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River Wye - Buxton to Litton Mill

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:31 pm
by Mark R

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:28 pm
by Andy B (of MCC)
The multimap link for this guide takes you to Northamptonshire!!

Can someone correct it?
Cheers, Andy

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:22 pm
by Jim Pullen
Hmm, looks right to me - Buxton on the A6? Current Link

An exact link would be this: using SK105725 as the put-in grid ref.

More annoyingly, Mark has stuck it in the "midengland" folder, meaning the updated link for the guide above is bust - I'll get on to it.

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:54 am
by Mark R
Jim Pullen wrote:More annoyingly, Mark has stuck it in the "midengland" folder, meaning the updated link for the guide above is bust - I'll get on to it.
Oops, got my Wye's mixed up ...

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:10 pm
by Jim Pullen
I've moved the guide back into the NW (although you may argue it should have been mid England anyway!)

All links should be fixed now with any luck!

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:50 pm
by andy wa
Paddled this section today, really good, reccommened it. Lots of low tree branches. Litton mill rapid looked very dangerous and difficult to paddle at the current level, not very easy to make it safe. But an ok portage around it by using the footpath.

Water level, it was very brown and high, 0.86 on the EA website in Buxton: ... ionId=2162 This made for a good high paddle.

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:28 am
by hellboy
buxton is not in th north west , canoe club in buxton is the peak paddlers and is in the eastern region of bcu nor is it in north west region of environment agency the border between cheshire and derbyshire is the nw region / east midlands region . but the watershed is cat and fiddle road with north side running into goyt being in mersey basin area the wye being in east midlands . but the dane running into cheshire is still in north west

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:14 am
by stone056
I would like to this soon, what would you say would be the minimum level on the EA website that i can be paddled?



Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:43 pm
by Pete K
Walked this route to inspect today (8th Jan 2011) and shouldn't have bothered as it now appears to have dropped too much to paddle tomorrow. Never mind, good intel anyway.
From the car park opposite Topley Quarry to Litton Mill road.
Lots of down trees and care is needed on most of the trip, there was however only one point that had to be portaged today. this may change quickly though.

The EA Gauge at Buxton showed a level of approx 0.54m at the time we were there.

I would recommend that this be the minimum level needed to paddle the river here without scraping. All the rapids and more importantly all the wiers had a paddlable line down them at this level.
We looked at it with a veiw to kayaking but if you added another 10cm of water then it would be a doable canoe trip, albe it still grade 2/3.

Hardest section appeared to be under Bridge 75 (the abseiling bridge).

Don't paddle into Litton Mill village. Get off where the road is parrallel to the river at the base of Tideswell Dale. The harder rapid at Litton Mill can only be inspected by trespassing in full view of the houses on a island. You'd also need to portage a large sluice. I would get off at above site and carry boats through the village to the far side and rejoin after the rapids. 5 mins portage, happy locals. Don't go down the right channel! This takes you into more sluce gates and under the building!

Beyond Litton Mill there are a pair of larger sloping wiers which had nice lines at this level but had collected some tree debris.

We turned back at the small water wheel by the second wier.
I will be running this as soon as it hits the right level again. Looks good to do this section and then from here to Ashford and beyond. Anyone done this and can we have a guide?

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:05 pm
by Pete K
Ran this today from Topley Quarry car park to just above Litton Mill. Took about an hour and a half + shuttles. No problems from any locals/bailifs etc and we saw quite a few people, even a couple of artists with easels in Chee Dale.

EA gauge was about 0.50 metres and dropping when we would have been getting on. The river was a nice friendly level with a fair bit of scraping in places. The harder rapid at the end of Chee Dale was a nice grade 2+ ish I think and the section under Millers Dale Bridge 75 (abseil bridge) was a good 3. In all honesty I think you'd need more water. I'd previously stated the minimum level to be about 0.54m from the EA gauge but I'd say about 0.60m would be a better choice, however, everything ran at this level even if it was a bit rocky.
Nice surf waves in the last section before the egress at this level.

There was one manditory portage not too far from the houses after the get on where you limbo under a bridge and head round an island. This is a tree down fully across the river. The whole river has tree hazards and strainers, one of which claimed a victim today as one of our party took a swim after getting caught up. Do take care.

More people should go paddle this but be warned, it is a popular fishing river.
It could benefit from some gardening in places, which could be mostly done from the bank.

Pete Knight

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:07 am
by Pete K
I have been recently contacted by a member of Buxton Fly Fishers who expressed concerns about the potential to damage the river environment of the Derbyshire Wye. He has given me permission to post the emails so that the community can better understand the concerns of fishermen. I am no spokesperson for the BCU but in the absence of an adequatly functioning governing body I chose to reply myself.

I think that if we maintain an open dialog and a willingness to listen to the other users' concerns we will do more for paddler/angler relations than any VAG negotiations. I'll probably post this in a more conspicuous area of the forum as well.


Dear Pete Knight

RE ... 60#p528392

I've noticed your comment "It could benefit from some gardening in places, which could be mostly done from the bank."

I'm a member of Buxton Fly Fishers, we have fishing rights to the river from the site of the derelict Devonshire Arms down as far as Blackwell Mill Cottages (where the wooden footbridge crosses the river). We do not remove wood from the river or prune it's banks because the aquatic invertebrate population, and consequently the native trout population, thrives where rivers contain lots of woody debris. I know the same is true downstream where the river is managed by Cressbrook & Litton FF, and then beyond by the Haddon Estate.

The Derbyshire Wye is one of the finest trout rivers in England, with arguably the best invertebrate life of any river in the UK. I hope that you will respect what we are trying to achieve.

All the best


Hi Andrew, thank you for your email.

I am only one person, I cannot speak for all paddlers or the community in general but I’d be happy to allay any concerns you may have as best I can.

I am not a fisherman myself but do understand and share your concerns over the river environment, after all, the scenery and environment is one of the main reasons a lot of people go paddling. The Wye is a wonderful paddle, provided that it is done with an appropriate water level. It is one of few Derbyshire rivers with more than just flatwater interest.

I shall clarify my statement on UK Rivers Forum for you so as to clear up any potential misunderstanding.
By 'gardening', as paddlers, we refer to the removal of river debris that would be a significant risk to a paddler's safety. An example of this would be a fallen tree hanging across the watercourse on a fast flowing section creating a deadly 'strainer' feature. It does not mean simply clearing a watercourse to increase the ease of paddling (although that does happen in appropriate places) but removing debris enough to allow a safe route through for a boat. In most cases when faced with a blockage it is usually manoeuvred to the bank where it still serves its purpose as a fish habitat - something that has successfully been done on the river Goyt recently by angling groups.
Often when faced with a blockage the simplest option for most boaters is to portage around the obstacle and then get back on the river. In some cases this is not possible (i.e. some of the gorge like sections of the Wye upstream of Millersdale) and a hazard needs removing. Regular portaging can also create erosion on the banks, something to be avoided where possible.

I fully understand that debris in the water can provide a haven for invertebrates and fish and am not advocating the removal of all river features. Some obstructions do however prevent more of a risk to life than a benefit to fish or anglers as I’m sure you understand, such as debris on rapids etc... I've not been along the Wye for some months now and the specific hazards I was referring to on the forum may have already moved naturally. The river environment is very dynamic and will change constantly, regardless of human intervention. Paddlers (for the most part) are very proactive in looking after rivers, we would rather sort issues out ourselves than have the Riparian Owner clear the blockage (EA guidance on Riparian responsibilities – Link – page 4).

I applaud the work done along stretches of the Wye to keep banks clear and the river unobstructed by angling groups and have no wish to come into conflict with any other users. As a paddler I am simply looking to enjoy the environment whilst causing as little sign of my presence as possible.

If you’d like to discuss anything further please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you

Pete Knight


Hi Pete, thank you very much for your considered reply. I would fine with you publishing my email.

I must own up that I am also the person responsible for initiating the work on the Goyt which caused you some concern last September! When I saw your post about that I tried to setup an account so that I could respond and allay your fears. I also emailed the Secretary of Manchester Canoe Club but had no response. Thankfully we (the Wild Trout Trust / the EA / Disley&New Mills AC) did get the explanation across and I'm pleased to say it was published following your post.

All the best, Andrew


Thank you Andrew,
I am not aware of anyone officially working to increase communication between anglers and paddlers in the Peak from the BCU. I feel it is up to individuals like us to forge better relationships and understanding. Coexistence on our rivers will be easier once everybody knows more about the other side's concerns. Since coming across the felling on the Goyt last year I've done a lot more research into river habitat creation and so have a greater understanding and feel I am better equipped to spot intentional or beneficial structures and those that are simply a hazard.
In the interests of keeping open communications, please feel free to contact me again if you ever have any other canoeing related concerns or queries, should I not be able to help I'll do my best to direct you to the individual who can. Also if, like the Goyt, you have any information relative to paddlers that needs disseminating through the paddling community I'd be happy to pass things on.

All the best,

Pete Knight

Re: RIVER WYE (Buxton to Litton Mill)

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:53 pm
by Pete K
Kayaked the section below this today, getting on below Cressbrook and out before Ashford.

Not quite enough water today: 0.6m on Buxton & 0.43m on Ashford gauges. Upper would have been okay but this section could do with another 0.1m or I'd say at least 0.5m on the Ashford gauge.

At least 1 wire fence after Cressbrook get on. Sneak in low water (just) or portage left. Careful as it is near houses.

Gd 2 with one big weir to portage at Monsal Head. In, out and shuttled within 1h30mins. Awesome scenery!