GUIDE TO BIRK BECK

NAME OF RIVER: Birk Beck.

WHERE IS IT?: The continuation of Wasdale Beck at Shap Wells Hotel. About 5km south of J39 of the M6. Map.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Start at he Shap Wells Hotel (GR 578 095). This is reached from either the A6 or the B6261 just south of Shap. If you get permission from the hotel it is possible to park beside the river at the entrance to the hotel car park. Otherwise park as for the start of Wasdale Beck and run them both.

Egress at Scout Green. Between a footbridge and a road bridge the road runs along the left bank for 500m. Egress can be made anywhere along here to the road, although the trees and steep bank are probably most easily tackled by the bridge. There is plenty of room to park at the side of the road just beyond the road bridge.

Below here the river remains flat until its confluence with the Lune at Tebay in 3 km.

APPROX LENGTH: 3.5 km.

TIME NEEDED: 1 hour.

ACCESS HASSLES: No known access problems.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs lots of rain. Wasdale Beck needs to be running to make this worthwhile. The best place to check the level is at the start by Shap Wells Hotel where Wasdale Beck becomes Birk Beck. The last big fall on Wasdale Beck (seen easily from the road at the hotel entrance) should be well covered, and the wide shallows from the falls to the corner by the road easily navigable.

GRADING: 4.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: A large 4m drop and several fences.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Negotiate the fence by the put in, which is followed by some more debris in the river around the first corner. The river is then straightforward down to a farm where there are a couple of fences and a low bridge to negotiate. Soon after this the river then enters a tree lined valley with a small stopper on a bend. A straight fast wave train down an avenue of trees then runs down to Docker Force, be ready and inspect.

Docker Force. (4/5) A large 4 m drop. The right side is horseshoe shaped and has a shallow landing, while a rocky ramp on the left leads past the stopper into deeper water.

The river continues through tree lined banks with occasional boulders and two more easier falls down to a large flat pool just above the houses of Scout Green.

Pictures of Birk Beck

OTHER NOTES: Makes a worthy addition to Wasdale Beck with a large fall.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Stuart Miller, 'White Water Lake District'


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