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GUIDE TO THE RIVER DOVE

(JCB Academy to Marchington Lane End)

NAME OF RIVER: Dove

WHERE IS IT?: Staffordshire, Marchington near Uttoxeter.

PUT-IN'S/TAKE-OUT'S: Access: JCB Academy Road Bridge (Rocester Bridge) (SK1159039134).  Get out below the bridge river left onto PROW. Big car park on the Academy (SK1152539181) side of the bridge. Egress: Marchington Lane End (SK1516231441) from Marchington take "Green Lane" out of the village towards the railway line. Cross the railway and keep going. This is a green lane, so no issues taking car - when I last went down the farmer has gated the track at (SK1510431228) and we just parked here on the verge and walked the final 100m to the river. I don't currently believe that is a legal blockage - and the landowner may be in breach of the highway status. That said it's not far from here to the river anyway. Avoid having too many cars here. 

Doverridge (SK1112633978), marked by a small suspension bridge, with a PROW across, its possible to egress here, with good parking in Doveridge near the church But you do have to cross a low and loose barbwire fence. We have had no issues doing so, but be respectful if doing so.

APPROX LENGTH:  Approx 20km

TIME NEEDED: 4/5 hours

ACCESS HASSLES: British Canoing's stated policy of 365-day agreements unless proven environmental reasons prevent paddling. 

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Should paddle in low flows, just two rocky weirs to portage. 

GRADING: Grades 1 and 2 - with x3 weirs

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: About 2/3km just before Eaton Dovedale Farm, there are two man-made weirs of a rocky construction both less than 0.5m high, but in low flows will be a bump and scrape and in higher flows provide a nice bouncy wave. Both close to each other. 
Towards Eaton Hall Farm you will hear the shooting, there is shooting club here, don't worry just keep paddling - but if you don't expect it, you might think you are being shot at! 
Not long after this, you will enter an old Quarry - a very large lake. Seems unclear where to go, but just stick left and take any channel you can you will soon be back in the main river.
Weir under old A50 Road bridge and new A50 road bridge. Made from sheet piles, so not a nice smooth edge. Both entry and exit need care and inspection. The best line will either be river right and most right-hand arch or extreme river left (left-hand arch). Easy to inspect, river left or river right. If wanting to portage best to pull out river right just upstream of the first bridge and drop into the River Tean which swings back into the Dove and bypasses the difficult section. 
Weir at Marchinton wave and flow directs you under a low hanging tree, not a huge issue if you are expecting it. 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Meandering and easy with small rapids from time to time.

The river continues to gently meander towards Uttoxeter.  About 2/3km just before Eaton Dovedale Farm, there are two man-made weirs of a rocky construction both less than 0.5m high, but in low flows will be a bump and scrape and in higher flows provide a nice bouncy wave. Both close to each other. 
Towards Eaton Hall Farm you will hear the shooting, there is shooting club here, don't worry just keep paddling - but if you don't expect it, you might think you are being shot at! 
Not long after this, you will enter an old Quarry - a very large lake. Seems unclear where to go, but just stick left and take any channel you can you will soon be back in the main river.
Weir under old A50 Road bridge and new A50 road bridge. Made from sheet piles (about 0.5m drop), not a nice smooth edge. Both entry and exit need care and inspection. The best line will either be river right and most right-hand arch or extreme river left (left-hand arch). Central arches can be run but the area below is blocked by an Island and new A50 by pass bridge supports.  Easy to inspect, river left or river right. If wanting to portage best to pull out river right just upstream of the first bridge and drop into the River Tean which swings back into the Dove and bypasses the difficult section. The old bridge makes a nice place to stop, enjoy the views, or have a lunch-stop. Quite a few PROW's here so a little exploring can be done. Easiest egress is river left onto a natural sandbar with some trees. 
Once under both A50 bridges, you will see River Tean join from the right. Shortly after you will pass Doverridge, marked by a small suspension bridge, with a PROW across, its possible to egress here, with good parking in Doveridge near the church But you do have to cross a low and loose barbwire fence. We have had no issues doing so, but be respectful if doing so. The river continues to gently meander towards Marchington. There are the remains of an old weir at Marchinton, with a wave and flow that directs you under a low hanging tree, not a huge issue if you are expecting it.  Shortly after this, you will see a long line of tall poplar trees marking the green lane - egress river right. 

OTHER NOTES: Next section is Doveridge or Marchington Lane end to Tutbury Bridge.

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