The Ledgard Bridge Weir in Mirfield is one of many on the River Calder. It keeps the water level high on the stretch from Battyeford to Mirfield. Pennine has been known to operate on Ledgard Bridge weir from time to time with kayaks, canoes or stand up paddleboards.
At normal summer levels, moving around on the rocks beside the Ledgard Bridge weir involves significant slip, trip and fall hazards – but they’re all pretty self-evident (big rocks, wet rocks, loose rocks, slippery rocks, big holes, significant drops) – and as a place to hang out, the weir can be a lot of fun.
Note: the river gets remodelled in floods – so we recommend cautious inspection on each and every visit!
A paddler’s perspective…
As things are at present (June 2020), there’s been a large beach just below the main ramp of the weir. The Club has used it to set up safety cover for paddlers running the main ramp. There’s also a low-water line that’s clear enough to anyone with significant whitewater experience.
Unfortunately, the entry point to the most obvious line isn’t well marked… and the line immediately to the right leads onto rocks: it’s not a line anyone should be on even at very low water levels.
The upper limit for inexperienced paddlers?
Small increases in the water level do have an immediate impact – but as the end of the video shows, a level of ~0.5m on the Ledgard Bridge Gauge means significantly faster flows. There’s still a clear line, but providing safety cover becomes quite a bit more challenging.
Below the island, the fast flows disappears through the arches of the bridge, forcing any boats / swimmers towards the outside of the bend.
At this level, the club would see the Ledgard Bridge Weir as only suitable where safety cover can be set up by someone with significant white water safety and rescue expertise.