GUIDE TO THE RIVER KENT
(Scroggs Bridge to Bowston)
NAME OF RIVER: Kent
WHERE IS IT?: The river follows the direction of the A591 to the North West of Kendal.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in just past Scroggs Bridge on the road to Kentmere from Staveley on river left at SD467996 above the first rapid. Take out either at Bowston Bridge (SD499967) or on river right in Burneside just past the road bridge at SD507956.
APPROX LENGTH: 7km.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: None known. The two fishermen we met both pulled their lines in and waved us on with a smile, it was almost like being in Scotland!
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs high water, the first rapid should be negotiable without bumping into too many rocks. We ran this late in the day after heavy rain the night before.
GRADING: 2/3 (4)
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Two grade four rapids and five weirs, at least one of which is a bit dodgy!
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Starts off with a bang with about 50m of white water ending in Scroggs Bridge Fall. This can be ran either left or right of an island, we ran it on the right which was a 1.5m fall requiring a boof. There were a few trees in the rapid before the fall, so inspect before getting on and choose your line.
Relatively flat water follows for the next 500m before you reach Barley Bridge Weir - a 3m steep sloping weir which can be shot anywhere.
The next weir is at Wilf's cafe, which will ensure an audience on a nice day! In the levels we ran this, there were no problems, but a portage is possible on the left.
After another km or so leads to the main event - Cowan Head Weir and rapid. Inspection is possible on the left and you will probably get an audience from the balconies of the holiday flats. A number of lines are possible - most of us boofed off the ledge on centre-right and then kept towards the middle all the way down. An excellent continuos rapid that will leave you smiling when you eddy-out after the bridge!
Another 500m leeds to the somewhat dodgy Bowston Weir. This has a series of walled in holes between stanchions on the right and a fish-pass blocked by a huge tree on the left. We boofed and hoped on the right and got away with it, but having someone on standby with a throw line is advisable. It is possible to get out at the bridge in Bowston, but carrying adds a little more interest.
The final weir is just before Burneside Mill. We ran this without issue, but inspection or portage is possible on the right. The river speeds up as it passes under some of the mill workings. The get-out is about 50m below this, or continue on down for another 7km of flat water to Kendal.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jim Pullen.