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Thread: River Nene - Elton Boat Club portage into backwater closed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Kettering Northamptonshire

    Default River Nene - Elton Boat Club portage into backwater closed

    For many years I have been accessing the backwater around Warmington lock on the Nene by hopping out next to the weir in the middle of the Elton boat club moorings, nipping over a stile and bob was your auntie.

    A few years back the boat club replaced the stile with a locked gate and started a compost heap to deter people from clambering over the fence.

    They have now erected a sign on the main river stating that there is no canoe portage at the boat club.............I was aware that the boat club were getting fed up with larger groups, particularly hire boat groups using the route described in many of my fact, on two occasions people were armed with print outs of my blogs!

    Just above the r of weir in the centre of the map

    A real shame! Solo or twin paddlers with broad smiles and some pleasant chat were always tolerated and even helped with boats but overuse/abuse has ruined it for everyone - perhaps I shouldn't have blogged it?!

    Cheers, Dick
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008



    Do you know what the problem is the groups are actually causing? Damage, litter, obstruction, erosion, behaviour, toilet stops? Wonder if the answer is actually for the paddling groups/hire companies to work with the Boat Club to make the portage quick and easy, and add signs asking folk not to stop there but to just move quietly and quickly through. This is the case on at least one of the Suffolk Stour portages, which effectively goes through somebody's garden. It also says "no peeing please!". Trouble is, no organisation has any money spare these days to pay for a simple portage and some signs.

    I sometimes wonder what effect our blog writing has on the places we treasure. I've definitely seen an increase in paddling on some of the Wey backwaters (I've even met other paddlers occasionally!), and the few portages are a bit more obvious now than they used to be. I can't take all the credit/blame, of course, but if you google such things as weir portages, SOTP almost always comes up in the first few entries, with links to lots of blogs. Overall, I love seeing new folk finding these places and using them, as long as its with respect of course. There are a few places I am deliberately vague about. Anybody with a little knowledge of maps and river environments will be able to work out how to get to them, but the lazy ones who often seem to cause the most difficulties, probably won't.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Obviously, I don't run into the scale of this problem that you folks do (except in Parks like Algonquin where the Government has done a wonderful job of over-advertising the place and cramming it with people from who-knows-where... ) but I do make a point of never posting anywhere near enough information for anybody to find where I've been... because the whole idea, for me at least, is NOT to see anyone else... if I do, I find a new route somewhere..... which is why nowadays instead of finding my routes within, say 500 km of home, I now find myself within a couple of hundred miles of James Bay.... sad truth... .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017


    I know I keep referencing trail-riding but the access and rights issues are quite similar. When I first started trailriding you looked on an OS map for likely routes, if you weren't sure of it's status you went to the council to look up on the official maps. Then you attempted to navigate the route. Eventually clubs would end up with marked up maps which they would share with members. We were accused of being unreasonable for not sharing our hard sourced knowledge with Joe Public.

    Now there are multitudes of GPX routes available, all over t'interweb . Many include lanes that are no-longer legal or are very sensitive to over use. Many riders just ride the same routes every weekend because they can't be arsed to put any effort in. These routes get wrecked, locals get miffed and soon we're in court trying to defend our legal right to use them.
    I can go out locally and although I know there are many trail-riders about, there are certain legal byways that haven't seen a bike since I last went down them a few months ago. These I ride only with trusted mates.

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