On a recent paddle, Pete and Andy travelled upstream to Beeston lock and weir and then back to Holme Pierrepont. There is an abundance of wildlife quietly going about their business so close to the busy city and outskirts if only you have the wherewithal to seek it out. This is one of Andy’s motivating factors as a disabled paddler to get out there on the water. Being wheelchair bound you don’t get much opportunity to get near to nature, you are restricted to hard paths and tracks if they exist, so kayaking gives you the freedom he used to have whilst able bodied.
The Trent at Holme Pierrepoint is pretty deep and black and remains so until you get beyond Clifton Bridge, beyond that the river shallows out and the obvious current gets stronger. The water beyond Clifton Bridge is really clear and you can see how clean it is with the river weed flowing in the currents. They saw a variety of birds including Cormorant, Great Crested Grebes and Mallard up to Clifton Bridge and then as the river gets quieter things got all together more exciting with 3-4 Kingfishers skimming the water as they were disturbed on the banks. There is no other colour like the Kingfishers iridescent back, that shimmering blue is unparalleled. Passing numerous Herons quietly fishing and there was also a Little Egret sharing the spoils in the river.
As you pass behind Nottingham Trent University and Clifton Hall the river becomes very quiet the only really sound coming from the weir at Beeston lock. The current is pretty fierce just below the weir and once you turn from home you’re doing nearly twice the speed than on the way up. If you haven’t done much river paddling it a little disconcerting to be pushed around without the obvious waves that Andy normally experiences on large lakes and the sea. It emphasises the power that moving water has and builds that respect you need to have to stay safe in water.
More training over the weekend at Rutland Water and back on the Trent next week!