RIVER LEVEN

North of the Severn drainage, west of the Pennines
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Mark R
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RIVER LEVEN

Post by Mark R » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:57 pm


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Jim Pullen
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Post by Jim Pullen » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:40 pm

Ewen 10/11/06 wrote:Nasty spike ( ? metal) on the channel running left
at Fisherman's Island which nearly holed 2 boats in succession ( not visible
at medium/high flow until you're spiked ): this is in the centre of the flow
a few metres after where the river divides . There is also a rock hidden in
what looks to be an innocous haystack right smack in the middle of this
channel on the last little drop .
Running the channel right of the Island would avoid these hazards , but
inspection not easy (fierce dog in garden river right)
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MarkB
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Re: RIVER LEVEN - tree hazard at Fisherman's Island

Post by MarkB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:02 am

River left of 'Fisherman's Island', the channel is blocked by a substantial tree across the entire width about half way down. It was reported some time ago and I saw it about 12 months ago, not looking like it was going to be moving any time soon.

The old fisherman's bridge reported to be a hazard on river RIGHT seems to have long gone, though the narrow channel can easily trap floating strainers that may happen to come downriver, to catch the unwary.
Last edited by MarkB on Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:47 pm

Mark - the old bridge that you refer to and is mentioned in the guide was, I think, over the channel on river right of the island - the section most folk now know as the fishermans gorge - its the section that you caught on the video linked from the guide on this site. This seems to be clear now - we've run it at all sorts of levels this past year and nobody has seen any old metalwork - to my knowledge.

The tree across the river left channel is still very much there and is a real hazard. There is no line through the river left channel and, at any kind of flow, the strainer it forms presents a real danger.

Anyone who doesn't know the river would do well to eddy out at the top river right tip the island on the dog-leg entrance to the gorge and have a quick peek (the gorge can catch debris washed into it) or at least make certain they run river right of the island. The island is ~300 metres below the big river-wide diagonal weir after the A590 road bridge crosses the river. (SD 349 840 on OS maps - shame that a certain Geordie's boat didn't go left instead of right that last time we paddled it really!)

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Jim Pullen
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:15 am

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A bad pin on the leven

Post by kayakingcraig » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:39 pm

A quick note for kayakers in the North West

Firstly so you know before you read, I am not usually a user of forums but in this case i thought it was the best way to get the information accross. so I’ll introduce myself first I’m a kayaker from the north west and I mainly paddle in the lakes with a great crew of mates and local lads. Although I don’t call myself a great paddler I think of myself as an able and competent paddler with some good rivers and experiences to my name.

Today something happened on the river Leven that I never wanted to or thought would happen to me, it’s a river I have ran over 100 times and today was a normal run in low summertime levels with just a desire to get out and do something after our long spell without the wet stuff. A few months ago a post was put up on UK Rivers stating that there was a jetty or object lodged with mill force rapid just below the brick chute weir. After paddling this river at all sorts of levels since that post it had become common knowledge that the object had been removed.

Unfortunately it had not….. Today I approached Mill force in my play boat, I stopped on the lip of the drop in the Eddie river right I had a good look, and from above the drop looked normal. I decided to take the line river left as I like the boof off the lip and land in the white stuff (fun at low levels). My mate Jonny also a competent paddler waited in the eddie for me to go first. I dropped over the lip landed flat and got a bit of down time all normal in a play boat. At this point I felt the boat hit something solid and slide under an object. I became pinned at chest height under the water and I was unable to move. I was right in the base of the hole and completely submerged I tried to move but there was no moment for jiggling the boat free after several seconds I managed to push myself up a short distance and get the top of my helmet out of the water this created a small air curtain where I got some breath I put my hand in the air for my mate to see where I was. I realized my options were running out and time was getting quite slim I took a breath and put my head back under the water wriggled several more times every so often taking a breath in the end I relaxed and took the decision that I was not able to remove my deck and I needed to get out without it. After reaching down again for one last attempt and push at getting myself out, my spell of good luck came just in time. I became free and managed to swim out and hug the bank. I was in the company of a good friend at the time, he saw me go over the drop land in the hole and not resurface. He says all he could see was my hand reaching up in the air. And when I finally came out of my boat after the longest minute of my life I was greeted by an organized friend who had eddied out and was preparing single person rescue efforts to get me out.

I am not writing this to tell you of my epic day, neither for you to tell me your opinions of what I should or shouldn’t have done in that situation. Only in the hope that those reading this will pass on the information to Uni clubs, clubs and other forums to stop this occurring with possibly more serious consequences.

I am also interested in getting a group together to meet up whilst the levels are low and attempt removing this jetty before the Uni groups arrive with the crowds of inexperienced threshers and take the on the Leven. If you’re a local boater to the Leven and happy to give a hand while the water levels are low please give me a email on kayakingcraig@hotmail.com

This is a link to the pics of the object and my pinned boat. Like I said if you wish to place negative feedback then please don’t bother as this topic was raised as information to stop any serious situations occurring not for you to debate my level of paddling competency.

Yours
Craig Jones…
Craig

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Glyn B
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Glyn B » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:54 pm

Doesn't sound like you could have done much else tbh Craig.

Many, many thanks for the info!

Like you, I run the Levens a lot and often take the better newbies down it, so that information is absolutely invaluable. Glad to hear you're ok! By all means let me know when you think it'll be possible and I'll happily come up to help.

Glyn Brayfield
Last edited by Glyn B on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jonny Briggs
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Jonny Briggs » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:56 pm

Thanks for posting that, glad your OK

Id post it on http://www.deathbeforeportage.co.uk and I'll see about putting the account on Rainchasers.

Maybe a extraction day with the chain saw is needed.

Jonny

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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Andy H » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:59 pm

Hi Craig
Glad to hear you are OK, It sounded like a nasty 1 and the next paddler might not be so lucky. As you have said as a local paddler and you know the river very well i should get a load of mates and try and remove the object, A big grappling hook and strong line should work on a z drag.

Cheers Andy
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Lancs_lad
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Lancs_lad » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:07 pm

You dont have much luck on the Leven do you Craig!? Glad your ok mate, ill ring you about boating tomorrow.

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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ian.Adey » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:12 pm

Lucky escape!

I noticed it when it first appeared and we tried a few rope setups on it but no luck, a chain saw is about the only thing that will shift it but doubt the water will ever get low enough, I'll stick a note at the put in but doubt it will last long,

There's a bar on the right end of the wood that will work as an attachment point if any one fancy's having another go!
Guiding and Coaching in the Lakes,UK & Europe

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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:36 pm

Glad your okay, thaks for the info. Is it the drop after the brick chute weir by the get in pritty much?

kayakingcraig
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by kayakingcraig » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:39 pm

yeah its the drop immediately after brick chute wier on river left
Craig

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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by heybaz » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:12 pm

Hi Craig

I'm up for giving it a go - I'll pm you my mobile no; likely to be in Ulverston middle of next week, possibly over next weekend.

I wonder if its worth having a chat with the guys working on the old mill building just by the brickchute - I recall seeing a big yellow digger on the site last week - maybe a chain over the wall and 10 minutes by the side of the road is all it would take? I have some local contacts and will put feelers out.

Thanks for the report and well done on keeping your cool; I'd like to think that I'd do the same as you under the circumstances but would almost certainly need to keep my drysuit on until I reached a shower....

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by cumbria deb » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:45 pm

This hazzard has now been removed from the fall area, by myself and a couple of others, although it did take industrial stuff ratchets and a Z drag to get it off on sunday am when the water was low. it is currently lying at the side of the river downstream of the fall on the river left, l have tied it off to a tree which will hold it for now to prevent it washing further downstream and doing the same again. it was too heavy for us to lift further being abouot 12x4ft and about 4cm thick wood.
so if anyone can cut it into smaller bits more easy to move, then the risk of it moving downstream and blocking another fall could be removed.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Rdscott » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:04 pm

Was at the leven yesterday in low water (walking) the builders on the old mill house were in the river and so was their cat tracked JCB, not sure what they were doing it was at the brick chute, may be completly innocent but watch out for debbris next time down just in case.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:03 am

Please note this post on rainchasers.

Suggested get-out is now river right before the bridge to avoid damage to the wall on river left.
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Re: RIVER LEVEN - tree hazard at Fisherman's Island

Post by Ian W » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:40 pm

MarkB wrote:River left of 'Fisherman's Island', the channel is blocked by a substantial tree across the entire width about half way down. It was reported some time ago and I saw it about 12 months ago, not looking like it was going to be moving any time soon.

The old fisherman's bridge reported to be a hazard on river RIGHT seems to have long gone, though the narrow channel can easily trap floating strainers that may happen to come downriver, to catch the unwary.
Please note that this tree is still there - be careful and if you don't fancy the harder river right line then portage. Also tried the 'new' get out today which was fine, although careful on the road!!
Ian w

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Jim Pullen
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:06 am

Follow this discussion for info about the damaged pipe bridge, which may need portaging.
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by longlandsfarm » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:07 am

Run the Leven Saturday everything clear including pipe but no bridge or scaffold !

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Ollieswims! » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:42 pm

I think that plans are being made to re-build the 'pipe bridge' as it was a means of access to and from school for school children.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:55 am

Repairs currently under way on Backbarrow making it a definite portage and the big weir has been rebuilt.
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Johan Hoving » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:04 pm

Hello all,
I am the newly appointed BCU access officer for the River Leven and can be contacted through info@riverdeepmountainhigh.co.uk

I have just been to Backbarrow bridge to see the new rain coming through the bridge and the Scaffolding under backbarrow bridge makes it un-paddleable with river wide strainers, posing a huge risk to anyone paddling the leven with the new rain we have this week. It MUST be portaged.

As soon as it is gone I will let you know unless someone else says first.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by IckleMissMayhem » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:41 pm

Just out of interest, what is the current agreement(s) (if any exist) for paddling the river? Been hearing grumbles from the locals in Haverthwaite/Backbarrow about paddlers on the river since the recent rainfall...

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Agent Nomad » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:05 pm

On my hols in the lakes and went to look at Backbarrow bridge and the workmen recon on having the scaffold out by 3 weeks time as long as the dryish weather holds out

In the photo above you may be able to see but there is a working platform the full width of the bridge, and the work includes re grouting the stone work under the bridge as well as the replacment bridge walls

The scaffold that is in there now is the second scaffold as the first was bent beond reconision by high water.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Lancs_lad » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:53 pm

Some pics of the new weir. Apparently it is holding back more water than before.

click click

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Jim Pullen
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:17 pm

Any update on backbarrow? Has the repair work been completed now?
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by heybaz » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:47 pm

Yes Jim

Ran it last week at a good medium level; no obstructions under the bridge that we could see. There is still a bit of tree in the river left side of the flow gauging weir above the graveyard section (below the pipebridge, above the main road bridge) but otherwise all good through the rest of the river to Haverthwaite.

There are a few bits of tree at random places, unsurprisingly given what's gone on over the last 12 months, but nothing that presented any kind of problem and there is always the chance of something turning up where you wouldn't want it - we bank inspected the Fisherman's Gorge for example - but the river seems to be back to it's lovely self.

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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by Jim Pullen » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:29 am

Thanks Barry!
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woodsy
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Re: RIVER LEVEN

Post by woodsy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:46 pm

At a very good medium-high level today.
Big waves, & quite alot of eddies in trees.
Should stay up for a good few days.
Woodsy

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