GUIDE TO THE RIVER TRENT
NAME OF RIVER: Trent - Newark Weir.
WHERE IS IT?: It's in Newark town. You can find it by locating the main roundabout in the town centre, and following the B6166 towards Farndon for about mile. Turn right when you see the marina, on your right. Follow this minor road for about 250 yards, and take the 2nd or 3rd exit on your left (can't remember which), you will see a small humpback bridge, over the river, in front of you.
Immediately after the bridge, park up on your left, in a small untarmacted area enough for about 4 or 5 cars.
The weir can be seen beyond the footbridge.
The parking is directly in front of some riverside apartments; so, it would be wise to park with consideration to other users, change discreetly, and quietly.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put-in and take-outs are ether side of the weirs, and is about a minutes walk from the parking area.
Once on the water ferrying in front of the concrete separation platform one can access both weirs.
APPROX LENGTH: Errrr..well, the weirs are 30 - 40 foot long and about a metre wide.
TIME NEEDED: As long as you like.it's playtime.
ACCESS HASSLES: As far as I know, there as no access problems. However, there is a sign mentioning canoeists and the weirs, but errr, I can't recall what it said!!!!!
Andrew Bird (January 2003)...'I've paddled Newark Weir for the last 23 years, it usually runs well when between 1.8+2.3 on the HPP water line, when the stopper closes it becomes extremely dangerous.
Whilst it may be suggested that access is not a problem I know there have been difficulties with fishermen, the landowners on both sides downstream and with local residents when canoeists get changed in an insensitive manner. These problems have not caused too many difficulties, mainly due to the good nature of us canoeists.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The weirs need rain to bring them into condition, but due to the large catchment area, once up they will stay running for some degree of time after rain has stopped.
Andrew Bird...'There is some difficulty in commenting over which levels it can be safely paddled at. 4.2 - generally the safe level - is affected by the run off from Newark town weir and the weir at Nether lock about 1 mile down stream [do not paddle on this at any level].
I have paddled safely at 2.8 but only immediately after heavy rain, it does not remain safe for more than about 12 hrs. Also I've had a great time at 1.8 but after a period of runoff, but whilst it is still backed up from Nether lock downstream.
Tthere has been a change to the water in the past 3 years due to the land owner on river right (known as Parnhams island) who opened up one of the sluices formally used for a series of water wheels. This improved the weir itself, at this point this "improvement" is due to erosion in this area caused by the increased flow. If anything drastic occurs I'll let you know.'
Aiden Smith (Jan 2004)...'some mates and I paddled the weir when Holme Pierrepoint was flooded out (up to the looping pool). at this level both weirs formed stoppers which were extremely retentive but they also closed in at the ends. This made it near impossible to exit the wave upright. To exit, we had to roll out, although this was surprisingly easy and and meant we were immediately flushed downstream.'
GRADING: Play waves.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There are no noticeable hazards. Although you are actually only surfing on a few inches of water, with a concrete base below you. However, this hasn't caused any problems when I've been there.
After the wave is an area of deep, boily water.
The water quality may not be the best; Holme Pierrepont is just down the road.
Tim Wheeler (Feb' 2003)...'Learnt an important lesson at Newark Weir a few years ago. With water level low I tried seal launching a grp slalom kayak off the parapet of the stone footbridge. Swimmers assurred me the waters was at least 7' deep. They were lying (actually 4') and result was boat about 18" shorter.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river drops steeply for 12 feet down two 30 - 40 foot wide channels, separated by a broad concrete platform. The water hits what appears to be a meter wide ledge at the bottom; the wave forms on this.
Both weirs have entry eddies at both ends.
The river left weir is less steep of the two, and providing one has, a good roll is good for learning or improving surfing skills.
River right weir is steeper and allows more advanced moves to be performedif you know how too!
Both weirs have boily 'fallout zones', but with a good quickish roll allows plenty of time to return to the eddy. Beyond the boil, the river continues a leisurely pace along a tree-lined bank.
OTHER NOTES: The weir provides a great and rather surreal experience - in front of all you, all you can see is a 12-foot wall of moving water.cool
I've been there when the weir was running at 2.14 and the river left weir was sweet for front and back surfing, with 360 spins on the side shoulders.
The last time I was there, it was at 1.80. At this level river left weir was difficult to stay on, however, the river right weir was perfect for front and back surfing.
The pictures and video were taken on river right weir at a level of 1.80.
This was Paul's (Inazone) first ever time surfing!!
This guide is only based on the levels I have experienced.
At higher levels, 3.0+, Sawley weir (the one you can see from the M1) comes in condition. Also, as mentioned HPP is just down the road in Nottingham