River Yealm (upper section to Mark's Bridge)

The Somerset Frome and Dorset Stour and westwards
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Mark R
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River Yealm (upper section to Mark's Bridge)

Post by Mark R » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:28 pm

Last edited by Mark R on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: River Yealm (upper section to Mark's Bridge)

Post by WestcountryJon » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:20 pm

A group of us ran this section on 2nd Jan 2016 and the landowner at Blatchford Manor was very hostile indeed. He threw a couple of rotten logs at us from the bank and tried to wade into the exit weir of the lake to hold us up. He wasn't provoked and we tried follow the advice to "offer polite apologies to anyone you encounter", but he was having none of it as it was our presence he was objecting to, not our behaviour, so we paddled on a quickly as we could.

Unfortunately at the next road bridge after leaving his estate there was a tree down and we needed to stop & get on the bank to inspect & he drove down and caught us there. Apparently that bank is still his land! We assured him we were moving on very quickly (as we were) but he was very angry repeatedly telling us to get of his land.

Apart from that, there were a lot of overhanging branches, trees in the river and a line of barbed wire across the river at one point. I assume the guide was written after a run at a higher level than when we ran it as I think I would need that to be a 'fun grade 3'. I also guess it was clearer then as there are lots of trees now that would be even more of a problem at higher levels. So, for the enjoyment this section offers, personally I don't think it's worth the hassle (of the trees, let alone the land owner) but if you do choose to run it, make your group small and get across his lake as quickly as possible and expect confrontation if you are seen.

I made a video of the paddle, which is way too long so mostly boring but it does show a lot of the river. I have not included any footage of the run-in with the land owner but have a copy for myself, just in case.

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Re: River Yealm (upper section to Mark's Bridge)

Post by Mark R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:47 pm

I ran it several times prior to writing the guide - there was definitely no barbed wire or tree blockages then.
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Re: River Yealm (upper section to Mark's Bridge)

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:28 am

A run to do if you like paddling through overhanging holly bushes.

There are at least 2 trees down, which can be seen from the top bridge & a dangerous rhododendron just before Wisdome Bridge (although the nice couple there did offer to trim it back). This section can all be inspected from the road; below Cornwood Bridge also looked like it had plenty of holly...

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