River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

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Mark R
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River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Mark R » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:02 am

Last edited by Mark R on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Staverton Access

Post by KrisBD » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:53 pm


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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Mont » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:51 pm

Hi,

Can anyone provide an update on the Staverton egress for the lower Dart. Last year it was being redeveloped into nice new riverside flats, I assume this is now done and the new residents are looking forward to paddlers egressing into their back yards? Or is there an alternative?

Can you get out lower down and 'legally' walk back to vehicles parked at the railway station?

Ta

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by jadedkayaker » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:16 pm

Had a look at this myself today as we happened to be there (cycling, not paddling). The works are not finished and the site is still fenced off, but it looks like you can easily egress on river left immediately before the bridge (although I guess in high water the breakout would be tight). There is a small drainage channel leading to the road and a 3 bar metal stile to climb over. Doesn't look like it would be a problem to anyone. Further down should be OK too, if you don't mind the carry - there is a public footpath adjacent to the river all the way from the car park to Staverton weir.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Robbie C » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:40 pm

River Dart - Staverton
Beware of trees in the right channel before the bridge at Staverton. There are new trees in the River & it's akward to get around them even at Low levels. Some people have been caught up on them already!

You can get out in the channel refered to above at all levels but the ground gets very muddy.

Cheers Robbie C.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Wren » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:04 pm

I paddled this late November... got out just after the bridge as the flats were still empty. The builders saw us, they appeared to be living on site, but they didn't seem to care and sauntered off without saying anything. The site looked like they were getting close to having the final fitting ready for people to move in.

The ditch just before the bridge is actually part of the small millstream that feeds under the redevelopment, guess it could get a little wetter after rain as the banks are rather high. This was certainly looking muddy at the time (hence we exited after the bridge) although there were canoeist there that had egressed that way and stated it wasn't taxing as it's not part of the redevelopment I can't see the people there objecting too much.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Ollie5 » Mon May 09, 2011 5:43 pm

Warning!!! Do not attempt to egress on the land by the new development, the owner/builder came out during the season and gave us a right pasting taking photos etc even though we never actually got out of our kayaks. He even threatened us with trying to get us stopped from the small creek as the bridge is Listed and getting damaged. He was a total p***k but thats his choice.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by jeremyvanr » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:57 pm

Hi everyone
I got a visit from PC Booth from Totnes Police station yesterday evening (Saturday 8th October 2011).
He said that I had no right of access river left after Staverton Bridge.
I'd brought my group out where we'd got out for years at the Old Mill egress.
I'd heard there were residents and a developer who were trying to make a fuss and stop access.
The residents tried physically blocking our way and initially tried to be aggressive.
I had juniors in the group.
When they realised we weren't going to be intimidated they backed off.
I feel it's important to keep using this egress as it's an old access point that's been used by locals for many years.
The other spots where some people get out is no good for juniors or anyone who is disabled in any way.
I wrote twice to the BCU Rivers Access Campaign Group about this last year sending them photos of the small gate that's been put up at the Staverton Bridge egress saying "no canoeists".
Of course I never heard back from them and wonder if they aren't actually just smoke and mirrors to make it look like the BCU care.
My club are getting together documentation to fight the attempt to block access.
Funnily enough the residents have allowed access for fishermen.
I'm not sure why the copper came round but I told him we didn't agree that it was private regardless of what a new development thought and would fight it.
So I would say use it or lose it.
The ordinary person has a right to access the great outdoors.
Remember "The Kinder Trespass in 1932 was a landmark in the campaign for national parks and open access to moorland in Britain. At the time, such open moors were closed to all; they were strongly identified with the game-keeping interests of landed gentry who used them only 12 days a year."
If only the BCU would put together a team to help local canoeists with these issues.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Strad » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:59 am

Jeremy, did PC Booth explain why you had no access? is it private land, is it public access land or a public right of way?
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Dawlish Paddler » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:26 pm

Hi Jeremy

Teignbridge Canoe Club have details of programmes dating back some years which may be of use when proving continued long-term use.

It may be worth checking with the Public Rights of Way team at County Hall in Exeter for records of public access to the river at this point.

I agree that paddlers should continue to use this egress point, however I feel it should be stressed that paddlers remain calm and polite yet assertive. Establish the status of the person you are challenged by (do they own the land?). Only give your personal details if the person(s) challenging you are willing to provide their details. Record all details of any exchanges and note details of witnesses. These may be required if the situation becomes inflamed and develops further. It may be wise to have video recording equipment at hand, though their use can also exacerbate an already tense encounter.

I understand that a claim for aggravated trespass is the most any landowner could hope to achieve and this can be negated by evidence of an intention to reimburse the landowner for any accidental damage caused.

All paddlers of the Dart and other Devon rivers should be aware of the possible implications that the loss of an established egress point such as this could lead to.
Craig

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by jeremyvanr » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:20 pm

Strad wrote:Jeremy, did PC Booth explain why you had no access? is it private land, is it public access land or a public right of way?
Hi Strad, he said it was private land.

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Re: RIVER DART (Buckfastleigh to Staverton)

Post by Rogga » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:44 am

On a completely unrelated note, over the bridge and up the hill is a lovely little garden centre who do classy coffee and decent food. Worth a stop before your journey home? They have a little terrace overlooking the river just upstream of the bridge - perfect for shuttle bunnies to watch the river.

And before anyone asks, they don't own the river bank & if they did it would be a 20 foot pretty much vertical climb out!

http://stavertonbridgenursery.com/

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:25 am

The dangerous Salmon Ponds Weir below Buckfastleigh, various potential pin spots can be seen sticking up from the face. The water was about level with the ledge at Newbridge:

Image

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:42 pm

& at the island just above Staverton Bridge the right hand channel is almost completely choked by trees.

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Dawlish Paddler » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:28 pm

Save this Egress Point

If you have egressed the Lower Dart at the Mill, Staverton 20 years prior to it being stopped up, i.e. 1991 or before, please complete a Public Rights of Way User Evidence Form E, sign a copy of the map of the egress point and send it to W Hargreaves. All information can be found at http://www.teigncanoe.org.uk. Please do this by 3 December 2012.
Thanks
Craig
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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:36 am

Dawlish Paddler wrote:Save this Egress Point

If you have egressed the Lower Dart at the Mill, Staverton 20 years prior to it being stopped up, i.e. 1991 or before, please complete a Public Rights of Way User Evidence Form E, sign a copy of the map of the egress point and send it to W Hargreaves. All information can be found at http://www.teigncanoe.org.uk. Please do this by 3 December 2012.
Thanks
Craig
Unfortunately it's not so easy to access this info, as the Teign CC website is for members only, and its not possible to register......

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Dawlish Paddler » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:21 am

Sorry about that Simon. Thanks for pointing it out.

The documents/information are now accessible by clicking the link in the right hand box entitled, "How to get involved!"

Thanks again.

Craig
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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by shd01 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:58 pm

Just thought I'd add a note to say that several months ago I lodged a planning complaint with SHDC against the Mill development. There are several copies of the plans available online; all of them state that timber bollards would be erected between the building and the bridge in order to "prevent vehicular access". The plans specifically mention vehicular access and not pedestrian.

The existing wire fence and gate does not comply with the plan. Furthermore, I understand it is not permitted to add a fence or gate to a listed building without applying for planning permission, even if the gate is less than 1m high.

Other than an initial acknowledgement from SHDC, I haven't had any indication that my complaint is being considered.

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by MikeVeal » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Can anyone update me please?What is considered the best Staverton take out these days?

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by SandfordSailor » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:50 pm

There are two take outs available - as you go under Staverton bridge, immediately downstream on river left is a little creak. If you are feeling energetic you can get you boat up over the wall/railing on to the road (easy with a yak).

If feeling less energetic, or if solo with a large canoe, about 150 yards downstream of the bridge on river left is a broken down old slipway. You can get up this easily, but it's then a bit of a walk back to the car park (again - if with a canoe, take your wheels!).

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by MikeVeal » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:43 am

Thank you.

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Environment-Agency » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:54 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 - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by pete thorn » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:41 am

Access and egress at Staverton is best made river left upstream of the road bridge via a stream gully, which gives easy access to the road over a low steel pole fence. The owners, Dart Angling Association have no objections. Best to park in the Station car park so as not to congest the narrow road.
The older access point just below the bridge, used for decades by paddlers, where the old mill has been converted into smart apartments, is now the subject of an application to recognize a right of way. One local club is continuing to use that egress point to maintain their claim while it is processed.
Pete Thorn

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by pete thorn » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:41 pm

The take out at Staverton has become an issue. This relates to the minor stream bed upstream of the bridge on river left, which has been used to my personal knowledge by paddlers for over forty years. Dart Angling Assoc own the fishing and said some time back that they had no objections to access/egress there. Now the land owner, one of their members, has said he will not allow access after 1 April. No reason has been given. BC are asking for a meeting to explore this further.
Pete Thorn

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by pete thorn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:53 pm

I have been advised by the owner of the river bank that Dart Angling Association do not own the fishing rights of this bank (Riverford Bridge to Staverton Bridge, river left. Also he is not a member of DAA. His concern is one of liability for any possible injury when paddlers use this route to access or egress the river. British Canoeing will be working constructively with the owner to see if his concerns can be resolved.
Pete Thorn

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by pete thorn » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:26 am

Looks like the gully upstream of the bridge at Staverton has been trashed with a digger to make egress/access there very difficult, plus two signs. People have used this point as a take out for forty years but the new owner, who bought from the church commissioners, is hostile to paddlers and won't meet to discuss without all sorts of preconditions. Be aware on this stretch.
Pete Thorn

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by rss » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:38 pm

Easy entry off a little lay-by on the side road that is Austin's Bridge, half a mile downstream from Buckfastleigh. Had a good trip in my canoe down to Totnes last week. Only tipped her over twice, which i thought was Ok for my first experience of rapids ( I know it's not exactly extreme!) Wimped out on the weir chute below Staverton Bridge and lowered her down by rope, also portaged round the big weir near Totnes. Stopped at Totnes and did the tidal estuary to Dartmouth with the tide the next day. Great fun!

Some of you may have spotted that the picture is not much like the River Dart! It's the Parrett, nearer home for me.

Image

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by pete thorn » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:30 am

Glad you enjoyed the trip. Official access in Buckfastleigh is from the Salmon's Leap Cafe where we have an arrangement with the owner.
Pete Thorn

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Re: River Dart - Buckfastleigh to Staverton

Post by Mark Dixon » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:26 pm

pete thorn wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:30 am
Glad you enjoyed the trip. Official access in Buckfastleigh is from the Salmon's Leap Cafe where we have an arrangement with the owner.
Peter this is not ideal to access this section of river as Buckfastleigh Weir has dangerous underwater metal and is very difficult to portage as land around has been fenced off, so bad advise IMO.
We at Totnes CC have always got in at Austens Bridge where access is perfect, there is sufficient parking in nearby laybys as well.
I would only advise Salmons Leap as a take out for the section above and always avoid the weir

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