Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all ?

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BarmyAlex118
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Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all ?

Post by BarmyAlex118 »

Hi

I am organizing this years tyne tour for our uni paddle group and was just wondering how best it would be to safety cover wardens gorge for the novice paddlers coming along.

I was thinking of going down my self with some one in the group who is a good paddler, and then sitting in a big eddy further down and getting them to come down one at a time, dealing with any swimmers one at a time instead of a big group en mass.
Is this the best way to cover wardens gorge ?

I do know that you can't portage wardens gorge itself if you are already in there, put is it possible to get out further up and then walk down and around it ? If this is possible then it would be great as that way those who can paddle can still run it if they wish too.

I am considering taking the group down the south tyne to see how they got on if its not possible at all to portage wardens.

Cheers Alex :)

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Billy The Fisherman »

It would be possible to portage Warden gorge but is an unpleasant, cag-shredding walk through all the trees and undergrowth, even where the local angling club have cleared a path.
All the TT’s I’ve paddled have had safety cover on the gorge section and eddies filled up with paddlers waiting for space in playspots. If your group aren’t confident intermediate paddlers, then there are better places to take them further up the North Tyne. The South Tyne also has some good stretches to introduce groups to moving water, try Haydon Bridge to Hexham as a classic beginners grade II, with the best water at shortly after the start.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Dunmail »

PM Sent

andpops
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by andpops »

The gorge is not that hard dont be put off by what people tell you they are just huing it up. There will be plenty of cover there anyway, Go and enjoy. Its flat after that all the way to the end.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Betty »

Portage of Wardens Gorge is not permitted. It is a SSSI and a very sensitive access issue. The continuation of the Tyne Tour as an event relies upon people not portaging Wardens Gorge. If you start that section of river, you are committed to run it.

The organisers of the event request that novice paddlers are not taken on that section of river.

All this is on the Tyne Tour information webbie, and a condition of participation.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Mark R »

No.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by swagstaff »

Other alternatives are to borrow some duckies for the novices and or some duo topolinos. We have used both lots in the past and still take absolute beginners down the River Awe in both.
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by DaveWortley »

I got to about 100 metres of the get out of the Tyne and asked "so where is this gorge bit then?"....

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Jim »

On the tour, no it is not possible. One of the key access negotiations for the tour (which have to be carried out each year) depends on paddlers not getting out at the top of Warden gorge.

There are plenty of other sections available over the weekend for weaker groups, even Newcastle uni will not usually take everyone down Warden gorge on the tour weekend, it simply isn't necessary especially if you have more paddlers than boats ;)

Depending on level, the rapid itself is usually pretty easy read and run grade 3+ (the only difficult stopper is at the top and you will start well to the left of it) but there can be some rocks and awkward waves and it can be a long bony swim. I have swum it twice now, once after dropping into the top stopper to play (turned out it did all the playing), so all the way down, and a short one last year after my dad in the front of the canoe decided to start trying to steer near the end - the first one I found quite unpleasant, the last one just embarrassing, but my dad swam further and looked a little shaken.
It's easy if you paddle whitewater, but it is too long and intimidating for complete beginners.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Jim wrote:One of the key access negotiations for the tour (which have to be carried out each year) depends on paddlers not getting out at the top of Warden gorge.
There's a bit too much forelock tugging up in the North for my liking. I get the impression that canoeists still think of themselves as 'us' in the context of 'them'.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Jim »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Jim wrote:One of the key access negotiations for the tour (which have to be carried out each year) depends on paddlers not getting out at the top of Warden gorge.
There's a bit too much forelock tugging up in the North for my liking. I get the impression that canoeists still think of themselves as 'us' in the context of 'them'.
Understand the difference between a large organised event catering for several thousand people, and a few mates out for a saturday afternoon river trip.

It will always be necessary for a large organised event to get permission (and it is under Scottish Land Reform) from all relevant parties, if that permission cannot be gained there will be no event.

I don't know what the current status of the Tyne VAA is, it has always been workable in the past and gave paddlers an equal footing to anglers. Whether it is still in use or not, the permission for the Tour will likely always be locked to the historical opening weekend.....

I don't understand the comment about canoeists?

BarmyAlex118
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by BarmyAlex118 »

hi
thanks for all the extra info, i was hoping there might have been way to allow my beginners to go around the gorge but it has been pointed out to me that we can do the wark - barrasford, and then those with the more experience can carry on down from there.

It would have been nice for a cheeky shortcut around it though.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Betty »

Adrian Cooper wrote:There's a bit too much forelock tugging up in the North for my liking. I get the impression that canoeists still think of themselves as 'us' in the context of 'them'.
Think this is a fair one though, it is for environmental reasons... they don't want a heard of paddlers trampling about in a SSSI

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Mine was a general point, not relating to the Tour or Warden Gorge, a policy which makes sense. I have been surprised by the extent to which canoeists in the North are prepared to stick to outdated access agreements. Do people remember the ridiculous one on the Eden where you had to apply weeks in advance for a maximum number of tickets and no stopping to play or even to eddy out. I have had canoeists criticise me for not getting the necessary permission.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Jim Pullen »

Believe it or not the landowner believes the one on the Eden still exists...

I hear rumour that the second edition of English White Water will have any references to access agreements in the North expunged from the text....
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Yew »

Assuming you have enout experienced paddlers to clean up afterwards, the alternative is to tell your freshers to paddle really hard down wardens :D

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Adrian Cooper »

"Paddle really hard" is standard coaching technique for university students on their first Tyne Tour having been learning for six weeks.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Jim »

Adrian Cooper wrote:Mine was a general point, not relating to the Tour or Warden Gorge, a policy which makes sense. I have been surprised by the extent to which canoeists in the North are prepared to stick to outdated access agreements. Do people remember the ridiculous one on the Eden where you had to apply weeks in advance for a maximum number of tickets and no stopping to play or even to eddy out. I have had canoeists criticise me for not getting the necessary permission.
Interesting perspective, I can recall the access officer at the time I used to run the Eden didn't issue tickets and tried to get more people to paddle it without jumping through the hoops. The egress is/was a 3 way nightmare, one landowner not wanting the weir run because of concerns about liability, the egress route from above the weir running along the edge of private gardens, and the parking being incredibly difficult.

The Tees was a shambles.

The only paddling I've done in the North (of England) since the general rejection of access agreements has been on the Tyne tour so I don't know if northern paddlers are sticking to outdated agreements or not. I have to say that apart from the Tees, I never found we had any practical restrictions on paddling in the 5 years I lived in Newcastle and paddled all over the North - the Tyne agreement almost never stopped anyone paddling when it was at a sensible level.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Big Henry »

I've certainly never followed any sort of access agreement since the Brighton Uni report was published, and I've rarely come across many who have complained at me. The only section that I had some paddlers suggest I not do a section was on the Ure from Hack Falls to Slen. Didn't stop me. I've also paddled every section of the Tees from below High Force down to the barrage, and the only section where someone tried to give us hassle from the bank was just below Croft.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Mark R »

Jim Pullen wrote:Believe it or not the landowner believes the one on the Eden still exists...

I hear rumour that the second edition of English White Water will have any references to access agreements in the North expunged from the text....
South West region too, I have a feeling.
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Betty »

It is funny that paddlers pay to do the Tyne Tour... if you are not using the camping facilities etc, just going for the day.. seems a bit strange that you have to pay to paddle a river that we can just paddle at any other time. Just saying!

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I've never bothered to do the economic assessment but at the Tour, there is additional parking made available and a shuttle bus which will get you back to your car. I rarely avail myself of any of the other facilities but I do pay and join in with the general event.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by paddletastic2 »

Betty wrote:It is funny that paddlers pay to do the Tyne Tour... if you are not using the camping facilities etc, just going for the day.. seems a bit strange that you have to pay to paddle a river that we can just paddle at any other time. Just saying!
I may be wrong but I think there is a guaranteed water release that has o be arranged?

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Betty »

paddletastic2 wrote:
Betty wrote:It is funny that paddlers pay to do the Tyne Tour... if you are not using the camping facilities etc, just going for the day.. seems a bit strange that you have to pay to paddle a river that we can just paddle at any other time. Just saying!
I may be wrong but I think there is a guaranteed water release that has o be arranged?
I believe it coincides with a planned release rather than the Tyne Tour organisers having any power over when or how much water is released.

I just think there is a slight ideological difficulty here, a contradiction between the 'new' approach to access... and the idea that you must pay to paddle the Tyne (as a separate thing to the camping/parties/other events which of course it is fair enough for people to pay for)

There used to be a 'charity paddle' on the Swale. The organisers would go negotiate an agreement for that weekend. This would be a feat of negotiation that NATO would have been proud of. This was back in the day when it was virtually impossible to get 'permission' to paddle. Te event stopped as the situation changed and people paddle Grinton-Richmond relatively unhindered these days. So there is no need for a specific event to paddle that section of river.

My question is... apart from a party, are events like these out dated?

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Poke »

Betty wrote:My question is... apart from a party, are events like these out dated?
You have kite festivals for kite enthusiasts, yet you can fly kites everywhere...
You have car festivals for car enthusiasts, yet you can drive cars "everywhere"...
You have gardening shows for gardening enthusiasts, even though there's no restriction on gardening...
Why not still have kayaking festivals, even though you can now kayak anywhere you like?
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Grumpy old man »

Hi
I have heard a full time CE officer advise people that there is absolutely NO boating on the Tyne system in September-October because we don't want to jeopardise this event. They informed me that the new 365 day access policy of CE doesn't apply to old access agreements. Make of it what you will.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Personally, I would rather jepordise the event than be dictated to on that basis. I have paddled the North Tyne in October before now, no-one seemed to object. I see next year the event is likely to be on 1-2 November, I recommend people make a concerted effort to make a long weekend of it and paddle on the Friday.

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Betty »

Poke wrote:
Betty wrote:My question is... apart from a party, are events like these out dated?
You have kite festivals for kite enthusiasts, yet you can fly kites everywhere...
You have car festivals for car enthusiasts, yet you can drive cars "everywhere"...
You have gardening shows for gardening enthusiasts, even though there's no restriction on gardening...
Why not still have kayaking festivals, even though you can now kayak anywhere you like?
The difference is that the organisers of these things do not tell other enthusiasts not to fly kites drive cars or gardens unless it at their event! Also they do not claim some kind of monopoly on a freely accessible resource.


This is why I am thinking it is all a bit hypocritical and forelock tugging x

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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by Poke »

Betty wrote:The difference is that the organisers of these things do not tell other enthusiasts not to fly kites drive cars or gardens unless it at their event! Also they do not claim some kind of monopoly on a freely accessible resource.
I've not seen anything from any of the Tyne Tour organisers that suggests you can't paddle the river if you're not part of the event...

I know they sell "day paddling" tickets, but suspect this is to give people the chance to use the parking and shuttles that they've put on for the weekend.

Are you sure you're not just finding a problem where there isn't one?
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Re: Tyne tour is it possible to portage wardens gorge at all

Post by cp »

I am led to believe the new access officer for the BCU is currently in negotiations to get the agreement changed to be in line with the BCU 365 day access, however I have had no reply when trying to contact him to find out.

Chris

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