River Barle - Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence

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Mark R
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River Barle - Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence

Post by Mark R » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:56 am

Last edited by Mark R on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:02 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by twopigs » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:59 pm

Llow water run today - water just lapping on the slipway above the bridge in Dulverton. As you might expect in early October plenty of leaves bringing branches down towards the water.

Of note - at 3 ways the left hand channel has two trees down across it, and the central route still has a tree down on river left not blocking the whole route but worth watching. And there was a nice guy out in his open boat with a chain saw reducing the trees fallen across the good lines.
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:33 pm

We took the left channel at the 3 way split on the Barle (14-10-06) and there was a tree all the way across it. I did try the update page, but my work machine blocked sending the form (security reasons)

Rob
(PS please don't put my email address online. Cheers R)

Rob Barrett
VT Graphic Designer 04

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That message is from 2006 - don't know if it's still current?
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Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:33 pm

Paddled the River Barle, Exmoor, Somerset last weekend (13th Oct), paddling between Tarr steps and Dulverton, 3 trees have fallen into the river, 2 only partially block passage, but one completely blocks passage, in low conditions it is possible to sneak past on left side, but in higher levels it would be a killer, definately needs portaging.

Many Thanks Paul Collacott
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Ditto, as previous post.
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Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:04 pm

George Woolley 'I'm the old guy with the rowboat and safety line on the weir at Dulverton. Distant travellers - feel free to phone for up to date conditions, 01398 324252.

PS not all us anglers is baddies.'
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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Mark R » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:04 pm

Apparently George has now sadly deceased.


Guide updated today.
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Trees on Barle

Post by Liam Kirkham » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:27 pm

The Barle currently has at least two trees down.

One around 700m after tar steps and across the whole width of the river.

The second is 100m above the third weir, can get past but its tight(ish)

Be careful.

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Re: Trees on Barle

Post by samw » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:21 pm

We had to portage about 6 times today around trees.

So be careful if paddling this river
Sam

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by TobyT » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:39 am

Already mentioned in another post by someone else but I thought I would keep the information in one place.

As of Sunday the 15th Feb 2009 there were many trees down across the Barle between Tar steps and Dulverton. I lost count a bit but think we portaged about 6 times. All except the last were right across the river. There were a number of other tree falls where you could sneak through with varying degrees of care.

My first time on the river but I was told that the water was at a good level. Any higher and some of the other fallen trees would have to become portages as well.

The last portage was outside a large house not long before Dulverton. I think this is it http://www.multimap.com/maps/?countryCo ... 3.55656:16. We got out and portaged river left here, there was an earth cliff on river right. I'm not sure but a small group of canadians may have found a way through; I was bringing up the back and didn't really check this hazard out. As we getting on the water the owner of the nearby property came across and spoke to our last man; he explained it was private land and he didn't want people on it and that people should get out on the other side. My friend explained that there was a tree down and it was impossible to get out on the other side. He was then told that we should have contacted the park in advance to check whether the route was clear (whether the gentleman had informed the park or other organisation of the hazard, and if they were open to provide this information on a Sunday was not discovered). The conversation was left at this point and the owner walked off.

Unfortunately our relatively large group had got on the river at roughly the same time as two other groups and we kept bumping into them throughout the day, usually at portages. I'm sure having 20 people in a group cross the field within 100 metres of your windows on a Sunday afternoon is not what you want to see. Other groups in the near future may want to practice a better level of discretion, or see if they can find a way through. Or bring a big saw. There was a couple of strands of what looked like it could be a temporary electric fence attached to the trees at the waters edge, I assume to keep a horse other large animal away from the water. It wasn't on and the gaps were large enough that you didn't have to disturb it but could provide an interesting additional hazard.

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by amelia » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:23 pm

As has been said there are currently about 6 portages between Tarr Steps and Dulverton and a number of other sneaks. The levels were low-medium, but not a complete scrape, and I would be wary going with levels much higher as it would become quite difficult to eddy out above some of the trees (particularly with novice open boaters). I think we were probably the group of opens referred to in the post above... a few of our group walked boats through the trees referred to in that post but one person got rather snagged up so the rest of us portaged fully.

At the point the river splits into three channels round islands near Tarr Steps the middle channel was passable on Sunday, but as you met the flow coming in from the left you had to edge very close to the island bank on your right to sneak through the tree down there.

There were no tree portages from Dulverton to Exebridge, but there was one tree down across the river above a bridge that had to be passed under quite precisely. There also looked to be a tree in the weir steps below Duvlerton.

There were a lot of large groups on the river. It was also slightly frustrating when groups were waiting in eddies to individually negotiate their way through fallen trees to have other paddlers push their way in front and split the group, so please show a bit of patience if you are on the river. It might also be prudent to paddle in slightly smaller groups while the trees are still there.

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Flo » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:52 pm

Hmm,

I don't suppose there's an update on those trees is there? A small group of us were considering going there on Monday. Any extra info would be greatly appreciated

flo

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Whatyoudoing » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:17 pm

Hi everyone, just looking for an update on the trees from tarr steps to exebridge. got a day off tomorrow to do some paddling and don't really want to be getting out every five minutes, is the route from marsh bridge to exebridge any better?
Any help always appreciated

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Whatyoudoing » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:47 pm

Just an update on the Barle levels and trees, today (11/03/09) we did from Marsh bridge, Dulverton to The Anchor, Exebridge. water levels excellent, and all trees clear or there is a path through.
One thing i will say is there is the occasional low level branch (i guess from the weight of the snow), which can cause an issue with a absolute novice,
There is also a fair ammount of debris which has collected on coloums of bridges just to be aware of other than that an excellent paddle today at 800mm on the gauge at Thorverton (Check it out first anything below 600mm can be a bit of a scrape)
Check it out
http://eathorvertonwebcam.org.uk/index2.html
Hope this helps

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Eliza Dolittle » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:53 am


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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Eliza Dolittle » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:43 pm

Went down to the Barle this weekend.
If you wish to compare water levels on the webcam at Stanburys Garage with the concrete ramp just above the bridge in Dulverton (referenced in the BCU book "English White Water"), then if there are exposed stones showing on the webcam below the bridge pier then the water level is about 6" below the bottom of the concrete ramp.
(So too low to make it worth paddling, we went and explored the Taw instead)
Edit - By the Taw I mean the Grade 1-2 bit of river that runs through Umberleigh and not the Grade 4 bit in the rivers Guide

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Vulch » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:58 am

Good level for beginners today. 50cm on the Stanburys Gauge (http://www.stanburys-garage-dulverton.co.uk/). Water 6 inches up the ramp at Dulverton.

Trees now passable with a little bit of care at this water level, BUT: Take the middle route where the river splits three ways. You can just about see that this route is clear from the top. The other routes are completely blocked by trees and debris at the end.

Simon

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by W5RAY » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi Guys, we are taking a group of about 14 kayakers (in 3 groups) from Tarr Steps to Dulverton on Sat 5th Dec. Mainly 3* ability and above paddlers - first WW experience for some.
Has anyone got any recently up to date info on tree and other hazards that we may encounter. Forewarned is to be Forearmed!
Thanks
Ray

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Whatyoudoing » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:22 pm

Paddled Tarr steps to Dulverton 2 or 3 weeks ago and there is a path all the way down, as mentioned above where the river splits there is a debris either side so stick to the middle route. There are Trees down all along this section (all negotiable with relative ease) so just a little caution required.
Below (Marsh bridge to Anchor Inn) paddled at the begining of the season and was all clear.
Hope this helps

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by LittleLegs » Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:32 pm

Was down there 15/11 would agree with whatyoudoing forTarr steps to Dulverton.

Dulverton down to Exebridge issues were
Fish Steps - shortly past Dulverton have changed - scout fully- one of our groups walked around this. The other group went far river right
Broken weir shortly before confulence tree in pipe- if enough water it can be shot on river left easily.
Rob

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by W5RAY » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:36 pm

Hey guys, did any one paddle the Barle this weekend - just trying to get as much up to date info for our group this weekend?
Thanks

Ray

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Gwilym » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:07 pm

I paddled the Barle from Tarr Steps to Exbridge and there are a number of trees down between Tarr Steps and Dulverton. The second half is much better. One tree blocks the whole river and is worth potaging round, another tree is likely to block the river if it falls down any more. The weir with the chute after the Salmon Steps is blocked by a tree so the chute is out of action.

The river can be paddled but take care as tonights rain may cause some of the trees we ducked under to become un passable.

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Gwilym » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:40 pm

Was working on the river between Tarr Steps and Dulverton today. Lots of people out and yesterday's main tree blockage has moved (whether by person or water I don't know)

Good to see so many out but water levels still low with lots of scraping and bumping in sections

Will try to upload video of the busy play spot later

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Gwilym » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:46 pm

The Barle very full today and in spate with the water a nice shade of brown.

We portaged the main stepped weir as there looked to be some nasty towbacks on it and no obvious clean line. Saw about 25-30 paddlers on the Dulverton to Exebridge section and I think most of us ended up with a visit to The Anchor Inn.

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by W5RAY » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:50 pm

Gwilym wrote:Was working on the river between Tarr Steps and Dulverton today. Lots of people out and yesterday's main tree blockage has moved (whether by person or water I don't know)

Good to see so many out but water levels still low with lots of scraping and bumping in sections

Will try to upload video of the busy play spot later
Hi Gwilym, spoke to you on Sat before getting on water, thanks for the info. When we got to the tree blocking the river we stopped and cut off a large section and dragged it out of the river to make a safe route on river right. Hope you guys found that okay!

Ray

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Gwilym » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:28 pm

Ray,

We certainly appreciated not having to portage ourselves. Thanks for that.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of the trip.

Gwilym

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Mark R » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:13 pm

Good afternoon
I am writing to let you know that as of the 18th January 2010 permission to canoe on a section of the Barle below Tarr Steps has been withdrawn a landowner.
The landowner has informed Exmoor National Park Authority that they own the North-East half of the river bed from Ashway Hat Wood (SS861316) to Three Waters (SS871305) and all of the river bed for a 350m stretch at Three Waters. I have not had this land ownership legally confirmed but I have no reason to not believe that it is true.
The landowner has also requested that we display a temporary notice at the ingress at Tarr Steps which we have agreed to do.
If you would like to discuss this matter further please get in touch with me directly.
Yours Sincerely
Dan Barnett
Access and Recreation Manager
Exmoor National Park Authority
Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9HL
Tel: 01398 323665
Email: djbarnett@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Mark R » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:08 pm

I would strongly urge all paddlers to ignore any signs such as those refered to above, and to continue to enjoy your river heritage as you deem appropriate based on paddling conditions.The Exmoor National Park has no jurisdiction over the navigation of rivers.
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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by pete thorn » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:50 pm

I agree and our club paddles on the Barle will continue.
Pete Thorn

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by Gwilym » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:51 pm

Has anyone paddled The Barle since this came to notice and if so what problems (if any) did you encounter?

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Re: RIVER BARLE (Tarr Steps to Exe Confluence)

Post by WWBrue » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:17 pm

We took a school group to the Barle today. At Tarr Steps we were approached by a gentleman dressed in fishing gear who invited us to read the sign regarding the withdrawal of access to the Barle.

I pointed out, politely, that we still intended to paddle the river. We warned me that he would take further action. He proceeded to film us as we got on the water.
I volunteered my contact details. He seemed fairly friendly after this and thanked me for being polite. He told me that there was some kind of access meeting coming up.

I wonder if others have come across problems?

Simon Houghton
Millfield School

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