RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

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Mark R
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RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Mark R » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:00 am

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Mark R » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:13 pm

New pics added.
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AMENDED ACCESS - RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastle

Post by schultzey » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:31 pm

I was in Dartmoor at the weekend and paddled the RDCP down to the Butterfly farm.

I've not seen it anywhere but the Butterfly Farm have withdrawn all access. They have signs up in the car park saying that canoeists have no access and when you go the gap in the tree's where you would normally egress they have blocked it all up with fencing and put a sign up saying no access to canoeists.

Further to this, RDCP have now put up a rope barrier preventing you driving down to the small area near the high ropes course where previously you have been able to egress the loop or access the lower.

We went up to the cafe to find out what the score was and were told that it was a bit up in the air. The land owner appearently doesn't want people driving onto that bit of land, but we can still access and egress there. We were told to "just park at the side of the road" and dump and run with our kit, however the big picnic field on the other side to the high ropes course ended up being used an unloading spot due to the shere number of cars.

RDCP said they received communications from the Butterfly farm about 2 weeks ago saying they had withdrawn their access but did not say why.

The layby on the A38 would appear now to be the only place to get out, but this is a tricky get out, and upsets the fishermen that we met last season.

Anyone know anything more to what we were told at the weekend?

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Mark Dixon » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:19 am

For me it would be a good idea if the BCU or rich paddler approached some of the local landowners and bought a strip of land somewhere, there is a huge field RL just above the Buckfastleigh bridge that the farmer lets the Raft Race start from, a small track or parking area could be made and the farmer could still graze his sheep but be a fair few quid better off.
On another note I noticed at Holne Bridge the RDCP have offloaded a load of tree cuttings to stop people getting out now as well. It seems to me the excuse used about late night swimmers is not the real reason for closing the parking areas off. Newbridge was overflowing at the weekend and I think the locals are retaliating, paddlers are invading their territory in all locations

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:04 am

Mark Dixon wrote:On another note I noticed at Holne Bridge the RDCP have offloaded a load of tree cuttings to stop people getting out now as well. It seems to me the excuse used about late night swimmers is not the real reason for closing the parking areas off. Newbridge was overflowing at the weekend and I think the locals are retaliating, paddlers are invading their territory in all locations
At Holne Bridge, the police advised the Highways Agency to block off these parking places, due to a number of anti-social incidents over this past summer. The invasion of paddlers in the autumn and winter is tiny compared with summer visitors, any retaliation if at all would be against the warm weather fun seekers.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by schultzey » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:05 pm

I'm not local, but if Canoe England or someone from the south west approached the butterfly farm they could establish why they have closed their car park off to paddlers. If it was suggested that a small fee for paddlers to park was introduced then maybe this would re-establish the egress there.

It would be good if Canoe England could find out exactly what the RDCP do or don't want us doing at their access/egress point as it would be a massive blow to upset them and loose access to the loop get out at the country park, the BCU land is all well and good but would never cope with the popularity the loop has.

If the parking places at Holne Bridge are RDCP Land then I guess they can do what they like there, but if it's a public highway they can't just block the places with logs, technically you've got a willful obstruction of the highway and if reported to the County Council they would have a responsibility to remove the obstruction.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by paddletastic2 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:44 pm

schultzey wrote:I'm not local, but if Canoe England or someone from the south west approached the butterfly farm they could establish why they have closed their car park off to paddlers. If it was suggested that a small fee for paddlers to park was introduced then maybe this would re-establish the egress there.

It would be good if Canoe England could find out exactly what the RDCP do or don't want us doing at their access/egress point as it would be a massive blow to upset them and loose access to the loop get out at the country park, the BCU land is all well and good but would never cope with the popularity the loop has.

If the parking places at Holne Bridge are RDCP Land then I guess they can do what they like there, but if it's a public highway they can't just block the places with logs, technically you've got a willful obstruction of the highway and if reported to the County Council they would have a responsibility to remove the obstruction.
If you search on here I think there is another thread where the local representative stated he was going to see them.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by madyaker69 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:03 pm

I am planning on leading some friends down in November, on the section from holme bridge to Buckfastleigh, I have always taken people on this lower section to get people used to moving water, is this a no go anymore?

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Suffolk Rich » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:21 pm

So has this restriction been lifted and the access issue resolved? Walked down there today (Butterfly farm) and could no signs saying "no canoeists" and could see no fences blocking access to river.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by kirtonkruzer » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:27 pm

Unfortunately The Butterfly Farm car park has not been available to paddlers this winter. There is limited parking in laybys near Buckfastleigh Bridge. Take out river left immediately after the bridge and carry boats up the bank.
Access can be gained from Waterworks Bridge within River Dart Park or there is limited on road parking near Holne Weir giving the option to run The Anvil and School Rapids. There is no parking now at Holne Bridge.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Environment-Agency » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:55 am

We at the Environment Agency are dealing with a serious outbreak of disease among migratory fish on many rivers in Devon including the River Dart. The Dart fishery has been in decline in recent years and this year a significant disease outbreak is estimated to have killed the majority of Salmon and Sea Trout that have entered the river so far.

We are asking for the assistance of all water users, including fishermen, dog walkers etc. to help the river recover. For canoeists this would include careful entry into and egress from rivers, paddling in good flows only and avoiding contact with river beds wherever possible. We also encourage canoeists to only paddle where there are agreed access arrangements in place.

We are currently trying to establish the extent and cause of the disease affecting rivers across Devon and Cornwall. Until we understand more and are able to implement any suitable measures, our only option to limit the impact of this disease is to protect the surviving salmon and sea trout and their spawn sites. Fish will potentially start to spwan from late September and eggs remain in gravels until around April, so this is a particularly sensitive period.

Thanks for your understanding and co-opertaion on this matter.

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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:57 am

buck197 wrote:The egress situation has improved on the Lower Dart in that the Indian restaurant has shut and a new cafe, Salmon Leap Cafe, has opened. The cafe have developied the piece of land by the side of the property and are encouraging paddlers to use it for parking and partaking of the cafe. The actual egress is now shifted from just under the bridge to a spot 100 m further down on river left where a side stream comes in and this is before the A38 road bridge. There is a sign at the old get out which says the new get out is a further 50m but I think it is closer to 100m. There is space for maybe a dozen vehicles at least. Let's use this new egress point and support the cafe as they are kayaker friendly. I have photos but can't seem to load them. Remember the old and new egress point are on private land and if we abuse it then we may lose it.
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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by pete thorn » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:14 pm

Regarding the take out in Buckfastleigh....
I spoke to the cafe people today to see how the new arrangement is going. They are generally happy with it and are getting good custom. But, there are a few paddlers who seem to think they can
-walk in dripping wet
-use the loos without buying anything
-sit at their outside tables and eat their own sandwiches
-get fast service when the cafe is already busy and you are part of a large group
Please stop doing these things if you want the arrangement to last!
If you aren't aware, we can park there for free, launch and take out, provided we don't do these things listed above and do buy stuff in the cafe. It will only work if there is something in it for the cafe as well as for us.
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Re: RIVER DART (Waterworks Bridge to Buckfastleigh)

Post by pete thorn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:59 am

We have parking problems at the Dart Land where lots of people park. This downstream from Holne Bridge by the weir. A local resident has written to me saying, 'now we have some canoeists parking large mini buses with trailers right up by the gate. Their vehicles are then sitting out considerably into the road and sometimes left there into the dusk (the trailers in particular are not so easy to see).'
Can everyone please stop parking upstream of the meadow gate as this restricts the road? If there isn't enough room then there is always RDCP. If we carry on blocking the road there will be pressure for double yellows and everyone will suffer.
Pete Thorn

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