GUIDE TO THE RIVER MARDEN
(Calne to Stanley)
NAME OF RIVER: Marden (Calne to Stanley).
WHERE IS IT?: Calne, Wiltshire.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Get on in Somerfield carpark in Calne, take out at the A4, below the Millennium cycleway bridge. Or continue down and do the rest of the Marden.
APPROX LENGTH: 3km.
TIME NEEDED: 1 hour.
ACCESS HASSLES: No agreement but it flows through Common land for most of it. We had no complaints, even the fisherman seemed quite amused. You pass through a building site on the way, so save this for weekends (26-4-00).
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The higher the better but if you can paddle at the wharf in Calne you can do the rest of it.
GRADING: II, purely because of the slalom pole like trees, requiring some boat control. I for the actual water.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Many over-hanging trees. Bug weir (II) halfway down, a 7ft chute. Tunnel under the road is very dark
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Get on next to the carpark, paddle down, through the building site into the section that looks like the beginnings of an artificial slalom course (unfortunately its not). The river passes under the road and turns left before emerging after 100m. Follow the wharf down over the little weirs, (about 8in each) and then go under the first foot bridge on the left. Follow the winding river down for about 1km, carefully avoiding the many fallen and overhanging trees. They can all be paddled under or round as of 26-4-00. The river widens slightly indicating Bug weir, a 7ft wide chute which can be run forwards, backwards or even sideways in a playboat. The wave at the bottom is good for 20mins entertainment, but is very shallow. Continue down much of the same till you reach the A4. Take out about 50m above where the river passes under the road. Clamber over the fence and your back with your car.
OTHER NOTES: Continue down and do the bigger section of the Marden below. Take a helmet because of the trees.