Colourful flotilla on the River Arun

Boat rally canoeists and kayakers on the river by the old Stopham Bridge. SUS-150428-130222001
Boat rally canoeists and kayakers on the river by the old Stopham Bridge. SUS-150428-130222001

Dozens of canoeists, kayakers and small boat owners responded to a call to celebrate the centuries old navigation rights on the River Arun.

A record number of craft took to the waterway between Pulborough and Pallingham Quay for an event on Sunday (April 19th) organised by The Wey & Arun Canal Trust.

The annual rally aims to continue the long tradition of boats navigating this section of the Arun, as the Canal Trust has a strong interest in maintaining these rights.

Those taking part included members of the Trust and enthusiasts from canoe clubs and youth groups in the area and from as far away as Hampton in Surrey.

“We were delighted with the turn-out for the rally, which resulted in a colourful array of small craft along the Arun,” said Trust chairman Sally Schupke. “It was a convivial and very pleasant occasion, with participants telling us they had an enjoyable time on the river.”

The Arun is tidal as far as Pallingham, where the Wey & Arun Canal Route joins the river. On reaching the end of the rally route, the boaters were able to look at the canal bridge at Pallingham Quay. Another feature on the route was the historic 18th century Stopham Bridge.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust is restoring the 23-mile canal between Pallingham and the River Wey at Shalford, near Guildford, in Surrey. Eventually, boats will be able to travel from the restored canal into the Arun, with London’s ‘lost route to the sea’ back in full use.

Report and picture contributed by he Wey & Arun Canal Trust.