Where is it? Flowing passed Pencoed until it joins with the river Ogmore after Ogmore Castle ruins.
Summary: A river that should be a good stretch for beginners but does not live up to its potential.
Hazards: Trees, Bushes, Boredom!
One definite portage with many more potential portages due to trees and debris.
Access Issues? Many years ago there used to be a land owner who would threaten paddlers here. No issues recently.
Put In/ Take out layby on dual carriage way to Pencoed Roundabout Grid Reference 962807 walk across playing fields to get to river.
Take out at Ogmore Castle ruins (beware high tides can completely engulf the car park!)
Grading 2 upto 3 if high water.
Level Indicators: The put in is a very narrow stretch the river’s speed here is best indication of level!
Description: The Ewenny starts off well enough, the narrow twisting stretch at the start suggests a good fast flowing adventure ahead. In higher levels the first Kilometer or so requires full concentration as there are tree hazards and a considerable amount of debris and household appliances along the way!
Shortly after put in the river flows under the M4, this is dark and good fun with good bumpy waves. Any substantial blockage (branches etc) would constitute a significant hazard once committed into the tunnel. Have a good look through before entering.
A weir drop follows shortly after with a good wave in medium levels.
Things calm down significantly after this, a low bridge requires portage.
Some drops and fun waves will keep you entertained until the river reaches the industrial estate. Here things become more like a canal than a river until the water flows under the A48 (go through right hand tunnel). Another weir drop provides a welcome break from the tedium.
The river enters a more rural setting, unfortunately the local flora is attempting to reclaim the area and there are tree and bush hazards for most of the remaining run.
At time of writing a small dam was formed by a downed tree which had strained other plant detritus until the whole river was blocked. This was passable by getting up speed and lifting the bow just before impact. However, in higher/ lower levels this would be a nasty strainer.
At higher levels the amount of trees and bushes would represent a very real risk of entrapment. The twisting nature of the river leaves very little time for reaction and inspection is difficult as practically the last one and half miles needs to be treated with care. At lower levels although passable the last stretch is a real slog with very little reward. More suited to open canoeing than kayaks.
In general this river is not as good as other rivers in the same area.
Contributed by: Nige Braunton