GUIDE TO HOCCOMBE WATER
(Source to Badgworthy Water)
NAME OF RIVER: Hoccombe Water.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Park at Brendon Two Gates on the B3223 (SS 765433) and walk down the Hoccombe Water valley. The stream becomes paddleable (barely wider than a boat width!) after about a kilometre.
The river feeds into Badgworthy Water, a much bigger river...you'd be crazy not to carry on downstream, not least because it's a long carry back up the hill!
TIME NEEDED: 30 mins?
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I have only paddled this in high-ish levels - about 1.5 on the riverside gauge at Malmsmead, about 2 on the Environment Agency East Lyn gauge. This level was plenty enough for a scrape-free paddle. Higher would be good, but low branches could be a problem.
GRADING: Grade 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Sheep fences.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: An entertaining adventure!
Launch wherever you feel the river is big enough. In the conditions necessary to bring this up, the stream quickly grows as side-streams enter. There are few technical challenges other than keeping the boat pointing straight and avoiding undercut tussocks, but the stream is quite steep and surprisingly good fun.
There are about 4 sheep fences which can be ducked with care. The last one is in the middle of a steep rapid and needs more care.
OTHER NOTES: This is best considered as part of a source-to-sea-mini-expedition...
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.