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GUIDE TO FLUSHIEMERE BECK

NAME OF RIVER: Flushiemere Beck.

WHERE IS IT?: Teesdale, County Durham. It is a tributary of the Tees entering one mile below Low Force on the Tees.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Take the B6277 from Middleton-in-Teesdale towards High Force. At Bowlees there is a sign for a visitor/ picnic area. Turn right to the parking area (NY908283). The access to the put in is on foot from here on a path which follows the river left bank. The path is signed to Gibsons Cave.

The river can be inspected on the walk up. Gibsons Cave is the put in, which is below a spectacular 30 ft fall. The river can be paddled back past the car park taking out at the road bridge on the B6277, or continue down to the Tees.

APPROX LENGTH: 5 Metres!

TIME NEEDED: 30 mins including the walk.

ACCESS HASSLES: Unsure, the picnic area and footpath to Gibsons Cave is owned by the Raby estate who charge to paddle the Upper Tees, don't get caught and it won't become an issue!

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: A definite spate run, rises and falls very quickly.The level of water in the Tees is not necessarily a good indicator. I have been trying to do it for two years and finally caught it when the Tees was still very low but the local weather was very wet. The level is best checked from the picnic area, if it looks paddleable here it then probably is, if in doubt walk up and have a look!

GRADING: 3 to 5.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Three falls, the second of which many will portage, a chain across the river just before the third fall.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The large waterfall dropping 30 ft into Gibsons cave makes a spectacular start to the trip in high water. The "cave" is more of a undercut rock face than a true cave. The fall looks very inviting, however the plunge pool is not much more than a couple of feet deep even in high water levels.

The run down to the first paddleable fall is fairly steep and fast, a few bedrock steps, bends and trees provide entertainment.

The first fall as a fairly straightforward 2.5 metre drop into a deep pool. The second more difficult fall follows shortly afterwards. Check you are able to get out if you don't plan to paddle the second fall, the banks are steep rock.

The second fall is probably 4 metres high with two distinct ledges. The probabilities of missing the second ledge look remote, the ledge sticks out far enough to ensure a heavy impact if you do catch it. However there is a line on the extreme right (splat off the rock at the top), which should take you clear of the ledge; it worked for me. This fall probably gets easier the more water is in it, at least there is more cushion off the second ledge if you hit it.

More fast water and a nice rapid on a left bend lead onto the third fall under a road bridge. Beware, there is a chain strung across the river just above the fall. This fall is a 3 metre drop with a ledge part way down, river right looks more straightforward.

Get out here or continue down to the Tees, another 0.5 km.

Pictures of Flushiemere Beck

OTHER NOTES: I caught this totally unexpectedly on 2 June 2002, didn't even have a camera. Water levels were low and we went to scrape the Upper Tees. It started raining HEAVILY, we went and had a look at Flushiemere Beck and it was at a good level. Has any one else done this little gem?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans.