GUIDE TO BLACK BROOK
(Barkisland Paper Mills to Elland)
NAME OF RIVER: Black Brook.
WHERE IS IT? Near Elland, Halifax, West Yorkshire. OS sheet 104 Leeds/ Bradford.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in Barkisland Paper Mills, Barkisland, Halifax (SE069201).
APPROX LENGTH: 4 km.
TIME NEEDED: 1-2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Access situation good, rarely paddled.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Gauge at Elland? Check the water flow under the mill at Barkisland mills.
GRADING: 3+ with weirs sluices.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: A narrow beck with trees and victorian dams and weirs! Concrete post river wide in west vale. River borne disease!
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A tree infested foray into the industrial becks of West Yorkshire!
Don't bring anything bigger than a spud. Fast and not for the faint hearted.
Put in 300 m above Barkisland mills, Barkisland but downstream of the paper re-processing plant.
* rapidly flowing narrow stream at this point leads to Barkisland mills.
* 1.5m weir leads to tunnel under mill! (20m, runnable, check 1st for trees!)
* under road bridge.
* house on left 3 small weirs could be fun in higher water.
* brook leads into mill dam with 2 exit options...
1] Rt 2.5m drop (Picture "sluice right")over sluice into deep water check 1st
2] left 2.5m 3 tier (picture "sluice left 1 2") easier drop into same pool
* next 500m steady drop through mill complex and open farmland - watch for trees.
* 1.75m easy sloped weir watch for trees
* narrow section through (picture "ditch") open farmland - watch for trees.
* Holwell brook from the Right.
* West vale village - short gorge section grade 3-.
* watch for big eddy rt before mill.
* concrete post across river - portage! Left bank.
* Greetland road tunnel run river left.
* Greetland cricket club section grade 1-2
* 200m to rugby club weir - 1m - watch for wheely bins!.
CONTRIBUTED BY:Andy Craven and Paul (Heffy) Heffernan.
WATER LEVEL WAS VERY HIGH NO READING TAKEN.
Gauge taken at West Vale Car Park - 2 stone below outlet right of the footbridge to the park.
Got on after Barkisland Mill due to the tunnel being blocked by a small tree and sheer amount of water.
Climbed over wall other side of the road bridge.
1st small private bridge has a bird feeder at there centre hanging down.
2nd Bridge (old derelict iron bridge has many snagging hazards hanging down try run central.
Next section pretty tight and many small branches to navigate and weirs seem fine. Possible tow back on the last (not very strong).
Tight into Bowers Mill Tunnel (very small eddies River Left before tunnel)
Shoot tunnel River Right and lean back as it is a 10-15m long LOW tunnel.
Immediate Left turn into the Dam - Do not go straight as Very Dangerous Weir with sluice.
Short paddle across Dam - Get out and inspect before attempting Left Shoot.
The Venue function hall has installed a walkway since pictures so there is a Very Low gap and this makes it Very Tricky to set up.
Shoot is steep and Rapid. (Lower middle section between 2 steel posts into curled edge shoot. In High water the water flows 6 feet off the end of the shoot and forces you to the far side Eddie River left but impossible to hit - Difficult to cover.
Tight overgrow section then goes past the mills.
Big Sieving hazard immediately after the mills as the fields start and barb wire fence.
the next 1/2 mile after Bowers Mills is a Death trap.
Next weir is a angled weir with a 100% death trap after (Huge tree) photos to follow will survey further down stream but there are no get outs and no places to eddie out either.
IN SHORT DON'T ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU HAVE WALKED IT BEFORE HAND
IF YOU DO ATTEMPT IT CHECK YOUR LIFE INSURANCE COVER AND ALSO EMPLOY A TREE SURGEON TO CLEAR 4KILOMETRES OF OVERGROWN TREES.