For much of the year, the River Washburn is a boulder-strewn ditch on which canoeing is impossible... but the river will fill naturally, especially in winter, and on up to 30 days in the year, Yorkshire Water releases water from Thruscross Reservoir, creating England's premier year-round, dam release facility - with 2.4km (1.5 miles) of grade 2-3, fast flowing water.
Throughout the year, volunteer groups co-ordinate varied boating days. Most releases are first and foremost for recreational playboating but the site also offers three slalom sites catering for differing standards of competition (including Premier and Division 1/2 slaloms) and can host Wild Water Racing races (Sprint and Classic, up to National Championship standard).
Yorkshire Water have vested all canoeing operations in the Washburn Committee of the Yorkshire Regional Development Team. This volunteer-run Committee manages the site (including land owned at the take-out) on behalf of all canoeists. Details of recent and future improvements can be seen on the developments page.
Explore these links more information about Washburn releases:
- Events @ The Washburn
- The Washburn Valley
- Washburn Location and Access
- The Washburn River Guide
- Event Safety @ The Washburn
Please note: paddling on the reservoirs is strictly prohibited.
The Washburn news
Washburn Boaterfest 2017
A weekend of Playboating & Boater-X on England's Premier Dam Release River
On Monday 24th July, Colin Skeath and Davis Gould-Duff successfully completed the first ever circumnavigation of mainland Britain by open canoe...
The Washburn events
Song-of-the-Paddle "Big Meet" 2016 @ Ripon
Magdalen's Road, Ripon. HG4 1HX.
Annual gathering of Open Boaters - based around members of the Song-of-the-Paddle forum - getting together this year on the banks of the River Ure in North Yorkshire...
Playboating, Boater-X, National Championship Racing, a BBQ and a Party at England's Premier Dam Release River...
Summer Paddlesports Festival - Playboating, Boater-X, National Championship Racing, a BBQ and a Party at England's Premier Dam Release River...