Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Changes: A Day Out On The River

Yesterday we spent a day on the river; it was an open canoe trip; with good friends both new and old; on the River Swale in North Yorkshire. The day was grey and cool with the river level a little on the low side but the Pennine scenery of the Dales spoke for itself - as always it was stunning!

We got on the river at Gunnerside, very much a favourite location, and paddled down to Grinton a seven or eight mile stretch that I've not done for well over ten years. This part of the River Swale has two or three straightforward grade 2 sections, however, the main technical issues come from the plethora of trees that lie next to or in the water!

There were two very striking aspects to the trip. Firstly, that when travelling and viewing the landscape from the perspective offered by the river just how few fellow human beings you see. This was remarked upon following our outing. Secondly, just what a dynamic and changing environment this river-scape is. There are numerous examples of bank erosion and corresponding deposition which have produced dramatic changes in the river's characteristics. It would appear that the many attempts which are being made to stabilise the situation are destined to be futile. In monitoring the levels of the river prior to the trip we observed a drop from almost 2m above "base" level to just 0.2m above "base" level in less than forty eight hours; big changes which happen quickly!

Symbolically, when thinking on change, this trip marks a watershed in Canoes, Mountains & Caves' year calendar. Although there is still much "behind the scenes" winter work to complete, the last day of February signals the end of the quieter winter season and the start of  a very busy Spring, Summer and early Autumn. Our community programme will continue as the cornerstone of our work through this period but will be added to by: significantly more work with groups of young people; an open canoe expedition in NW Scotland; another Snowdonia Activity Holiday; BCU Training Courses; some "experimental" new outdoor activity initiatives; many freelancing engagements and much activity development work. Its an exciting time!

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