GUIDE TO THE RIVER LYNHER
(Kerney Bridge to the Sea)
NAME OF RIVER: Lynher.
WHERE IS IT?: It's in Cornwall. It flows off Bodmin Moor emptying into Plymouth Sound eventually.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Various, see below. It is possible to paddle from Kerney bridge to the sea.
Kerney Bridge (SX 319709) has reasonable parking and launching.
Newbridge (SX 357680) is a good spot to break up the trip, with access to the river from a lane on river right below the bridge.
Notter Bridge (SX 384608) allows egress on the river right bank.
APPROX LENGTH: See below.
TIME NEEDED: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: At low water canoeing is difficult but at high flows the water speed combined with the problems of trees and other obstructions can cause real difficulties
GRADING: Grade 2.
Mark Rainsley (December 2002)...'The Lynher barely reaches grade 2, but has enjoyable defined rapids. Excellent for somebody on their first whitewater."
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Tree. Barbed wire. Two weirs.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Lynher is a small river which is classifiable as a grade two water at normal flows; at low water canoeing is difficult but at high flows the water speed combined with the problems of trees and other obstructions can cause real difficulties. There are many bends and small rapids and two weirs, none of which should create too many problems for experienced paddlers. Care must be taken to avoid barbed wire which is sometimes strung across the river to prevent livestock from wandering.
KERNEY BRIDGE (319709) is the upstream limit of the agreement. Park on the road side and launch downstream on the left bank about 100m from the roadside stile/gate. On this section you will pass Bicton Mill and must therefore have first received written permission to proceed from the landowner.
NEWBRIDGE, CALLINGTON (357680) has ample car parking both 100m and 800m downstream of the bridge, and many launch sites, all courtesy of the National Trust. It is about 3kms to CLAPPER BRIDGE (352653), which has a small car park just below the bridge with direct river access. Only 400m from here is PILLATON WEIR (355649) which also has road access. The weir can be shot in the centre if there is enough water but a slow approach or low water can lead to the canoe becoming lodged bow down, with obvious dangers. From here it is about 5kms to NOTTER BRIDGE (384608) where egress is either on the right bank, after which you cross the paddock into the lane, or on the left bank into the pub car park. If you plan to use the latter please ring the Notter Bridge Inn (Saltash 842259) first to request permission. Below this point the land-owners are less co-operative so do not go further unless you plan to go as far as St Germans (364570), Forder (412581), Wearde Quay (427577), or any of the other tidal sites, all of which suffer from extensive mud flats at low tide.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Adam Box, Regional River Advisor, Devon and Cornwall, also Mark Rainsley and John MacDonald.