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Suggested Launch Site - There is a concrete slipway and a small car park next to the river
Description - This part of the Parrett, as it crosses Aller Moor, was scene to the earliest known dispute between those navigating the river and a riparian landowner seeking to restrict navigation - in 1280 ‘The burgesses of Bridgwater complained that Acton had stopped them “towing their boats on the waterway of Peret, along the moorlands and meadows between Bruewat’ and Langport.” ’ The court ruled in favour of those using the river.
In the 19th century the river formed part of the Parrett Navigation with locks to facilitate passage by larger craft but in 1878, following competition from the railway, the navigation was transferred to the ownership of the Somersetshire Drainage Commissioners.
The Somerset Waterways Develoment Trust actively campaign for the restoration of this navigation and believe "A “Highway” Right of Navigation exists on the Rivers Parrett, Isle and Yeo where formerly navigation improvements were made but there is no liability or responsibility on the current management body, ie The Environment Agency to maintain navigation structures such as locks, even though the locks at Middleney and Thorney appear structurally sound and could easily be reinstated."
The trip to Oath Lock (now a weir) is 3.4 miles (6.8 return) with no portages.
Comments on this trip
Chris Hill 26 Jun 2012
The gate at the top of the slipway is always locked, so either go round, or over it. I have never had any objections to using it, and whether the red sign is up or not, I would carry on. The only time I would consider not using it would be if the river was in flood state, but that would depend on people's own judgement regarding their safety and ability.
Barbara Knight 04 Jun 2012
We did this today (4th June 2012) and it was great. Current nonexistence making it easy paddling both ways. There is a locked gate blocking the slip way at the car park but you can drag your canoes round it easily. Not many features along the route but very relaxing countryside. We would recommend the cafe by the river at Langport on the way back it's just next to the eco houses and road bridge. You can get out on their wooden landing stage. This web site is excellent and just what we have been looking for when exploring new areas everything you need to know in terms of where to launch, park etc. Really useful if people can give guidance on the current in terms of ability to paddle both ways.
Martin Aspinall 29 May 2012
I checked the putin a couple of weeks ago, and although there was a gate across it, there is access round it.Going on Monday 4th June, so I will update afterwards!
Brian Silk 28 May 2012
Last time I was down here (Jan 2012) this putin was closed off and marked as dangerous!!