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GUIDE TO ARKLE BECK

NAME OF RIVER: Arkle Beck.

WHERE IS IT?: North of England, near Richmond. Largest tributary of the Swale.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: If the water is high put in at the road bridge in Whaw (NY981044) where there's space for a couple of cars, otherwise use the road bridge above Langthwaite. In very high water it may be possible to put-in even higher up for added fast grade 3 (maybe where the main road crosses a few km further up the valley?) Take out either in Reeth (at the car sale place) or in Grinton after the Swale confluence (SE046985), or continue down the Swale.

APPROX LENGTH: 10km for Whaw to the Swale, or about 7km from Langthwaite.

TIME NEEDED: A couple of hours for the full run.

ACCESS HASSLES: None reported.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs fairly high levels and best in high water. There's an online EA gauge at Reeth - low levels are from about 0.7m, medium 0.8m and high 0.9m.

GRADING: 2/3

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees and fences.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A trib of the Swale, which runs in high water. Starts off as fast, fun continuous grade 3 from Whaw in decent water, with few eddies.We put in just above the ford, where there was a large stopper. Continues as fast, bouncy grade 3 for several km.

It then mellows a bit below Langthwaite, where there's a sheep fence under one of the bridges which may require portaging.

The beck splits into many different channels and gets shallow when it passes through a small coniferous wood. As the wooded valley changes back to deciduous trees it steepens up a bit again as you approach Reeth - the risk of fallen trees in the river is at it's highest at this point.

OTHER NOTES: This guide was written after we sadly lost our friend Matt Parker in a freak tree entrapment accident whilst paddling the beck and is dedicated to him. He was one of the most enthusiastic kayakers I have ever had the privilege to meet and always loved the opportunity to share that enthusiasm with his fellow paddlers and would not have wanted his accident to put others off paddling this run.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jim Pullen