Tees - Abbey Rapids

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davedraperdesign
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Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by davedraperdesign » Mon May 16, 2016 10:26 am

All,

We had the estate manager for the Abbey Rapids speak to us a few weeks ago (beginning of April) who was informing us that this section is NOT open access from end of March. We were accessing the river by the public footpaths, etc and NOT the steps from the 'car park'.

This is the first time I have ever been challenged for access to this section of the river at any time of the year.

He mentioned that the BCU are paying for access to this section (for slalom by the looks of the access agreement)...

Just to add, the land manager was perfectly pleasant and wanted to know how he could share this with other paddlers. It is just a concern of access to this section is becoming more restrictive.

Has anyone else had similar?

Regards,

Dave

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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by Franky » Tue May 17, 2016 7:18 pm

davedraperdesign wrote: He mentioned that the BCU are paying for access to this section (for slalom by the looks of the access agreement)...
So did I read that wrongly, or does this mean that the BCU is now actively working to try to restrict river access?

Incidentally, this thread might get a lot more interest if it were moved to the main Whitewater forum. I don't think many people read the regional forums who aren't local to the area, but people come from all over the country to paddle the Tees.

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freddie
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by freddie » Wed May 18, 2016 1:36 pm

The North East region pay for access across private land at Abbey Rapids to the river, which is used for races there.
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ken hughes
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by ken hughes » Wed May 18, 2016 1:45 pm

The payment for the use of Abbey Rapids is a long term agreement between the NE Region and the Landowner and has existed for very many years.

It was mainly for Slalom training, but has meant other paddlers have benefited.

It allows access to the River-Right bank and car park at the top of the steps. The steps are currently a big hazard in their dilapidated state and pose a real danger to those using them.

As far as I am aware, and I may be wrong, this does not count for access to the other bank. It might be worth staying away from the car park and steps until November and using the River-Left bank. You can access this through the field above.

Mr Slavin is always friendly and will pass the time of day with you. It is worth keeping him so I would think. He is quite pro-paddlers.

Cheers,

Ken
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Jim
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by Jim » Wed May 18, 2016 4:28 pm

Is this just about access direct to Abbey rapids or is it for the whole trip from Barnard Castle to Whorlton?

With respect to access for slaloms, this site is no longer used for slalom races because it is a logistical nightmare, although may still be used by local clubs for slalom training.

I thought the days of paying for access to the Tees and having to book spaces in advance had finished?

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freddie
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by freddie » Fri May 20, 2016 6:23 pm

Jim, it is access across the private land just at Abbey rapids, and below the bridge where you can walk back up again, nothing to do with paying to use the water or booking spaces.
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noodles
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by noodles » Sat May 21, 2016 11:59 am

We were paddling from Barnard Castle to Winston Bridge at the end of August two or three years ago and were challenged at Abbey Rapids by a guy who was setting up a slalom course. He told us that it wasn't open access and we shouldn't be on the river at that time of the year. There was plenty of water so we were polite and carried on our way.

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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by buck197 » Sun May 22, 2016 10:59 am

That's rich a fellow paddler was telling you there wasn't access on the river he was setting up a slalom course on! I would have advised him to go away smartly.
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swimmer_boy
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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by swimmer_boy » Sun May 22, 2016 10:13 pm

In the days of access agreements... access to the majority of the ww section of the Tees was sacrificed so that the slalomists could have unobstructed use of Abbey Rapids. So, yes, historically it was essentially the case that paddlers would restrict other paddlers.

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Re: Tees - Abbey Rapids

Post by davebrads » Mon May 23, 2016 8:26 am

And the Dee. In those days the Town Falls slalom was huge, and televised. The BCU should have used the power that gave us to sort out the problems on the Dee once and for all, but instead a highly restrictive access agreement was accepted just to preserve a couple of slaloms and a couple of river races. And the national bodies used to make you pay for the privilege of paddling on one of the two "open" days. At least when the Mike Jones rallies started the money was going into a worthwhile charity, and there was a lot more going on apart from just the paddling.

Unfortunately I think that a lot of the power within the BCU is held by people that go back to those dark days, and perhaps that is why things have changed so slowly. I am hoping that the new CEO will change all that, I hope some of you with strong feelings will be attending the BC consultations, I know I will.
noodles wrote:We were paddling from Barnard Castle to Winston Bridge at the end of August two or three years ago and were challenged at Abbey Rapids by a guy who was setting up a slalom course. He told us that it wasn't open access and we shouldn't be on the river at that time of the year. There was plenty of water so we were polite and carried on our way.
I am disappointed as a slalom paddler myself that you were told that so recently, I suppose there is quite a lot of slalom paddlers that are so wrapped up in the cocoon of the sport that they don't understand the bigger picture. It certainly doesn't apply to all of us though.
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