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GUIDE TO THE RIVER GRETA

(Ingleton to the Lune)

NAME OF RIVER: Greta.

WHERE IS IT?: The River Greta is a tributary of the Lune. Not to be confused with the Greta which flows into the Tees, or the Greta at Keswick.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: We parked and put in on the left just before the iron bridge outside Ingleton (heading NW on the A65). I think it is a Yorkshire Water station that is there and we got permission for that. Usually you drop off gear and then park elsewhere (in Ingleton Village?) We took out at Greta Bridge (right hand bank) just before the Lune. Not a lot of parking at the get out either, but if I recall correctly there was a lay-by.

APPROX LENGTH: 10 km??

TIME NEEDED: Unknown.

ACCESS HASSLES: I don't know what the access situation is (none during the FM crisis) but there doesn't seem to be a problem when the water is running. The farmer at the get out was very friendly - it was pouring down with rain and blowing a gale and he actually came out opened all his gates and helped us carry the canoes across his field!!

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS:

GRADING: 1 and 2 with a grade 3 rapid. Harder in high water.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: One ledge, see below.

Atti Gray (Jan 2004)...There are some small surf waves underneath the bridge before the limestone slides. On the river right there is a small wave hole and on the river left there is a small weir that can be quite sticky. One weir under the aqueduct in Ingleton pushes towards the fish pass and could be dangerous in high water.'

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: I remember clearly the section from the bridge at Burton in Lonsdale. There is a really nice steep section which consists of planes of limestone with slopes and steps all the way to the bottom. In just runnable levels you have to carefully pick a line down these, I would imagine at higher levels it would be easier. I remember being quite chuffed to get down this section without sticking or bumping anywhere.

The other section of interest is where it passes through Greta Woods. A very pretty section but keep your ears open as there is a 1.5 m drop (normally grade III but IV in higher water). You can get out on the left and fight your way through the undergrowth to inspect the drop. There were a number of places to enjoy it - in open canoes we found it easiest at the left hand end where a cushion wave formed just below the lip. Immediately after the drop there is a reef which can be a bit awkward (especially for open canoes) as there is only one way through when the rocks are showing above water. It is a very narrow channel at the extreme right of the reef and difficult to get at because the river bank at the point cuts in front of it making it a tight turn. I remember one member of our group getting stuck across the gap. To avoid damaging the canoe he leaped out on to the reef and lift his canoe clear - only to let go and leave himself stranded in the middle of the river!

OTHER NOTES: A small health warning, this is dredged from dim and distant memory...anyone able to add more info to this?

This river is not far from the similarly easy River Wenning.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Carol Haynes http://www.playoutdoors.org.uk, also Atti Gray.