Saturdays recreational paddle saw us heading off down the River Lee on a paddling exploration to explore the River Lee with British Canoeing and members of Whoosh Explore canoe club to explore what can be done to develop and improve access for paddlers at some of the trickier portages along the route with a plan for a paddlesport trail along the navigation planned from Lee Valley Whitewater Centre to Stratford planned as a new paddle route from British Canoeing.
The River Lee offers a great opportunity for visitors and the paddle passing along an interesting post industrial route, our paddle finished at Stonebridge lock but there is potential to have a shorter paddle from Pickett lock,or a there and back paddle using Lea valley white water centre as a start and finish point.
On our paddle we parked at a free car park near to Stonebridge lock after dropping boats at LVPC and opted for a cycle ride back to Lee valley white water centre along cycle route 1 , where we meet our intrepid group of paddlers from Lee valley paddlesports club local paddlers and members of Whoosh Explore Canoe Club.
The trip revealed that there still a real plastic pollution issue on the river and some signs of other pollution from the remains of floating barriers to prevent chemical spills into the river where in evidence but the trip itself was a nice surprise, with sections of the river well away from road traffic offering interesting landscapes to explore ,including horses as well as grazing sheep alongside the slopes of the king George the 5th reservoirs that supply water into London and local industry.
At various points along the route evidence still remains of a canalised industrial past of a river with a mix of stone brick and concrete wharfs hinting at what would have been London silicon valley of the early 1900s.
Over the year we have a plan for recreational paddles on the Rivers Stort and Lee with an aim of completing a section at a time from the source of the navigation to the sea.
Next weeks paddle is on Saturday on the River Stort meeting ready to paddle at 9.30am till noon at Kecksys farm marina Sawbridgeworth
For details of our club recreational paddling sessions contact Peter.nash@yahool.Co.uk
We have equipment available for paddlers requiring boats or equipment.