River Troutbeck (South) - 9 November 2018 (updated 14 December)
The National Park is currently replacing the two bridges across the island at Troutbeck Ford about a kilometre down from the access at Church Bridge in Troutbeck village.
These bridges were damaged in Storm Desmond. They are located at the red circle on the map below. Work is potentially ongoing seven days a week, and there is no access to the river at this point from the bridleway which is closed.
The guidebook advises using the west channel round the island to avoid the lower bridge on the east channel.
We are advised the west channel is currently dry to facilitate the works. There is also an ‘Irish Ford’ downstream of the bridge. This is constructed from steel pipe (which water flows through) and road plate and during low flow the deck sits above the water line, although at higher flows it may be shallow covered. Low flow there isn’t really any route for portage around the works. The only entry and exit point are onto the Irish ford deck.
In the long term the flow will be diverted to the W channel. Some (but not all) of the overhanging branches here have been cut back and the new bridges will be slightly arched with a single span on the eastern channel. The clearance beneath both bridges will be higher than the replaced west channel bridge which was the preferred prior passage. Hopefully will be an easier passage than before when complete.
May be best to give this a miss till the works are complete and the ford is removed – which should be end December.
Update 14 December - The Irish Ford has now been removed from the west channel and the the two new bridge beams are in place. The fitting out of the bridges will commence in January when worrk recommences after the Christmas break. Flow will be reinstated to the East channel by 21st December.
River Calder - 3 December 2018
Tree hazard - large tree across whole river in vertical cliff section of sandstone gorge. Just passable with care on river right at low / medium water. Check it out before you paddle. It is located under the footbridge 500m downstream from A595 bridge in Calder Bridge.