Tag Archives: holme pierrepont

At last – the plans…

HPP proposal plans (470kb PDF)

HPP proposal plans (click to download 470kb PDF)

At last – the plans. So what’s changed from the earlier proposals?

Well, the main thing is that we’ve had useful input from the user group, which includes representatives of all the different user groups with in interest in the course. A day-and-night contrast with the start of this process, we’ve all had a say in the designs. You can find out more about the consultation process and the changes here (420kb PDF). And we think it shows in what’s actually proposed:

  • The course will go back to full flow. It’s flowing at 17 cubic metres a second (cumecs) at the moment. These changes will put it back to the 24 cumecs it used to flow at. That means the rapids will get their power back.
  • The muncher and plughole section will stay as they are. That means 24 cumecs going through the section, which should deepen up the muncher and plughole themselves, and bring back the power and definition they used to have.
  • The pools will stay deep. The Pyramid and Looping pools will stay deep, to retain their playboating potential – though the changes will make the deep sections shorter. Modelling shows this won’t change the energy in the features, but it will speed up the water on exit which will suit racers. The deep pool downstream of the muncher will be filled in, though.
  • Specific features for beginners, intermediates and whitewater safety and rescue. The back-channels and the section below the muncher will make training grounds for improving paddlers and rescue technicians.
  • Variable features. We’ve looked closely at the Omniflot system. In theory, it should give us the potential to fine-tune features outside the muncher/plughole section to make the most of them.

If you want to see the modelling behind the proposals, you can download this 540kb PDF for full details.

So what do I think?

Well… I think it should be an improvement on what we’ve got now for almost all course users. The main benefit is a full 24 cumec flow again. It should give the features more depth, which can only be a good thing. Given the process the user group have been through, and the information we’ve been given, I think it’ll give the course a new lease of life over its current – lousy – configuration.

So I’m actually quite excited about the potential. But what do you think? You can come along to the public meeting this Wednesday to have your say…

Pete Cornes.


The current course – a hydrodynamic glimpse

To tell if changes to the whitewater course at Holme Pierrepont will be an improvement, you need something to compare them with. In the past this meant a physical model, built to a certain scale so planners and paddlers could look at it and get a clear idea of what the water was doing, and where.

Though this approach is still popular, but an alternative is to use a hydrodynamic computer model as the basis for your changes.

Download the hydrodynamic modelling report here – 200kb PDF

That’s what this is. In layman’s terms, it shows the water depth in the concrete channel as it is at the moment. It’s effectively a computer model of what you’ll see if you walk down the course top to bottom, looking at how deep it is at certain cross sections all the way down.

EPD, the design consultants, have been using this model to take the user group‘s feedback and make some changes to the original proposals. It’s the foundation that the new proposals are built on – which you’ll be able to see at the public meeting on Wednesday 22nd October.

So download the modelling report, have a look and if you’ve got any thoughts, you can either post a comment below or discuss it online at the UK rivers guidebook community.

Who are the whitewater course user group?

So, the plans for the whitewater course developments are in the hands of the user group. Chosen by people at the public meeting in August, they put us forward to have direct input into the design to make the developments work for all course users. The idea was that we’d discuss it, have direct input into the design and think it through in detail from all viewpoints, before deciding whether to go ahead with the project at the end of October.

So, who’s on there, and what’s everyone’s role?

Chris Hawkesworth – BCU facilities manager

Andy Laird – design consultant

Pete Orton – Valley Kayaks

Daniel Scott – Desperate Measures

Dawn and Ian Scott – Holme Pierrepont Canoe Club

Richard Chrimes – freestylist extraordinaire

Keith Hampton – safety and rescue

John Handyside – wild water racing

David Leathborough – whitewater rafting

Andy Maddock – world class slalom

Ian Bebbington – Nottinghamshire county council

Matt Chadder – recreational playboating

Pete Cornes – me – squirt boating
Over the last few weeks we’ve had quite a few more meetings down at the course, looking at ideas and possibilities.

The foundation of this is a hydrodynamic computer model of the course, calibrated against the course as it is at the moment. Andy Laird has been using this to take our feedback and include it in the design – and the next step is to take these designs back to the public and see if they’re hitting the spot.

What next?

The most important thing is a date for your diary. October 22nd at 7PM, at the Rugby Club behind the Peak UK shop. That’s the public user group meeting to look at the final plans and see if they fit the bill. We want input from as many people as possible, and I’d love to see you there…

Changes to Nottingham’s Holme Pierrepont whitewater course – what’s the story?

I’ve been getting loads of calls and emails asking for a quick and dirty rundown of the story so far – so here goes…

In August, news leaked out that the whitewater course in Nottingham was going to shut down over the winter to turn it into a fast, shallow and even-gradient course for slalom canoe trainking. In fact, I might have had something to do with posting that information. The problem was that no-one had told the other people who use the course – like recreational paddlers, whitewater rafters, water safety and rescue training professionals, playboaters or wild water racers – let alone asked for their input.

So a handful of us got together to try and put over our opinion a little more forcefully. Emails, phone calls, message boards, facebook, blogs and the rest. Even a draft report (100kb PDF) to explain the needs and requirements of all the different users. We got support from nearly 600 paddlers – more than enough to call an Extraordinary Genreral Meeting of the BCU. It didn’t come to that, though, because by the end of August the BCU called a public meeting to quell speculation and present the plans.

How did the meeting go? Well, if you were there you won’t forget it. Tensions ran high among the 80 or so people who came along, and the discussion ranged from good-humoured to, well, strained… But by the end of the evening, there was a clear way forward.

It all came down to a user group – a handful of paddlers and course users who were happy to give their time and knowledge to the project to try and make sure that the project would turn out for the better. Working with Chris Hawkesworth, the BCU facilities manager, and Andy Laird, their design consultant who’s developed a complex computer model of the course, we’ve been meeting most weeks recently to try and make this project work.

Now it’s all coming to a head. We need to decide if these plans are working by the end of the month, and there’s a public meeting on Wednesday October 22nd in Nottingham to do that.

It’s at 7pm at the Rugby Club, behind the Peak UK shop at Holme Pierrepont (directions). If the course’s future matters to you, please do your best to come along and join us. I’ll post the plans up beforehand so we’ve got a good chance to get to grips with them first. And keep an eye on this blog for information in the meantime.

Holme Pierrepont plans finally revealed

Holme Pierrepont whitewater course showing the pools that will be filled in.

Holme Pierrepont whitewater course showing the pools that will be filled in.

Holme Pierrepont whitewater course as it is now

Holme Pierrepont whitewater course as it is now

Proposed changes to Holme Pierrepont whitewater course

Proposed changes to Holme Pierrepont whitewater course

Here are the plans at last for this December’s proposed changes to Holme Pierrepont. Have a look and see what you think – and please do share your thoughts in the comments box below…

A few points:

  • The proposed changes use the plastic Omniflot system, much like on the top half of the course as it is now, but with slightly different bollards
  • Much like the earlier plans, most of the deep pools are proposed to be filled in
  • There’s a proposed wall to be built across the Magic Roundabout to seperate the back channels from the main flow
  • The course above the Pyramid pool and below the bottom stopper won’t see many changes
  • This is all we’ve got so far – plans and an artist’s impression. The next stage is computer modelling.

The onus is now on the BCU to persuade the course’s users that these changes will be an improvement. I’ve offered as much help as I can afford to spread the message and to put out the facts.

We need to be able to envisage how the new course will look and perform.

We need to see successful examples of Omniflots in action that are forming the sort of playspots and river features we’re being promised.

We need to see that it’ll support and encourage rafting enough to keep the course earning money and open when it changes ownership.

In short, we’ve got a fantastic and unique facility already – we need persuading that these changes are a guaranteed improvement, rather than hurried modifications for the sake of it. Hundreds of people have pledged their support for full consultation and a deep channel course. Let’s keep up this free and open flow of information, because we need convincing.

Consultation meeting tonight

This information came through from the BCU last week – sorry I’ve been too busy to get it up until now…


Subject Holme Pierrepont White Water ‘In’ Course Proposals
Time and date 6pm Monday 18th August 2008
Location “The Patio Lounge” at the National Watersports Centre,
Holme Pierrepont Nottingham
Invitees Open to all white water course users

Draft agenda
1. Welcome, Introductions and purpose
2. Presentation of draft proposals by Andy Laird of EPD Ltd
3. Presentations by users
4. Open forum
5. Summary and way forwards

The draft proposals will be put on the BCU web site and made available for others following the meeting.
A period of consulting will take place which will end 3rd September.

On behalf of Chris Hawkesworth
Planning and Facilities Manager

I’ll be there, and I’m sure I won’t be on my own. It’s open invite, so please do come along if you can.

Is two weeks long enough for full consultation? Who knows, but I’ll be pressing the point. I’ll also be taking messages of support for a versatile course and full consultation from 568 people, including 412 BCU members. I’ll make sure to get a full report up and online tomorrow. Chloe Nelson-Lawrie from the BCU has also promised to get the plans onto the BCU website for open consultation – I’ll put up a link when they go live.


What a difference a week makes

Last Sunday, barely anyone knew about any plans for changes to the whitewater course at Holme Pierrepont. If they did, they mostly thought it was a vague concept that wouldn’t happen for ages.

But quite a lot can happen in seven days.

Over the last week:

  • 521 people have pledged their support for a deep water course and full consultation.
  • 377 of these people are BCU members, smashing our goal of 280.
  • The users’ group has put together a full report on what the course means for recreational paddlers, rafters, playboaters, Wild Water Racers and Whitewater safety and rescue training.
  • We’ve sent this report to the BCU in lieu of an invite to today’s meeting over the course’s future.
  • The BCU have scheduled consultation meetings on 18th August and 3rd September.

We’re waiting eagerly for the BCU to publish details from today’s meeting to let everyone know what’s happening. As soon as they do, I’ll post it up here.