River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Hampshire Avon drainage and eastwards, with the Nene as the northern limit
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Mark R
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River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Mark R »

Last edited by Mark R on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:03 am, edited 4 times in total.

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harrywatson
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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by harrywatson »

Hi, sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but i am new, so please tell me if something im doing is wrong!!

Firstly the paddle took nearer 4 hours, although we did have 2 people who were new to white water although the other 2 were very expeienced.

5 mins in there is a big tree that is across the river, stick to river left and you will have to wrestle your way through it. we found a blue pair of splits just past that so others must have had the same problem.

You must be warery as 10 mins after the get in there is a log across the whole river and i reccomend that when you see it you immediately stop and look at it from a distance first the only way to pass it is to stay on river left and paddle fast over it.

Although the guide says you have alot of problems with fishermen we didnt encounter anyone let alone fishermen until the last 30 mins of the trip. You HAVE to get out of your boat nearer the end as there is a weir that goes into a gated fishing area and the other half of the river has a net across for the sewage works. You will need to walk 5 mins downstream to just beyond the sewage works where you can then get in. There is a manor house downstream which we were told has lots of angry fishermen in so watch out!


Although a lovely paddle, now on to the Stour and i am definately going to try the upper Avon from Ringwood to the get it.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

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odrew
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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by odrew »

Recently on holiday just outside Christchurch. Paddled the Avon from Avon Causeway to Mudeford Quay with my daughter and her boyfriend in open boats. Beautiful paddle, clear water with lots of wildlife. Low water levels. Has one discussion with an angry fisherman just after the water extraction & treatment plant. I insisted we were not trespassing 'on' the river and agreed that he should call the bailiff if he felt that strongly about it. We did not let it spoil an enjoyable paddle and I hope it did not spoil the fisherman's day.
Paddled the Stour two days later solo from just below A31 Canford School from a footpath off Ham Lane to the public slipway in Christchurch. Fantastic days paddle otters, black swan, egrets, fish the size of salmon kettles and more king fishers than I've ever seen in a day. Had to do a bit of willow pruning at one point and choose routs through reed beds carefully. All added to the wilderness feel of the trip. Spent time finding a portage around the waterworks by the A348 bridge. Spoke to bailiff upstream of the A338 dual carriageway bridge. He agreed he could only complain if I had accessed the river on private land. However there was a floating barrier over the river to stop the spread of river weed. Bit of a pain getting around the end stake without getting out onto private land within site of bailiff.
Conclusion - don't let the niggles of fishermen put you off paddling these rivers. Noticed the Stour was on the EA's list of 10 most improved rivers this year.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by daisy45 »

Hi,

I am new to these boards.

I recently read an old article about the River Avon. The 2 ladies who were canoeing the river to the sea said that they had stopped for the night at the Swan in Pulborough. It had painted panels by Constable and other notable people which had been done in return for their food and lodgings.

Does anyone know if that particular pub still exists?

With thanks

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by ChrisS »

The Swan is still there but Pulborough is actually on the River Arun in West Sussex, not the Dorset Avon. The Arun is a great pub paddle and, being entirely tidal, is not plagued by access issues like the Avon.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by daisy45 »

Thank you for your reply. I should have realised by the spelling, that the two rivers were not the same. I think a visit to Pulborough would be very interesting.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by ijustwanttopaddle »

Have been around The Christchurch Loop a couple of times recently and having read this decided to poke my nose upstream a little. No issues on the Loop itself. Where you can turn off the Loop towards the bypass bridge there are two very large new-looking red signs saying (something like) "Private Fishery no boats or canoes". There is nothing on these signs to indicate by whose authority they are put there or to what law they might relate. Then just before the bridge another similar red sign and a more legitimate looking one from Sembcorp that says nothing about any restriction on access. Passing under the bridge no further signs about boating, nor any about not fishing with low overhead power cables (somebody else mentioned these were present a few years ago).

So the first time I paddled up to the stony weir and en route met one angler who politely asked me to keep over to side opposite him, fine.

Second time, today, two anglers were located directly underneath first set of power lines and told me "this is the Royalty Fishery, you're not allowed here". I asked why, when it's tidal water? "That's got nothing to do with it." I said well I think it has. Then one of them changed tack and started talking about it being a "3SI mate, no boats". I said I didnt think that was relevant either and by the way had they seen the power cables above them. After that it all tailed off and I paddled on up to the stony weir bit again.

Now my interpretation re Sites of Special Scientific Interest is that they do not mean boating is not allowed. What is not allowed is disturbance of the protected wildlife and/or plants. Since it is tidal water comfortably deep enough to float in, canoeing would not cause much if any disturbance. Perhaps trampling over and sitting on the riverbank casting hooks into the water would even cause more disturbance but that's not my expertise.

My point really is that the red signs appear to be there specifically to put people off from indisputably legitimate boating activity. It's definitely tidal at least to the stony weir, so there is a clear right of navigation. Whilst paddling off the Loop up to the weir does not add a huge distance it is permitted so we should encourage everyone to do so.

I did not paddle further than the weir as this does seem to be heavily disputed and patrolled; I did not want the hassle.

Does anyone know different re SSSI regulations or this stretch of the Avon?

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by Mark Gawler »

As far as I'm aware you are correct on all counts, the signs have no jurisdiction and should be ignored. There have been a number of instances over recent years of signs being put up to deter paddlers. The only sign that is valid is the Sembcorp sign which refers to the SSSI and place no restrictions on navigation.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by Chas C »

I'm in agreement with Mark, when these SSSI signs and issues first arose a few years ago, the BCU were in contact with all parties including the lawyers for the fisheries. The outcome was its not private or protected water, the SSSI has no impact on the water as long as the paddler does not stand or touch the river bed or walk on the bank.

For some reason only known to the government the fishermen are excluded from prosecution for damaging an SSSI so they can walk on the river bed and also the bank, if the kayaker had an appropriate fishing licence then i'd guess they too would not be able to be prosecuted either :-), otherwise stay in the water and don't run aground.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by PeterParslow »

You can also paddle a short stretch of this river at Fordinbridge, further upstream (north).

Slipway at SU 14860 13796 (not for trailer launches!); free car parking at the rugby club, a few metres from the river.

Blocked by fallen trees at about SU 15317 14629. Bickton Mill at SU 14811 12757. So only an hour or so of flat water - good for taking kids/beginners - or just relaxing on a beautiful bit of river.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by MikeVeal »

You can legally paddle the entire length Peter.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Mark Gawler »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Avon,_Hampshire
The "Act for making the River Avon navigable from Christchurch to the city of New Sarum" was enacted in 1664 under Charles II.[6] This act has not been repealed, hence remains in force and might provide a legal right of navigation.
Body armour required if you fancy testing this :-)
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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by MikeVeal »

Yep, the fish tickers defend this one voraciously. However, as much as they protest, a PRN clearly exists.

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Re: RIVER AVON (Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour)

Post by Chas C »

Chas C wrote:
Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:50 am
I'm in agreement with Mark, when these SSSI signs and issues first arose a few years ago, the BCU were in contact with all parties including the lawyers for the fisheries. The outcome was its not private or protected water, the SSSI has no impact on the water as long as the paddler does not stand or touch the river bed or walk on the bank.

For some reason only known to the government the fishermen are excluded from prosecution for damaging an SSSI so they can walk on the river bed and also the bank, if the kayaker had an appropriate fishing licence then i'd guess they too would not be able to be prosecuted either :-), otherwise stay in the water and don't run aground.
Update further to this post, the rules governing SSSI's has changed since first introduced. They have been expanded and at the same time the rules covering access to them have changed considerably. SSSI's now appear accessible unless local signs advise otherwise, most of Christchurch Bay / Hengistbury Head / Avon River & Banks are now part of a much wider implementation of the local SSSI's and this is mostly accessible to all. Access to restricted sites can be requested via Natural England (Scotland or Wales).

The SSSI signs that were on the River Avon in Christchurch 10 to 15 yrs ago are no longer in place.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Treypaddle »

So my friends and I (3 kayakers) paddled this river today, we got out just before the weir. I have only been on a few rivers before (Hamble and Wye) with never having had a problem with access so didn’t think about access issues or fisherman this time.

Half way down the river we were hailed by a fisherman who inexplicably exploded at us as soon as we came in hear shot. Yelling at us “what we were f**cking doing on his river”. He then began tell us to get out of the river immediately as it was all private.

He then advised that when Kieth the grounds keeper found us, he was going to kill us. He further added that he would confiscate our kayaks and fine us, assuming we weren’t already dead.

I have since read the other post on this thread but wondered if this sort of aggression normal? The person in question seemed genuinely intent on harming us if he could have caught us?

Also how would they actually confiscate if possible our kayaks?

We were planning on doing other rivers in the area but are now unsure if we want to.

Thanks

Other than that the river and scenery were lovely.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Mark Gawler »

This I'm afraid is the norm in the non tidal section, see access hassle in the guide.

Our of interest at which weir did the incident happened, Knapp mill in Christchurch? Where did yo you ladle down from?
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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Treypaddle »

That is a shame, but at least we know it wasn’t just directed at us.

We got in at Ringwood, didn’t see any signs there about the river being private. We did see one about halfway down, but by then we were so far away from our car we would have had to traverse fields and gardens to get to any sort of road. We kept to the side and remained respectful after this, but there wasn’t much else we could do.

We had planned to get out at Mudeford, but in the end exited at Winkton, which was just a bit down from where the grounds keeper was supposedly waiting for us.

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Re: River Avon - Avon Tyrell to Christchurch Harbour

Post by Chas C »

Treypaddle wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:17 pm
We were planning on doing other rivers in the area but are now unsure if we want to.
The Stour is mostly paddle-able all the way into Christchurch from Blandford (their are a number of weirs that need walking around), best to ask Southern Water ? permission to go through/around the water works at Longham (if you paddle from above). You can get in below Longham too. Its not a trout river so although some fishermen may be challenging its usually less of an issue than the Avon.

There is also the Frome river at Wareham and on the other side of Wareham the Piddle river, both paddle-able from Wareham into Poole Harbour (just take care with tides). Never paddled that much above Wareham on either river. You can make a loop of these two rivers again with right tides, starting and finishing in Wareham.

The Lymington river is very small and needs plenty of water, lots of tree issues, I know of someone who's paddled it from Balmer Lawn but felt it was some thing never to be repeated.

The Beaulieu river is tidal and pleasant paddle, you will get charged if you land at Bucklers Hard, you need the right tides to take you all the way to Lepe Country Park (check state of Solent as well).

Don't let the fisherman put you off :-)

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