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Washburn Valley

From moorland through forest to pockets of wetland, the Washburn Valley has a bit of everything...

Almost every single kayaker I have ever met has said something that made it clear he or she felt a deep spirituality about rivers and a relationship to water. When we speak of kayaking as a sport, we focus on the wild surface action, first descents, challenge, fun with friends, surfing, waterfalls, competitions, but we know it is all of these – and much more right underneath. Yet, we have no language to describe this. We have been caught in a trap of our own making, stunting our vision and expression.

– Doug Ammons - Blending With Nature

Doug Ammons is one of many canoeists and kayakers to connect adventure sport with the ordinary, everyday experience of living with the rain and snow, wind and sun, and with the "inner change" which can also come through hiking, bird-watching, or simply sitting quietly on the side of a river.

The Washburn Valley is much loved by canoeists and kayakers whose activity in the outdoors is in part about "learning to live in nature" - boaters for whom the wider landscape and surrounding environment is as important as the river itself to the experience of being on the water.

The Washburn Committee encourages all visitors to take the time to explore the moorland, woodland, pockets of wetland and farmland up and down the valley, and to support local businesses such as Breaks Fold Farm (camping) and Mackenzies Smokehouse (cafe). We trust that all such exploration and visiting will be responsible and respectful!

In addition, the Washburn Committee continues to work behind the scenes with Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency to manage the environmental impact of canoeing and kayaking activities in the valley - and to ensure its operating procedures and development plans are sensitive to the character of this much loved valley.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more, and in particular if you are in a position to help us make good decisions about how we manage our impact on the valley in the years to come.