bridge is in fact lower than the footbridge existing pre 2015 mentioned, or that the bridge there now has been very recently constructed/altered I'll gladly raise this again with the EA.

    The bridge was just passable in our SoT, I guess an open boat might be easier, lying fully 'in' rather than 'on'. If I go again I'll take some means of measuring the clearance, but it's about 20-24" at a guess and ~10-12' wide.

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    Old house and bridge on google streetview (didn't know they'd done the canal!) https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.74...7i13312!8i6656
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    Thanks Mal, Google must have cycle mounted capture devices? - I wonder if they are recruiting or want a water based version?????

    That confirms what i thought - that the old bridge appears to be the one in PICT0168 in the blog and looks much higher than the one that is there now. I've forwarded the pics to the EA and asked if anyone ever inspected the bridge to check it complied with their consent...

  18. #18
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    We were paddling on the Stroudwater Canal yesterday. We finished early, so (with time in hand), we decided to check out the access for a planned future trip: (i.e. Glos. River Cam, Sharpness Canal, River Frome, Stroudwater Canal).


    Paddlers should note that the access to the River Cam at the George Inn has CHANGED since the picture in this thread was taken. The wooden fence has been replaced with a steel security fence. There are two gates in the fence - both secured with substantial padlocks. We asked them at the pub about it. They were quite happy for us to launch into the Cam via the pub garden, but advised us that the local council (who had presumably erected the fence) held the keys!


    On a positive note, each locked gate has a fixed ladder to the river below it. So - providing you were able to lift your canoe over the fence and lower it into the river, you could climb the fence by one of the locked gates - then use the ladder to reach your canoe.


    The fence is not particularly high. so whilst there, I tested the second part of my theory by climbing over the fence and descending one of the ladders. Rather awkward, but definitely possible - even for an ageing septuagenarian like myself!


    We plan on doing the trip sometime in August, so will report again after this.

  19. #19
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    We launched from within the pub campsite (where we were staying) next to a wooden bridge carrying a public footpath, which was an easy put in. Whether the pub staff would allow you to walk into the campsite or not I can't say though.

  20. #20
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    Hey markflip – thanks very much for the info!

    I’m not too concerned about overcoming obstacles such as fences and steep banks – it’s just all part of the fun associated with canoe touring.


    Having said that, given a choice of a hard put-in or an easy put-in, I would go for the easy put-in, every time!

    I don’t think that there would be any issue with the pub –when we spoke to them about it, they were very laid-back and friendly. But even if they weren’t, it’s perfectly legal to portage a canoe along a public footpath. You’d only be on shaky ground after launching into the Cam, as it’s not covered by the BC licence and I gather that there is no clear right of navigation.

    Also, looking at the OS map, I notice that there is also footpath on the other side of the A38 which would take you to a footbridge further upstream. This would entail a very long (500 metre) portage.

    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x...ay=203410&lm=0


    Would this other footbridge be a possible put-in point, I wonder? Anyone tried it?



    Last edited by Can-Can; 19th-July-2019 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Correction

  21. #21
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    From my recollection passing under it, the banks alongside that footbridge were high and very overgrown. Enjoy your return visit Can-Can - we had a fabulous close encounter with a swimming grass snake on our way back upstream, which was rather special . I'd welcome your opinion of the new bridge I mentioned and if you can add a photo and/or measure/guestimate the clearance that'd be great for others wanting to paddle there.

    The EA have responded to my question about whether the new bridge was ever checked for compliance with their permit:

    Thanks for your prompt and detailed reply Sarah.

    Please could I enquire whether the new bridge has ever been inspected to ensure it complied with the design specified in your flood defence consent? The reason I ask is that I would dispute that "The underside of the bridge was designed at the same level as the previous structure" or at least if it was, it appears not to been constructed as designed. The old, wooden footbridge is shown in https://www.flickr.com/photos/27533969@N05/9808836173/ (not taken by me) and https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.74...7i13312!8i6656 . The old bridge appears to have been quite easy to pass under in a canoe, with little more than a duck of the head. The new bridge deck is of substantial depth, such that it can support vehicular traffic and this seemed to have lowered it considerably, reducing the clearance above the waterline and making it now barely passable in a kayak. Apart from the inconvenience caused to anyone wanting to navigate the river, to my layman's eye at least, a large floating branch/small fallen tree could become wedged beneath the existing bridge, becoming a strainer, very easily (which i assume is where the flood risk arises).


    Thank you again for your assistance with my eqnuiry.


    Kind regards,


    Mark Phillip

    CC-8124(a)
    12/07/2019

    Dear Mark Phillip,

    Re: Structure across the Cambridge Arm/River Cam, Gloucestershire

    Compliance
    Compliance of any works that are given permission by the Environment Agency are categorized as low, medium and high priority dependent on the potential flood risk or environmental impacts of the works. Low priority works may not result in a detailed compliance check being undertaken.

    Compliance may also only be undertaken if the Environment Agency are made aware by the applicant that the works have been undertaken.

    In this instance the proposed works would fall into the low environmental and flood risk category as the structure and the method of construction, as applied for, would have presented minimal concerns.

    The structure is unlikely to present any risk to third parties, with the highest risk being to the applicants property as this is the direction any out of bank flood flows are likely to be routed, if they occur.

    Our detailed hydraulic modelling of the River Cam suggest that there would be very little change to the river levels at this location even during a major flood event, as levels are primarily controlled by those in the canal. As part of the permission the applicant also stated that the structure had originally been designed in consultation with the Canal & Rivers Trust due to easement/access issues.

    Please use the following email address for any future correspondence.

    Email: Enquiries_Westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk

    You may wish to look at http://data.gov.uk to see what other Environment Agency data is available for you online.

    Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.


    Regards.

    Matthew Weston BA (Hons)

    So in summary, The EA issue permits, but anyone can build what they like and they don't seem to care unless it's a high flood risk...

  22. #22
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    Hi again, markflip. Thanks for your additional info regarding potential access at that upstream bridge. I guess that it would be too far for me to portage anyway - especially as I don't own a trolley!


    I've only once ever encountered a grass snake in the course of paddling - and that beastie was just coiled up on the riverbank, enjoying an afternoon snooze. If your serpent ever swims up to the pub, there's potential for a game of snakes and ladders! Incidentally (regarding that fence and those ladders), I reckon that it was probably the work of our "friends" in the Environment Agency, rather than the local council (as stated by the pub people).

    We haven't yet fixed a date for our trip, but it will probably be sometime in August. I'll take a steel tape with me to measure the air draught under that bridge - and probably take a photo, too.


    As to your friend the disagreeable house/landowner, your anecdote conjures up an image of the "Big Bad Troll" that guards the bridge in the Billy Goats Gruff children's story!


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