Newsletter, March 15th, 2024

Summer on the Way!

After a soggy winter you are probably looking forward to some pleasant spring and summer paddles and light nights. Our summer season starts on Thursday 4th April, from 5.30 p.m. From then on, we meet each week on Thursdays, and also on alternate Sunday afternoons at 1.15 p.m. Our first Sunday session of the new season is on April 7th. This year we have 30 minute longer sessions and can be on site until 4.15 p.m. The dates for you diary for the first half of the season are:

April; Thursdays; 4, 11, 18, 25 Sundays; 7, 21

May; Thurdays; 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (May 9th. Deva CC AGM)

Sundays; 5, 19

June; Thursdays; 6, 13, 20, 27

Sundays; 2, 16, 30

As far as membership goes, our prudent treasurer, Simon, has asked not to be sent payment until April when he will send out reminders.

Deva Family on TV!

Of interest to all Deva members, and especially those with children (and those with grandchildren), will be a Channel 5 programme entitled “Meet the Experts”. Each week a young person gets to demonstrate their expertise. Episode 9 of series 2 is all about kayaking, and features Idris Ellis. His dad, Deva member John Ellis, also features (in a supporting role!). During the programme Idris gets to go kayaking on the Dee in Llangollen with Darren Clarkson. You can see the 15 minute programme by signing into the catch-up service, My5 and searching for Meet the Experts, Series 2, Episode 9. Well worth watching and should be BAFTA nominated.

Change at the Top

B.C. rebranded as Paddle UK As you may be aware, British Canoeing, our governing national body, has changed its name to Paddle UK. This is to reflect the wider range of activities it covers which now includes paddleboarding, sit-on-tops, the many kayak disciplines as well as canoeing which has led to a considerable growth in its membership. More details about the name change can be found here.

Bio-Security Plan for the Dee Estuary

I have recently had the pleasure of attending a meeting with Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru. They are in the process of writing a biosecurity plan for the Dee Estuary with the aim of controlling the problem of invasive species, both plants and animals. Seeds or eggs from invasive species can be very small and easily transferred from one body of water to another on canoes, kayaks etc or on personal kit such as shoes, clothing, PFDs etc. Several invasive species have already been detected in the Dee, and the aim of the biosecurity plan is to monitor, control and limit their spread. It also aims to be watchful for ‘horizon species’, which are not in the Dee at present but are in other UK locations and may arrive in the future. An example of an invasive creature is the mitten crab, which probably arrived in the UK in ballast water discharged from ships. It has spread to many European rivers and can cause bank erosion where it burrows and decimate native species. There are many other examples of plants and animals that are possible threats to our environment. As responsible river users we need to make sure we check, clean and dry kit after each trip. We can also record and report the location of any suspected invasive species we see when on the river. More information about species identification will be made available soon and we will pass this onto Deva members. In the meantime, CHECK- CLEAN- DRY. ‘Clear Access Clear Waters’ Work Goes On As part of our ongoing work to improve the environment of our rivers and seas, we will be organising a river clean event during the season to remove litter from the Dee. Simon Lawson is taking on the role of Club Environmental Coordinator and will be calling for volunteers and announcing details in the coming months.

Coaching and Trips

We want to widen club activity by encouraging members to run club trips. If you have an idea for a trip, then have a word with Ray McCann who will advise and help you plan it. We already have some ideas but would like to see more on the calendar. If you are interested in leading trips or coaching for the club, then also see Ray or a member of the committee. To keep the club active and lively we need coaches and leaders to help out at every level. If you would like to qualify as a club approved coach or leader, then also see Ray. Those of us who have already done so will tell you how rewarding it can be, and that leading and coaching will also improve your own paddling.

Adventures at Sea

Colin Hayward writes… The number of club members showing an interest in touring or sea kayaking has increased dramatically in recent times with the Sunday winter sessions at the riverside seeing demand for club sea kayaks regularly hitting double figures and outnumbering the white water paddlers. I would like to think this is at least partly due to the stories and photos of sea kayak trips making an impression. Since the weekly club sessions finished for the winter back in September 2023, I have personally completed 20 sea kayak journeys, many of them accompanied by various club members. These winter adventures also included the odd river or canal paddle if the weather on the coast was too rough, but whenever possible we ventured out onto the sea. I have been attending the pool sessions at Northgate right through the winter and I’ve spoken to plenty of newcomers who have expressed an interest in getting involved with sea trips this summer. The primary route to getting invited to paddle on the sea is to ask to be added to the ‘Deva B’ list or speak to myself or Bill Neary at the riverside. I’ve included a couple of photos from some of our winter paddles which may whet some appetites further.

Thanks Colin.

We are looking forward to a successful summer season paddling a variety of craft on both salt and fresh water.

Newsletter, October 15th 2023

Pie’n’Peas Evening in support of the RNLI

Back in late 2019, the club made a financial donation to the RNLI. In February 2020 we received an email from Bryan Hughes, a local RNLI fundraiser, thanking us for this money and offering to come and give a talk about this organisation.
Great we thought, let’s have a Fish and Chip supper in aid of the RNLI, make it an evening event and we could also ask club member Keith Peek to come and present something about his recent Alaska adventure.
So we booked it for 19 March 2020. Then COVID hit us and everything shut down!
Finally, it all happened on Thursday 12 October 2023. Many thanks to John Lewis, for the Pie’n’Peas idea and organising everything, his wife Alex for helping in the kitchen, speakers Bryan Hughes and Keith Peek for presenting and to the 40 Deva members and friends who supported the event.
We also wish to acknowledge the support and generosity of Andy Lees from GoKayaking (NW) in Runcorn for providing the raffle prizes of a £75 G-K shop voucher, Dry Robe and Sweatshirt.
We raised a fantastic total of £395 on the evening which with a donation from club funds we are increasing to £500 which will be donated, via Bryan, to the RNLI.

Are you willing to support the RNLI by being a fundraiser?

We’ve been asked by Bryan Hughes, a local RNLI volunteer, if any of our members might be interested in joining or supporting the RNLI’s fundraising branch in Chester?
No firm commitment is needed, just a few hours every now and again. There may be some who are interested in joining their committee.
Keith Brocklehurst

Lakes Week-end Trip November 17-19th

Fancy an autumn weekend break in good company and paddling?
There are still some places left for our Lake District weekend. If you have not been before, the accommodation is warm and comfortable and there will be a variety of trips out to cater for every ability from beginner to experienced paddler in either sea kayak, canoe, or whitewater kayak. As this is a club trip members can also borrow club boats and equipment.
The price for the weekend, including breakfast, evening meal on Saturday and packed lunches for Saturday and Sunday is £70.


To Judith Lathean, Ray McCann, David Draper and Bill Neary who have qualified as British Canoeing Paddlesport Leaders. The practice and training they put in preparation for the qualification, sometimes in craft they were not used to paddling, paid off and all passed the assessment weekend. Well done!

Paddler Magazine

In case you are not already aware, we had an article printed in Paddler Magazine about the club’s welfare policy and the fund raising we did earlier this year for MIND. Thanks to Judith Lathean and Mat Sefton for their initiative for highlighting this and developing our policy.

It can be read online here

Newsletter February 18, 2023

We Are Champions!

In recognition of Deva Canoe Club’s environmental policy, we have been awarded Champion Club status by British Canoeing. We support the national Clear Access Clear Waters campaign, and during the coming season, we will organise river clean events.

In addition, we will continue to lobby Welsh Water to improve the water quality of the River Dee by reducing the volume and frequency of sewage discharges from combined outflows.

There are other opportunities for us to help with, such as supporting British Canoeing days to clear invasive species such as Pennywort from local waterways.

We will also seek support from local politicians and other river users.

If you have not already done so, you may wish to download the app ‘Safer Seas and Rivers Service’ which provides information and alerts for sewage discharges. This service is provided by Surfers Against Sewage.

In addition, we will investigate ways in which we can improve access to the Dee and other waterways. Please support your club policy, there will be lots of opportunities for club members to volunteer to improve our paddling environment and help justify our designation as a Champion Club.

We will be having an official launch at the club to celebrate this award, the arrangements are still to be finalised.

Pennywort Clearance on the R. Weaver

Pennywort is an invasive plant that spreads very rapidly and can choke waterways making the difficult to navigate and reducing native plants and animals. There is an opportunity to help clearing the R. Weaver in Winsford on Saturday 25th Feb. To volunteer please follow this link.

Club Meetings and Trips

Our regular club meetings continue fortnightly on Sundays, however there is a rowing event on March 12th and the Riverside Centre is not available. As a substitute we have requested access at the usual time on Sunday March 19th, reverting again to our normal pattern a week later on March 26th. Please add March 19th to your calendar in place of March 12th.

Club approved trips are being planned and will be announced to members via email. Ideas and plans for trips are very welcome. If you have a trip you would like to lead or would like to suggest, then have a word with our safety officer, Ray McCann, or put it in an email to him using the club email address.
Peer group paddles, for which the club has no responsibility, can be posted on the Deva Kayakers Facebook page.

Get Well Soon!

As you may be aware, our club treasurer, Simon has recently undergone surgery and will not be paddling for a while. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
In the meantime, Keith Brocklehurst has taken on the role of temporary treasurer. This is in addition to his secretarial duties. Many thanks, Keith for this additional commitment.

We also send our best wishes to Rosie Diver who is also not able to paddle at present. I’m sure both Rosie and Simon will be desperate to get back to normal as soon as they are able to.

Staying safe on and off the water

It is important to keep our club policies up to date, and I am very grateful to every committee member for the work they do.

In particular Judith Lathaen and David Riley have reviewed and put in place our safeguarding and welfare policies and have recently developed user friendly versions regarding reporting and whistleblowing. These are displayed in the Deva bay at the club and will be put on the club web site.

Ray McCann has reviewed our club policy on coaching, safety and trips.

We are very fortunate to have a dedicated team of people willing to take on duties and put in the time to ensure the club is run effectively for the benefit of its members.