Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Blackwater Tour

April 24, 2022

This is a great opportunity to paddle the river Blackwater from Kelvedon to Langford.

This event is held once a year and is the only time you can navigate this stretch of river.

Each local club are allocated a small number of  places to attend the event so its first come first served then a reserve list will be made if over subscribed.

Contact Judy to reserve a place.

31st River Blackwater Tour (24th April 2022) – Assistance Dogs ONLY

There are many trees across the river throughout. These can be very dangerous strainers with flowing river. Route checked on 20th March and made passable throughout. For some fallen trees you go around, others you go under the branches. However, things change. There may be the odd blockage caused by a raft of reeds. Take great care and help each other. You are responsible for your own safety at all times. Do your own risk assessment at obstacles. If experienced please help others through, but do not crowd those in front.

Remember the organiser arranges ACCESS only.

ROAD SAFETY            At the start, park where shown by signs to avoid road congestion.


Beware of traffic, and remember we do not own the road!

At Langford village hall, park tidily in the car park. The cars need to be very close together due to the large number of us. You may have to block in other cars from your own party – if you do, please try to be early at the finish to avoid delaying others.           DO NOT DRIVE ON GRASS AT LANGFORD

The car shuttle sets off from Kelvedon at 10:10, No minibus. Clubs will need to self -shuttle, and please be prepared to help others if they are stuck without return transport, also remember that the generous driver needs to get back to their car afterwards.

This river has been “managed” in places for many years so there may be old obstructions in the water course – like iron or concrete, but it is mostly natural with natural obstacles – e.g. fallen trees and bushes on tight bends.

Help each other at Portages – banks are high and slippery and many have stinging nettles. Kayakers may need to assist each other.

We paddle off from Kelvedon at about 11:00

Points to note. Current river level is good but it can change to flood over night. This can be dangerous with the Limbos

A12 Road Bridge – Can be shallow especially at far end of bridge. The route through is about 2 metres out from left.

After a half mile there is a LOW footbridge – may be a limbo (or difficult portage on right).

Great Braxted MillKeep well spaced out over the last 100 metres. With flowing water there is a risk of “log jam” and capsize. Some branches across water! Then shoot through the left brick arch. The brickwork is fragile so please avoid hitting it with boat or paddles! Expect mill owners to be watching. The shoot is a joy even with standing waves in the pool below.  No alternative portage route. The following stream is particularly shallow (or fast) for the next 100 metres with a low footbridge (limbo). After the left turn at the river junction there is a tree almost across – keep left. Soon followed by a…

Complete blockage – Portage right to high bank. Easy re-entry after short portage.

Appleford Measuring Flume – a simple shoot, pass either side.

Little Braxted Mill – Portage on right at fallen trees. Very high bank. After 50 metres re-enter below the metal weir – high bank. The weir is a “keeper” in high flow!  The stream after portage can be shallow. There are trees across the river in the next section. NOTE the river is deep and there can be a heavy flow UNDER the trees.

Portage and Lunch Stop – We cannot use Blue Mills this year. Keep to right side of the river after the junction with the river Brain. And look out for the “NO ENTRY” sign. Portage on the right before the Metal Piling. We should arrive from about 1:00. The mill owners may be there to check on us! The new portage agreed with 2 different landowners is about 400 metres long. Look out for tapes to show route. We have a picnic stop half way with toilet for the ladies! Men please be discrete in the bushes!  Leave the area tidy (as usual), taking all rubbish away.  When launching please keep to river right to avoid Blue Mills property.

Benton Hall Golf course – The river passes through the course – WARNING – chance of a ball passing low! There are also 2 low bridges, portage on right if impossible to pass through.

Benton Hall sluice – This is currently closed sending most water along our main river route. If it is fully open there is a strong pull left. This tends to empty the main river. If so, portage on left after sluice and continue walking the bank of the river into Wickham Mill. Extra portage distance is about 300 metres and slippery.

Wickham Mill – There is a steady flow here. Portage route on LEFT after wooden Railway bridge. There are stinging nettles on a high and messy bank. Do not pass the “DANGER” sign. The following drop is SERIOUSLY dangerous. Walk boats along the narrow footpath to get in after about 100metres.

The Finish – Get out before the last weir on RIGHT. I anticipate a finish at about 4pm depending on flow.

Leave car park tidy. Last one out to LOCK the gate.                                   PLEASE DON’T DRIVE ON THE GRASS

ON THE DAY ONLY – My phone number for the day ONLY is 07549 165741

Finally – there is road access at Gt Braxted mill, Appleford Bridge, Lt Braxted mill, Benton Hall & Wickham mill. At Gt Braxted and Benton Hall the access is private, but available for emergencies.

Have a good trip. Thank you for joining us.                                              Mike Robards ©2022


Start @ CO59BE or W3W grow.ready.stiffly, Finish @ CM96QA or W3W dish.holly.lawns



April 24, 2022


Clive Marfleet


kelverdon CO5 9BE + Google Map