RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

North of the Severn drainage, west of the Pennines
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Mark R
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RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

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Jim Pullen
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Post by Jim Pullen »

Christian Bouet, York Canoe Club, 06/11/06 wrote:The discussed weir is DEADLY. We boat inspected before running it (even in low water the towback was 2m) and decided on a line centre right where the water flows through and pushes out. In hindsight, a very wrong decision. One guy got it wrong, came out swimming and got dragged back into the hole. I luckily did a one in a hundred 17m throw with a 20m bag spot on his head and dragged him out. If not, it would have been a very grim situation indeed.

Despite us getting 4 out of 5 paddlers through easily: Whatever you do, don't go anywhere near the centre chute. The risk is simply too great and safety cover is hard. I'll seriously doubt anyone claiming to throw precise on 20 meters every time and you might not have tim to repack.

For the record, the weir is created with a drop and a submerged concrete block to push the water back up behind it. It significantly slows down the time it will take the water to break the weir, but unfortunately also creates an automatic towback.
I'm not sure if Christian is referring to the weir in Kendal or the one further downstream. I've not done the one in town, but the other one is usually easily shot on river right.
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Chrace
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Chrace »

Nah, it's the one you know. Admittedly, I was rather hyped up after doing a one-in-a-million life-saver throw (yes, it'll be one-in-a-trillion next year) which I am sure you can see by my wording. :)

But although older and wiser, the baseline is still the same. The centre chute in anything but scrapy (I think you can stand up then) is quite risky, but anyone who has seen what a towback can do will immediately recognise this when seeing the weir.

I guess this is more of a warning not to boat scout the weir dead centre, since if unlucky you could drift in. Go left or right, drop over the wall and you can at worst dent the nose of your boat.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Poke »

Hearing reports that there may be a tree in Force Falls.. Has been run with it there, but not sure at what levels.
Worth making a bit of extra effort to inspect:

http://www.deathbeforeportage.co.uk/for ... 5#post2415
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 71#p368571
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Lancs_lad »

About 10 of us ran it on Sunday. The twig was there (river right of the main tongue) but we all got through ok. I reckon it was a Low level.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Lancs_lad »

Had a look today on the way home from the Leven and there was no sign of the offending branch in Force Falls.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Rory W »

No sign of it on Sunday either, levels probably even lower. I'm guessing it's gone?

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by peakfreak »

Had a bit of agro off the land owner (alledgedly) at Prizet Bridge today. He came over very aggressively but I and the guys that I was paddling with were very polite and not antagonistic but the land owner, a couple of fishermen and in some part an EA officer were very unreasonable. I won't go into the issue with the EA officer as I will be contacting the EA about this matter directly.
Land owner came out with the same old story about how they [fishermen] pay but paddlers don't and then tried on the old faithfull that he owns the water (river) but as soon as I explained that he didn't he backed off that story.
Anyhow, if you are heading for the Kent then I would suggest you get on further up than Prizet Bridge by useing the public footpath or head down stream on the public footpath and get on further down.
Personally I prefer getting on further upstream as it gives you chance to warm up on the flatter water. This is the first time I have ever tried to get on at Prizet, I have always accessed up at Scroggs and never had any problems.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Jim Pullen »

That's odd I've never had any problems there. Admittedly, parking can be an issue, and its certainly not a get-on for large groups, but all the welly-wearers I've seen there have always smiled and waved.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up!
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Lancs_lad »

I was in the same group as peakfreak. I managed to seal lauch of the rock on river left as you look down river from the bridge. I have never ever had any problems on the Kent and I have paddled it loads!! Personally I choose to be polite and just ignore them.

I had heard stories of big problems a few years ago so to be on the safe side i took pic of their Reg numbers as I was the only one leaving my car at the put in!!! Thankfully all I recieved when I went back for it was alot of evils.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Lancs_lad »

Also a massive tree is down inbetween Prizet bridge and Gunpowder. It is passable on river right but in High water may catch large intermeadiate groups unaware.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by smokey »

Unsure of what to do for the day and examining our options, we found the unfortunate "usual" access headache on the Lower Kent today. There's an old bald man who I presume lives at the house at Force Falls (or nearby) who takes it upon himself to sniff around as soon as he sees cars with boats on the roof approaching the get-out car park. He is also a fisherman and quite a "set in his ways" guy with arguments such as "kayaks mimic the appearance of seals and thus scare the salmon away" and alike (...sigh!). He is however quite a polite guy with actual requests being put forward to steer clear with a please thrown in for good measure - not sure how polite he would be had we just got off the river however!

So, if you are paddling the Kent, even on a weekday, I'd advise (if you'd like to stay maybe slightly more hassle-free and aren't the type to relish in debates quoting EA directives) not meeting up at Force Falls but proceeding to Prizet Bridge/Scrogg's Weir and doing a quick shuttle. If you're not fussed however, then proceed how you wish. Just my two cents.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Jim Pullen »

If it is the guy at force falls, he's usually ok provide you park considerately (ie don't block his driveway/garden!) and don't start climbing over the fish ladder at force falls.

As ever, a small fast-moving group shouldn't be troubled by him.
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Ollieswims! »

Stuart and i paddled the kent last Tuesday and had huge amounts of hassle the entire way down.
First of all, at the get in (not scrogg's weir but the bridge just down the road of the BP garage) We went to do the seal launch on river left after the bridge and got told that it was 'private land' and we were not permitted to get in at this point. So we headed over the road to the other side of the bridge on river left and got told that this was also 'private land' and that we should get off and get in on the same spot at which we were told to get off before hand. We did so and got told in these exact words to "Bugger off, walk off and get on somewhere else" So i said "If this is private land then what are you doing on it?" The grumpy old chap took one look and waved us off. We had to walk around 200 meters through slippy steep terrain until we could find another suitable seal launch.
Our next aquaintance was on the first rapid of the first gorge, there were two fishermen. We stayed as far away as possible but yet they gave us evils and told us to hurry up.
The last and worst of them all was at force falls. As this was our first time running the kent we we're getting out to inspect all horizon lines. So we got out at force falls to inspect. After stuart ran the falls i ran off to grab my boat to run it (we were taking it in turns to film. Never mind safety!) And this old bald chappy bumbled out to hang up his washing and shouted "Get off my land you, you know your trespassing here! go on get off" i replied "Terribly sorry, but this is just a huge slab of rock which if the river were any higher would in fact be submerged, how was i to know what this was your land?" he replied "Your trespassing get off!" i replied "well, i have to get my boat then i have to get in then thats the last you will see of me, is that alright with you?" He replied "No, I want you to be quicker. Get on with it, your trespassing!" I replied "Yes, you have made that clear sir. I'm sorry for standing on your slab of rock. But to be honest, what would you rather happen. Me and my friend check the falls for dangers, inspect lines and all that or us end up injured or drown? I'm off now, Bye" he said "Thats none of my business, get off my land" Soon after stuart jumped up to where my aqua pack got left on the slab of rock and saw the old chappy and pulled a very cheesy smile and waved at him. He just gave evils and strutted off.
I really don't understand why some people have to be so damn unfriendly about the tiniest of things, we did nothing to harm them and yet when we gave very secure explanations for our presence yet they treat us like vandals planting dinamite on their property.
Crazy stuff, But theres a warning for people. that chappy gets angry when you get out for an inspection on his slab of rock.

Cheers,
Ollie.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by peakfreak »

Quite frankly, sod it! I have paddled the Kent loads of times and had no hassle until the past 6 months. The old guy up at Prizett is just a grumpy old man with some huge chip on his shoulder about paddlers.
I had grief off him several months ago when we tried to get on with boats, 2 weeks later I was just out walking at the same area and I saw him whereupon he was very friendly and chatty with no mention of trespassing. So it just goes to show that it is purely a fishing/paddler thing.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Ollieswims! »

Is he a fisherman as well? That would explain his grumpiness. The fishermen on that river are the worst i have come across yet. Not that i have paddled enough rivers to say that they are the very worst but they sure are bad.
PS: I was also quite surprised at their reaction because of our age as well. 50 year old men telling 16 year old boys to bugger off and generally having a very nasty attitude towards us strikes me to be rather inhumane as they should be setting an example to us about politeness. But then again they have no reason to react that way to adults either.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Sam Williams »

I'll keep this short & sweet, will this river have enough water in it on Tuesday (19/04/2011) to brake up my drive to Scotland or should I just have an extra hour in bed?

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Ian.Adey »

Hi,

Kent is dead low at the moment,

But will be up withen an hour of some decent rain, tho the forecast at the moment is dry till tue,


Check here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ho ... ionId=5126

If its above 0.60 it will go.

Hope this helps,

Ian
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by peakfreak »

Just been for a walk along the Kent from Scroggs down to Force falls and the river was looking very grey and mirky with a distinct sewerage smell all the way along. Is anyone aware of a pollutant discharged further upstream?

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by woody »

peakfreak wrote:river was looking very grey and mirky with a distinct sewerage smell
I'm not trying to be funny but are you aware that the sewage farm for Kendal etc discharges just above here, river right just before the end of town. That might explain it?

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by snuggle_bunny »

With regard to peakfreak's post on the hostile land owner at prizet bridge. It would seem that this person, along with a few other landowners along the river bank, do have an issue with canoeists. There have been cases since of canoeists being harrassed and abused by the person in question along with several anglers so if you exercise your legal right to canoe here be prepared for hostilities

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by snuggle_bunny »

But looking on the bright side- no-one lives forever :)

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by Lancs_lad »

Video showing the river at 1.2 on the gauge.Click Click

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by jack_kayak »

Paddled the Kent yesterday (04.01.2014) at 0.69m, tree down on the reapids just below S-bends, described as the 'long grade 4 rapid' in the guide above. Branches are in the main flow and whilst it probably wouldn't cause much hassle if you were in your boat, a swimmer who doesn't manage to get out before it could come a cropper. Recommended to get out on the river right bank above the rapid, and have a look from there-there is a convenient footpath/portage path which runs alongside the leat on river right. ImageImage

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by DuncanOH »

Ran it today and someone has taken a chainsaw to that tree - the path is now clear. Thank you Batman!No other trees in the gorge, although the weir in Kendal currently has a hefty branch a couple of metres long wedged on the right side of the centre-slab. Running the weir within a metre either side of the stanchion on the right of the centre-slab would be nasty.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by mynameisntjamie »

Just a reminder that the weir at 54°16'48"N 2°45'22"W, inbetween flat water sections, should be portaged on river right near the cable tower, not sign posted (as far as we saw) or looked very safe with a steep muddy bank in wet weather.

portaged the weir on 11/01/2015 and our group of 8 used the obvious and easy left hand bank to portage, did not see any 'private property' or 'notices of alternative portage' signs. 4 had gotten back on by the time a resident of the cottage came out yelling expletives angryly, demanding we get off the land, back in our boats and run the life endangering weir.
The remaining 4 of us elected to back up and use the road to portage to avoid confrontation, having to scale a locked weir authority gate.
We then thought the incident deserved documentation so two of us went back to record the house number, no number so took a photo of car licence and house.

The resident, Bob, saw and came out to apologise for his aggressive behaviour and language. Constantly quoting the Angling Association website, stating we had no right to paddle on the water. We discussed the matter for 15mins, with riverbed ownership and water ownership topics, and finally decided to give him a name and email address so as to further both parties knowledge with the man planning to later look the law up and inform us of our mistaken beliefs. He was open about his membership of an anti canoe association but we shook hands at the end and got in 100m downstream.

I said i would post about the portage on right bank. The guidebook that we had, red and white cover, did actually mention the portage on the right of a weir, but i was uncertain if it was that weir and as signs were not observed, we went left.

Great river though, nice level, good to see the tree in the gorge had been hacked through since about this time last year :)
J

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by ollieboat »

Ran today: plenty of tree hazards after the flood. One under Prizet Bridge and a branch hanging into S-bends - both avoidable. A sweeper hanging into gunbarrel which we portaged at high flows - inspect and decide for yourself.

A bunch of debris has also collected above the weir just before force falls - river right of the island might be a better option.

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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by davebrads »

mynameisntjamie wrote:Just a reminder that the weir at 54°16'48"N 2°45'22"W, inbetween flat water sections, should be portaged on river right near the cable tower, not sign posted (as far as we saw) or looked very safe with a steep muddy bank in wet weather.
I ran this a few years ago with some locals and as we had a couple of weaker paddlers the decision was made to portage the weir. As far as I can remember we got off the water river left well upstream of the weir by a footbridge which we crossed to put in river right, it was easy to get on and off the water although it was a bit of a walk. Certainly saved any potential problems with residents.
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by PMB »

If you normally get on at Prizet Bridge, please note the bridge is currently closed due to flood damage. There's been some changes to the river bed following the flooding, although there don't appear to be substantial changes to normal lines.
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Re: RIVER KENT (Sprint Confluence to Force Falls)

Post by mole »

The left hand side of the island at Force falls is now very dry at lower levels and most water going down the right hand weir. No problems getting round the island at the downstream end. There is a sweeper branch hanging into s bends but avoidable. Also some interest to be had seeing the scoured banks but much rubbish in evidence :(
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