MEMBERS of Tyne Valley Canoe Club embarked on an oarsome adventure by paddling the length of the River North Tyne from it's source at Kielder Dam to the North Sea at Tynemouth.

The canoeists are raising money for local charities located at each end of the route; the Calvert Trust at Kielder, which provides outdoor activities for people with disabilities, and Changing Lives, which provides support to those experiencing problems such as homelessness, domestic abuse and drug addiction.

On Saturday, March 30 and Sunday 31, a core team of six members completed the 66 mile journey while other club members completed sections of the route. The kayakers were supported by a selfless support crew of club and family members who met them along the way providing morale boosting refreshments and support.

The team left Falstone at 7am on Saturday morning. Whilst en route, canoeists were able to tackle the tricky Hexham Canoe Club slalom course at Wark, recently featured in the James Harrison Memorial Slalom.

Paul Newman, from Tyne Valley Canoe Club, said: "Warden Gorge posed another potential difficulty, but low water levels meant mild conditions and no capsizes.

"The team even found time to surf the wave at the bottom of the gorge before heading on to Hexham. The weather had been kind all day but for the last hour from Hexham to Corbridge the weather closed in and the team were paddling into wind and heavy rain.

"All were completely exhausted by the time they got off the river at Corbridge at 5pm."

The next day, it was another early rise, and the team were positively paddling towards Tynemouth. En-route they saw otters, kingfishers and a seal, however a stiff easterly wind made paddling into Newcastle city and out to Tynemouth a gruelling task.

Paul added: "A surprise encounter with a battleship at the Port of Tyne rather startled the paddlers but as they approached Tynemouth the sun came out and they reached the mouth of the Tyne just before the Amsterdam Ferry past at 5pm. It was a a fantastic weekend for all concerned, although bodies and minds were very tired by the end of it."

If you would like to sponsor the paddlers you can at: Changing Lives and