RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Hampshire Avon drainage and eastwards, with the Nene as the northern limit
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RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by Mark R »

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Re: RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by randomgurn »

Paddled by Imperial College Canoe Club 10th October 2009 in two groups (4 people and 5 people). Gauge near Allied Carpets was on the lower .8. It took 2 hours to go between Merton Abbey Mills and Putney Bridge.

Pictures. Feel free to use any on UKRGB, but with appropriate attribution!

Easy access at Merton Abbey Mills, but we arrived already changed since this is a family-oriented place, and there are flats nearby. No access issues. Fishermen were generally very friendly and moved their lines to let us through. The river was actually pretty free of urban obstacles (only a couple of shopping trolleys).

Low pipe at Trewint St Island, easily recognisable by an island (...) with shipping containers river left. We took the right-hand channel, where there was a sloping weir with a king-of-the-wave wave at the bottom. There was a pipe shortly after, which was limboable.

Getting towards Wandsworth, the river is split into two channels by a foot-wide concrete divider. There is no real issue with which channel you take - both are navigable, but the left channel had a few branches to manoeuver.

A second splitter starts, the left-hand channel was blocked by branches. The right-hand goes through a parallel pair of tunnels (not the Arndale tunnel), with a small drop in the flow into the tunnels. Both tunnels are navigable. Alternatively, there is a small weir joining to the left-hand stream channel, avoiding the tunnel.

The Arndale tunnel is about 0.5km after. We took the left-hand tunnel. Actually, there is a junction in the middle where you could cross between tunnels, and go off to the left into "Dave's Folly" mentioned in current UKRGB report. Tunnel was free from obstacles.

Emerging at Young's Brewery, it's a short paddle to the Thames. Approaching the tidal basin, there is a weir running to the left. If you keep going straight, there is a very low pipe (only just squeezed under leaning backwards). It looks like the take-the-left-weir route is free of pipes, but needs sufficient tide so that you don't just get stuck on mud flats. Multi-stepped weir to get down to the tidal basin. One of the group had left a bike here, and so he got out and cycled the shuttle, which took him about 20-30mins to get back to the top.

The rest of us paddled along to Putney Bridge (tide was flowing) and got out by the chandlery and went to the Duke's Head pub, who invited us to sit inside despite being in paddling kit.

Just to add - I contacted the BCU about the river notes mentioned; they passed me on to the local river access guy, Noel, who says he wasn't given the notes when he inherited the job.

So... Those notes are no longer available!
Last edited by randomgurn on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by mfflower »

I would just add that there were a surprisingly high number of fishermen - 10-15 over the entire stretch. They hide in the undergrowth by the edge of the river, and are almost imposible to spot until you're in their swim. Most were very friendly, one even pointing out that "he didn't own the river".

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Re: RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by mike@cap »

River Wandle is always an enjoyable urban paddle.
WARNING however we paddled this in a fairly high flow Sunday 29 Nov 2009.
The tunnel in which one has to limbo under the water pipe was completely blocked by debris,
wooden pallets etc.
The two small tunnels at the beginning of the Wandsworth Shopping Centre had severe towback
which sucked a number of our members back into the stopper.
Finally, we've just learnt that one of our member's has been confirmed as contracting
Leptospirosis and Weil's Disease on that trip. Eleven days in hopsital, in intensive care
just prior to Xmas, not nice !
Actually the second confirmed case of Weils Disease in our Club within a few years,
unlucky or what !!
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Re: RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by waverley610 »


River Wandle nicely profiled on Radio 4's Open Country today.
No mention of kayaks, but a couple of locals have enjoyed runs atop polystyrene building blocks!

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Re: RIVER WANDLE (Colliers Wood to Wandsworth)

Post by Jokie »

We recently paddled the Wandle when the EA online gauge (Wandle Park Main Channel) showed approx 7.2. This was too much water - the section with low pipes was unrunnable, with no obvious portage option. Great fun, but we only got half way before being forced to call it a day. Note that this river can rise fast. More at: http://canoelondon.com/kayaking-river-wandle


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