ESK (Egton to Sleights)

North of the Trent drainage, flowing to the North Sea
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Jim Pullen
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ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by Jim Pullen »

Done any NE/NW rivers not on the site? PM me!

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Big Henry
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Re: ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by Big Henry »

I see the EA have finally got round to adding the gauge at Sleights. Don't know how it compares for paddling levels, though.

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Jan13
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Re: ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by Jan13 »

Having done this run a couple of times now, a group of us did Egton Bridge to Whitby this weekend. Fantastic paddle but got some grief from a farmer at Sleights. Gave us the classic "Get orf moi laaaand" bit complete with sweeping arm gestures and much pointing. He declared that we weren't allowed upriver of the road bridge at Sleights. No idea who he thought this was agreed with. First time we'd got any gip. Still... I suppose it gives some people a hobby.

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Jan13
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Egton Bridge - MAJOR ACCESS HASSLES!

Post by Jan13 »

So last Saturday, we decided to paddle down from Egton Bridge to Whitby. A trip we have done on several occasions before.

We encountered major opposition from the owner of the Egton Estate, his wife and his son.
They declared we were breaking the law, would get lawyers involved and would damage fish stocks if we went on “his” bit of the river.
They also were most perturbed that we may disturb fishermen. We politely pointed out that it wasn’t actually fishing season.
Furthermore, they were adamant that NO-ONE EVER had canoed or kayaked the Esk as it was ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN!!!! They refused to believe that there were blogs on the internet recording paddles or that it was mentioned in a guide. The outrage reached purple-vein levels when we admitted that we did this run a couple of times a year.

As our original intention was to put-in behind the public toilets which was their land, we offered to access the river from the stepping stones a little upstream which are part of a public footpath. The response to this was that they owned the stepping stones as well and that kayaks were illegal on public footpaths. If we put there, we would still be breaking the law and would be prosecuted and anyway, if we wanted to canoe and river, why didn’t we go to the Spey? (Seriously…)

I suppose we could have just ignored them and put off the public right of way anyway but they had seen our cars and frankly we didn’t want to leave such tempting targets of retribution.

So we re-loaded all the boats and went the two miles downstream to Grosmont where we accessed the river at the ford. This meant missing out the first couple of miles which are the most interesting. While there, we met and spoke to the owner of the land in that particular location, He told us he was more than happy to let kayakers access the river (as long as it wasn’t the height of the fishing season), that he thought canoeing looked great and as far as he was concerned left no ecological footprint whatsoever. (What a luvverly fella!)

Subsequently, we discovered from various locals that the chap who gave us such grief is renowned in the area for antics like this. We also once again met some resistance while portaging Sleights weir.

No the least stressful of paddles in the end.

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Jan13
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Re: ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by Jan13 »

As a follow up, does anyone know what the ownership situation is at the road bridge in Egton Bridge? There is a gate and a path down to the river on the south side. Having looked at a local fishing forum, it implies that the vicinity of the bridge is not in the Estate's ownership. Any more info would be appreciated?

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Big Henry
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Re: ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by Big Henry »

Paddled the section from Grosmont to Ruswarp yesterday at fantastic levels. When we got to the area just above the weir and we got out, someone attached to the boat rental (about 100m below where we got out) approached us and enquired about where we'd got in, and whether it was above Sleights weir. She said that a charge of £5 per boat was made to access the water here (and signs said a charge was made/permission needed) but she would let us off this time. The signs don't actually say that you need to pay or have permission if you are just landing here! At £5 per boat to cross 5m of land it would be cheaper to continue into Whitby and pay for parking, plus you can get the best fish and chips in the world afterwards!)

Parking fee at Grosmont for over 2 hours is £4.80 (trip took 1hr 44mins paddling at just under 3ft on the Grosmont ford guage, but plus shuttle and changing and faff you'll be cutting it very fine if you try for less than 2 hours!)

030261kev
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Re: ESK (Egton to Sleights)

Post by 030261kev »

Went on this 30 years ago,water level had been running at 1m high thru the gorge section but i bottled out when i saw all the trees logjams in the river.went back the next day and water was a foot deep.things went okay nothing exciting until i met a fisherman on the bank in the gorge section who went apeshit.he started whipping his fly fishing line at me then throwing rocks.I called him a tit and made to get out of my kayak where on he ran off screaming abuse.30 seconds later i am past and when i got a bit further downstream near my car there was a local bobby/fed/bizzy waiting who threatened to arrest me.The fisherman was there and he had said to the policeman i had threatened him.Laughed at the bizzy who took car registratio and my name address etc, walked towards the fishman who ran off shouting he was gonna get me "done in" as he was a gangsta from teeside.got in my car drove home.Not the best day out but i have disliked fishpeople ever since.Needless to say no assasination attempts were made.

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