GUIDE TO THE RIVER MEAVY

(Goodameavy to Plym confluence)

NAME OF RIVER: Meavy.

WHERE IS IT?: South Dartmoor, not so far from Plymouth! The section described is directly above and runs into the lower Plym. Map.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Start on the upper Meavy, or put-in at Goodameavy (SX529547). Drive up to Goodameavy and get in by the bridge (take care with parked cars - we've had a car broken into here!!). Take-out is at Shaugh Bridge (SX 533637) or continue down the lower River Plym. Limited parking is available at Shaugh car park. Vehicular access to the take-out points is good, but sadly, there have also been many break-ins to cars parked at Shaugh Bridge, so do not leave valuables in a visible position in your car.

APPROX LENGTH: 1 mile.

TIME NEEDED: 15-20 mins if you run it straight off!

ACCESS HASSLES: Park officials have on occasion claimed that they have jurisdiction over navigation of the Meavy. They don't, obviously.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Works when the upper River Plym is too high. Walk a little way upstream of Shaugh bridge and look at the last bouldery rapids; will you scrape on these? We paddled the river in high bank-full conditions, and we really needed more a bit more water still; a minor flood ideally.

GRADING: Grade 4.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Fallen trees - there are plenty of these usually.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The first section is flat but after a large Grade 3 on a left hand bend, the river becomes continuous Grade 3 and 4 until Shaugh Prior bridge. The difficulties consist of steep boulder gardens with the odd tree-avoidance tactic making for the trickiest moves. This is a very narrow river and flows through lovely natural surroundings; tramping up and down the banks dragging boats wouldn't do it much good obviously, so use your sense.

Pics of the Meavy

OTHER NOTES: The river upstream is much easier but marred by obstacles. The section on the lower River Plym below the bridge is well worth continuing onto if the Meavy is flowing. Note that at high water levels, entering the lower River Plym with it's bigger volume and gradient, is like hitting 'fast forward'! If it's not too high, also consider doing the Upper Plym?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Dave Francis and Mark Rainsley.