GUIDE TO THE RIVER WALKHAM

(Huckworthy to Bedford Bridge)

NAME OF RIVER: Walkham.

WHERE IS IT?: It flows from high on Dartmoor with better sections above and below.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: This section begins at Huckworthy Bridge (SX 532705).

It finishes at Bedford Bridge, SX 504704....but it's better to carry on.

Take a look at the map.

APPROX LENGTH: 3 km.

TIME NEEDED: About one hour.

ACCESS HASSLES: I have encountered no objections here. Locals at Horrabridge were happy for us to launch from the centre of the the village on one occasion, and the locals in Huckworthy are nice - be nice back.

Ollie, www.trentweirproject.co.uk...'All the locals we encountered seemed very friendly and happy enough to see us. Discretion is probably well advised to maintain good relations - we decided to change elsewhere rather than to share the delights of carpark culture with the locals.'

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I paddled after a night of rain and had just enough water to float comfortably from the launch point; medium-low conditions.

High water would sadly be dangerous due to the barbed wire hazard described below.

GRADING: Mostly grade 1-2 with interesting weirs and a grade 3 gorge.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The river was free of tree blocks in November 2002. There are several weirs.

Ollie, www.trentweirproject.co.uk...'We paddled this section on 30/10/04 as an extension of the lower Walkham and found no evidence of the barbed wire hazard mentioned in the printed guidebook.'

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Launch at Huckworthy bridge. The river consists of small rapids and some lively sections around weirs. Great territory for open canoes.

The first weir is a simple slide.

The second weir is partly broken making a grade 3 rapid.

The third weir weir is surprising, a slide into a long grade 3 rapid. This rapid is in a strange green mini-gorge and has a shock waiting at the end...a sudden closed in slot drop! Thankfully it is harmless enough.

The fourth weir is as you enter Horrabridge. It is a small drop with a grabby stopper.

You now enter the Weir Park in the centre of Horrabridge. The weir here is shallow and sticky (ask Andy McMahon); but it is safe enough to paddle in low levels.

Easy water leads out of the village down to Bedford Bridge. it is possible to stop here, but it is strongly recommended that you keep going.

OTHER NOTES: This makes a reasonably enjoyable warmup for the lower Walkham.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley, also Ollie.