GUIDE TO WASKERLEY BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Waskerley Beck
WHERE IS IT?: Trib of the Wear flowing from Tunstall Reservoir to the Wear in Wolsingham.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at, or below the Spillway of Tunstall reservoir (NZ065407), Access road on the West side of Wolsingham off the A689. Take out in Wolsingham at pick nick area off the B6296 in Wolsingham (NZ075375), or possibly continue all the way down into the River Wear.
APPROX LENGTH: Approx 5k.
TIME NEEDED: Approx 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Please note you are NOT allowed to paddle down the spillway. Despite a stealthy get on attempt we were chased by officials just as we got on the water, they were also waiting for us at the bottom to warn us of possible prosecution. Paddling the Beck below the spillway is probably not a problem other than locating a suitable place to get on.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: A lot of recent rain is needed before the beck and spillway will run. If the beck in Wolsingham is running through the trees it will indicate the spillway may be running
GRADING: Water grading mainly II with one section of III near the get off, fence and tree grading III+
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees and fences all the way down the beck, at least six portages for sheep fences across the beck. At a level high enough to run the spillway, the beck is out of its banks and negotiating trees all the way down provides the main entertainment.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: See details above. A fun trip if you like spillways and tree infested ditches, otherwise don’t bother with it.
OTHER NOTES: Other nearby tribs of the Wear may be worth it if this is up, such as Bollihope and Middlehope Burns - anyone paddled these?
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans
Photos of the spillway and beck in condition from Bob Evans: